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01/30/2020 / By Ethan Huff
First it was Germany. Now, Taiwan and Japan are both reporting that coronavirus is spreading in their countries from person to person, debunking earlier claims that human-to-human transmission isn’t a major concern with this outbreak.
Not long after German authorities confirmed that a Chinese woman passed coronavirus on to a male colleague of hers while in Germany, health officials both in Japan and Taiwan have now confirmed similar cases within their own borders, raising fears of exponential growth and a possible global pandemic.
In Japan, a male bus driver in his 60s who hasn’t traveled to China anytime recently is said to have contracted coronavirus from one of his tourist passengers. In Taiwan, a 50-year-old man was infected by his wife after she returned from a work trip to China.
This Taiwanese man is the eighth confirmed case of coronavirus in Taiwan, and the first known human-to-human transmission case in the island nation. Taiwanese officials have responded by telling people not to travel anywhere in China except for Hong Kong and Macau, after previously recommending against travel exclusively to the Hubei province where Wuhan is located.
As for Japan, officials there have sent a plane to Wuhan to evacuate its citizens from the disease-stricken mega-city. The United States has reportedly done the same, followed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) issuing heightened warnings against all non-essential travel to China.
To keep up with the latest coronavirus news, be sure to bookmark Outbreak.news.
The U.S. is also implementing expanding screening protocols for travelers arriving from Wuhan to some 20 airports and other ports of entry all across the country, up from five previously.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has upped its global risk assessment for this coronavirus outbreak from “moderate” to “high,” though this was done quietly without an official announcement.
At the same time, the W.H.O. continues to refuse declaring this coronavirus outbreak a global emergency, for which the agency has received much criticism. The official death count has now reached 130 people, with the official infection count steadily climbing well above 6,100.
As for the evacuation flight of Americans from Wuhan, this C.D.C.-ordered flight that was originally supposed to land in San Francisco, but that was redirected to Ontario International Airport in Southern California, was redirected again to March Air Reserve Base, also in Southern California.
The C.D.C. reportedly ordered this second diversion to the military base, but refused to publicly state why. The Department of Defense (D.O.D.), on the other hand, did issue a statement indicating that the Americans onboard the flight would be given housing at the base.
“March Air Reserve Base and the Department of Defense stand ready to provide housing support to [the Department of Health and Human Services] as they work to handle the arrival of nearly 200 people, including Department of State employees, dependents and U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China,” stated D.O.D. press secretary Alyssa Farah.
These individuals were supposed to have been kept in isolation at Ontario International Airport for anywhere from three days to two weeks as they were assessed for infection, this covering the upper end of the possible incubation period for the virus. But it’s now unclear whether the same procedure will occur at March Air Reserve Base.
“In other words, it now seems possible or even likely that up to 240 Americans who have just returned from the coronavirus pandemic quarantine region of Wuhan will be released into the public population,” writes Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.
Stay tuned for more breaking updates about this outbreak as it verges upon global pandemic status in the coming days.
Sources for this article include:
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