Coronavirus update: Guangdong clear

No new case was reported from Guangdong yesterday, while eight more patients were released from hospital, leaving only 52 under treatment, according to the Guangdong Health Commission.

Hong Kong added two new cases yesterday, down from previous day’s nine, with one imported from overseas, taking the city’s total of confirmed cases to 131. Eight patients were released from hospital, bringing the total discharges to 75, while 154 remain under observation, according to the Centre for Health Protection.

The death toll in the GBA remained just 11.

The country reported only eight new cases on Thursday, of which three were imported. Hubei recorded just five new cases, down from eight of the previous day, with six new deaths bringing the province’s total to 3,062, according to the Hubei Health Commission.

Of China’s total 80,813 confirmed cases, around 80% have left hospital, with 1,318 discharged on Wednesday alone, according to the National Health Commission.

Related news:

1. The coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the rest of the world, infecting over 50,000 outside of China as celebrities, sports stars and even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau come under quarantine. SCMP.

2. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has doubled down on the claim that the coronavirus originated in the US rather than Wuhan. SCMP. Many scientists have laughed this off. However, there are scientists in Taiwan and Japan who have questioned it, and it is indeed almost certain that COVID-19 did not begin in the Huanan seafood market. SCMP.

3. Meanwhile, here is a link to a (non-scientific) post by a businessman lecturing at Fudan University who lays out the theory of the virus having been brought to Wuhan by US soldiers participating in the World Military Games.

4. New research suggests the coronavirus can live on in patients for weeks after they have recovered, extending their contagious period. Bloomberg.

5. The effectiveness of quarantines is coming into question. One study from Wuhan says quarantines may have made the virus mutate so that it became harder to detect, while another study quoted by The Guardian says the quarantines could have dramatically slowed the virus’s spread if they had been put in place earlier.

6. Hong Kong’s overseas tour operators have been caught off-guard and many groups will be affected by the city’s decision to extend mandatory quarantine measures to arrivals from Italy and parts of France, Germany, Japan and Spain, which takes effect tomorrow. SCMP.

7. As Guangdong has seen no local case but a total of six imported cases since last Friday, the risk is now on reversed importation, says deputy director of Guangdong Health Commission Zhou Zixiao, who has urged those entering Guangdong to declare their health status.

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