World Watches Wuhan Virus – Digest #38

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Deepnews Digest #38

World Watches Wuhan Virus

A new virus found in China has sparked worries around the world after its spread in the city of Wuhan, where it has killed more than twenty people. Cases have traveled to other parts of Asia as well as to the U.S., as scientists look to pinpoint exactly how the disease came to humans. Censorship means information has been a scarcity, which is where Deepnews comes in. Here are the top 25 articles of the week on the Wuhan coronavirus, as found by the Deepnews Scoring Model.


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The Conversation

Snakes — the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra — may be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this winter.


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One thing Deepnews does well is find articles from the academic community. In this article originally posted at The Conversation, three microbiology professors look at the idea that snakes in the Wuhan market were part of the spread of the virus.

Nikkei

In early January, the World Health Organization was notified by China that 41 people in Wuhan, the country’s seventh most populous city, had been hospitalized with what appeared to be a mystery strain of pneumonia. Many were reported to be workers in or visitors to a live animal market.


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The Hindu

“Much remains to be understood about this novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Not enough is known to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, clinical features of the disease, its severity, the extent to which it has spread or its source”


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South China Morning Post

Prevention and control in hospitals is key to controlling outbreak, says disease specialist


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Asia Times

Economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Macau feel the heat as Beijing stimulus awaited


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The Canadian Press

In China, Wuhan and two nearby cities — home to a total of 18 million people — were locked down in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus


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Inter Press Service

Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor is a medical doctor, the CEO of EpiAFRIC, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch


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Kyodo News

BEIJING — A new coronavirus is rapidly spreading in China, with state-run media reporting Wednesday that 17 people have died and about 550 patients have been infected in the country, up by more than 200 from the previous day, as cases have also been confirmed elsewhere in Asia and the United States.


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CTV News

TORONTO — As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, including the first confirmed case in the U.S., so do concerns over the potential for an outbreak similar to the deadly 2003 SARS epidemic.


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When looking at the spread of unknown diseases, the one that immediately comes to mind is SARS. Here CTV looks at the new illness with an eye to the past.

The Conversation

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak bears similarity to the 2002-03 epidemic of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The SARS-CoV outbreak, which started in south China, lasted for over nine months. It spread to 37 countries, causing 8,098 people to become ill and 774 to die.


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CBC

At Beijing’s central railway station, the crowds stream in, ticket in hand, suitcase in tow, surgical mask in place. This last item has become an integral part of this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations.


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Vox

Travel restrictions to control the spread of disease have been tried since 1377, when the Mediterranean city of Dubrovnik — formerly known as Ragusa and now part of Croatia — imposed a 40-day isolation period on ships suspected of carrying the Black Death that were entering the city.


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Variety

Just days ago, no one would have predicted that China’s most lucrative film-going season was about to be derailed by the escalating epidemic of a novel coronavirus that is now rapidly spreading through the country and beyond.


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TIME

Back in the fall of 2017, during the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping took the podium at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People to claim that one-party autocracy offered an option for “countries that want to speed up their development while preserving their independence.”


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Vox

The World Health Organization has determined that the outbreak of the SARS-like coronavirus spreading rapidly across China is not yet a global health emergency — a rare designation the agency gives outbreaks that pose an international risk.


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Worries have spread around the world as travelers left Wuhan, though the WHO has not declared a global health emergency as some thought they could. Here Vox digs into it.

AP

The proclamation Tuesday signaled both China’s growing confidence and its greater awareness of censorship’s pitfalls.


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Xinhua

Chinese health authorities announced Wednesday that 440 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had been reported in 13 provincial-level regions in the country by the end of Tuesday.


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Reuters

China stepped up measures to contain a virus that has killed 25 people and infected more than 800, suspending public transport in 10 cities, shutting temples over the Lunar New Year, and rushing to construct a hospital to treat the infected.


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Washington Post

BEIJING — Major Chinese cities, including the capital, Beijing, and virus-hit Wuhan, banned all large gatherings over the coming Lunar New Year festival, the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar, in an expanding effort contain the rapidly spreading outbreak. The announcement Thursday came as authorities expanded travel restrictions imposed on Wuhan to surrounding municipalities, shutting down travel networks and attempting to quarantine some 25 million people — more than the population of Florida.


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The Globe and Mail

Mr. Zhong sought to assuage fears about the virus, which infects people with pneumonia-like symptoms. “We identified the new coronavirus just two weeks after the outbreak was reported and we have very good virus-monitoring and quarantine measures,” he said, according to comments reported by China Daily. “I believe the outbreak will not cause the same impact on society and the economy as SARS did 17 years ago.”


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South China Morning Post

Through a progressive model of open collaboration, researchers prioritised the greater good over their personal gain and shared their research findings on a common WHO database. As a result, the Sars coronavirus was swiftly identified as the cause of the illness, which helped efforts to contain the spread of the disease and laid the foundation for the ongoing quest for a cure.


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TIME

Rows of blue-shuttered market stalls remain bolted behind streams of police tape. On one side of the street, a queue of market workers line up for inspection by health personnel. On the other, under a sign that reads “Huanan Seafood Market,” figures clad in white hazmat suits carry bundles of evidence into a small camouflage tent.


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While many of the pieces on this list are written from Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, Charlie Campbell of TIME took the effort to go to Wuhan itself. He talks about censorship on social media and threats of arrest for reporting.

Reuters

MILAN – European luxury stocks slumped across the board on Tuesday on fears that the coronavirus virus outbreak in China could hurt sales of high-end brands that had managed to weather months of protests in Hong Kong.


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The Star (Malaysia)

All stakeholders must charge affordable prices for healthcare at all times, whether or not there is an outbreak. Profiteering during disease is especially deplorable, and we denounce it in the strongest possible terms.


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Radio Free Asia

Authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan have summoned and questioned eight people for allegedly posting “rumors” about the outbreak of viral pneumonia in the city, as experts warned the epidemic has likely spread much further than reports currently indicate.


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