Coronavirus Misinformation Spreads Like a Virus

Andrew Cummings
February 1, 2020

At last report, there are only seven confirmed cases in the United States.

Official January 31st numbers tell us that there were less than 10,000 people infected, and now as of February 1st, there are 12,000.

Experts say there is significant evidence the virus is spreading among people in China and World Health Organization noted with its emergency declaration Thursday it was especially concerned that some cases overseas also involved human-to-human transmission.

Insisting that the public health risk from the coronavirus is still "low" in the United States, the Trump administration declared a public health emergency Friday and announced it would temporarily bar foreign nationals who have traveled in China in the last two weeks from entering the country.

"There is a large amount of travel between China and Africa; hubs such as Addis Ababa, Cairo and Nairobi are at particular risks due to the large amount of Chinese travellers that pass through these airports". Member countries, however, are not obligated to follow World Health Organization guidance.

Washington announced Friday that it will impose a 14-day travel ban on all visitors from China, regardless of their nationality.

A man stands in front of a screen showing that multiple departure flights have been canceled after the city was locked down following the outbreak of a new coronavirus, at an airport in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, Jan. 23, 2020.

Mongolia's government plans to bar entry to Chinese nationals as well as foreigners coming from the country beginning Saturday until March 2. American officials said they are also concerned because the disease can be spread by people without symptoms.

A day ago, the U.S. issued a travel warning, likening the danger of travelling to China to that of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, the USA government will enforce a two-week mandatory quarantine period for Americans returning from Hubei province, where the outbreak originated.

The emergency measures were unveiled by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at a White House briefing, shortly before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities announced a seventh U.S. coronavirus case had been confirmed in Northern California. Bahrain has recommended that its citizens not travel to any country hit by the virus.

There have also been a number of evacuations from China as foreign governments work to bring their citizens back. In some countries, the quarantine measures are the first of their kind in decades.

Hours later, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines announced they were suspending all flights between the USA and China, joining several worldwide carriers that have stopped flying to China as the virus outbreak continues to spread. The CDC said this was the first federal quarantine ordered since the 1960s, when there were fears of a smallpox outbreak.

U.S. citizens arriving from Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital, will have to undergo 14-days mandatory quarantine on arrival, while those traveling any other part of China will face screening and monitoring.

Americans who visited other parts of mainland China will undergo special health screening upon their return, followed by up to 14 days of "monitored self-quarantine", under the temporary restrictions. Those countries include Germany, India, Bangladesh and France. South Korea has set up two quarantine in Asan and Jincheon, much to the disapproval of the cities' residents. More South Koreans are expected to arrive at the facilities Saturday. Although the emergency measure came shortly before health authorities identified a seventh case in the U.S., it raised ire in Beijing.

The U.S. advised against all travel to China as the number of cases of a worrying new virus spiked more than tenfold in a week, including the highest death toll in a 24-hour period on Friday.

"We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus", said Biden, who is in Iowa campaigning before the Midwestern farm state holds Democrats' first nominating contest on Monday.

Other reports by iNewsToday