Coronavirus More Deadly Than SARS: Death Toll Over 800

The deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that swept through China in 2002/2003 killed 774 people. The novel coronavirus passed that grim total this weekend, with the death toll now at 811.

Struggling to contain the spread of the disease, authorities had told businesses to tack up to 10 extra days onto the Lunar New Year holidays that had been due to finish at the end of January. But now they must go back to work or risk a greater negative impact on the national economy.

Many of China’s usually teeming cities have almost become ghost towns during the past two weeks, as Communist Party rulers ordered virtual lockdowns, canceled flights, closed factories and kept schools shut.

The slowdown in the second-largest economy on the planet, which is considered the workshop of the world, is taking its toll on international financial markets, as shares slumped and investors switched into safe-havens like gold, bonds and the Japanese yen.

An American hospitalized in the central city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, became the first confirmed non-Chinese victim of the disease. The Washington Post identified him as Hong Ling, a 53-year old geneticist who studied rare diseases at Berkeley.

Even with the rising numbers, many people don’t trust that the Chinese government is telling the truth.

One exchange on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, included the following exchange:

“What’s even more frustrating is that these are only the ‘official’ data.”

“Don’t say anything else. We all know we can’t purchase masks anywhere, why are we still going back to work?”

“More than 20,000 doctors and nurses around the country have been sent to Hubei, but why are the numbers still rising?”

The total of confirmed cases in China stood at 37,198.

Joseph Eisenberg, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, said it was too early to say whether the epidemic was peaking.

Eisenberg said:

“Even if reported cases might be peaking, we don’t know what is happening with unreported cases.  This is especially an issue in some of the more rural areas.”

The virus has spread to 27 countries and regions, with 330 people infected outside of China.

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  1. david j vinish

    For the 2019/2020 flu season, over 14.000 deaths have occurred as well as over 84,000 hospitalizations. This is a fact. The fact that we see a new strain of a virus that has the exact same if not slightly lower mortality and to try to flood the news with scare tactics is an abomination even for the American “news media”. Yes, there is a new virus strain. Yes our pharmaceutical companies need to invest in development of a vaccine that will address this virus. This is not new. But the Dumbocrats who complain about the profits of big pharma and the desire to “break up that viscious industry are proof of insanity. We need to be encouraging the pharmaceutical companies and their educated staff to be working diligently as they did in the late 20s when A/B flus hit the country. And to encourage all to take the vaccine as a preventive measure as do they now do for the normal flu. The normal flu is just as deadly as the covid19 virus, but we have no vaccine. Do you ever hear of support or progress in developing a vaccine. No. Do you realize how many hoops a new drug must jump through to meet the Democrats imposed release to the public. Drugs need to constantly be developed because our world is becoming smaller with the immigration tendencies. That is another topic.

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