Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Coronavirus headlines - 18 February, 2020

When the first reports came out about the 1918 "Spanish" flu they said more or less what was being said in the media in 2020.


A hotel near Heathrow has been closed to the public and designated as a coronavirus quarantine centre as health officials prepare for more cases in the UK.

The Holiday Inn Heathrow Ariel hotel closed on Saturday with staff told it would not reopen for bookings until next month at the earliest.

Sources told The Independent the hotel has been block booked as a potential quarantine zone for international visitors to the UK who develop coronavirus or for Britons evacuated to the UK from overseas.

Guests booked at the three-star hotel, which is operated under franchise from the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), have been transferred to sister hotels.

The hotel’s general manager, who did not give his name, confirmed the hotel had been closed but he emphasised there had not been any cases of coronavirus at the hotel.


The Coronavirus outbreak in China . . . . which is actually a Military Bio-Weapon that escaped China's Level Four Bio-Safety Lab in Wuhan . . . is still spreading out of control and causing people to drop dead in their tracks on the streets!

The video below, taken by a scooter driver, shows more than TWELVE DEAD BODIES, laying covered on the sidewalks, in the short three block video lasting only 30 seconds.

Florida Department of Health cites patient confidentiality law as reason not to inform public

What’s going on with the coronavirus in Florida?

Sorry, you can’t find out. It’s a secret.

It doesn’t sound like it should be a secret, but according to the Florida Department of Health, it has to be a secret.

We are bound by a specific statute and can’t release the information,” explained Alberto Moscoso, the communications director for the Florida Department of Health.

Maybe. Maybe not.

The state gave regular public updates on Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that infected more than 100 Floridians three years ago.

There was no problem with public updates then. But we know precious little about the coronavirus in Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis casually dribbled out a little information two weeks ago during a press event at Omni Middle School in Boca Raton, where he was touting an expansion of speech and debate programs in schools.

Everybody to this date that has been tested has come back negative,” he said.

We don’t know anything about these everybodies or where they lived. Or about the somebody who got tested last week at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, according to the Sun-Sentinel, but not confirmed by the state.

Why the secrecy? If a virus that began in China two months ago and has already spread to 28 countries, including the United States, don’t the people of Florida have a right to be kept in the loop?

The state law cited is a passage in the Florida Administrative Code that says “all information contained in laboratory reports, notifiable disease or condition case reports and in related epidemiological investigatory notes is confidential.”

But the passage goes on to note three exceptions for releasing otherwise confidential disease or condition case reports to the public.

The exceptions are:

(1) If the state’s health department determines public release of information is warranted “due to the highly infectious nature of the disease.”

(2) If the release of information would be useful to reduce “the potential for further outbreaks.”

(3) If the release helps to identify or locate people in contact with the cases.

If one of those conditions is true, it trumps the patient confidentiality requirement.

In the case of the coronavirus, it wouldn’t be a stretch to argue that there’s more than enough wiggle room in the law for the state health department to be transparent with the public.

Using “patient privacy” as an excuse to tamp down information on a virus well on its way to becoming a pandemic says more about tourism than public safety in Florida.

The lack of openness has become a trend in Florida, as more and more public records become private.

For example, this legislative session, lawmakers are proposing a bill that would keep their home addresses private.

Not disclosing their home addresses is more than an unwarranted personal safety issue. It shields the public from the valuable information of knowing which representatives live outside their own legislative districts.

Another example of codified secrecy run amok is the recently passed Marsy’s Law, a state Constitutional amendment that was sold primarily as a way to inform crime victims about the dates their cases would be heard in court.

It also has a provision that allows crime victims to have their identities kept secret in public records. This provision is now being used by police officers who are involved in situations where they use force in the line of duty.

By claiming that they are crime victims while making an arrest, some officers are using Marsy’s Law to shield their names from being disclosed in use-of-force cases, including ones where they use lethal force.

And to take it even further, the Jacksonville Police Department is using the law to keep secret the addresses where some crimes occur.

So, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that Florida’s reaction to a viral outbreak is less public information, not more.

It’s all part of the secrecy virus on the loose in Florida.



The Chinese professor Xu Zhangrun, who published a rare public critique of President Xi Jinping over China’s coronavirus crisis, was placed under house arrest for days, barred from social media and is now cut off from the internet, his friends have told the Guardian.

Xu’s passionate attack on the government’s system of controls and censorship, Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear, was published this month – a rare, bold expression of dissent from the liberal camp under Xi’s rule.

A friend of Xu’s who spoke on Sunday on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals said police placed Xu under house arrest soon after he returned to Beijing from his lunar new year break at his home town in Anhui province.

They confined him at home under the pretext that he had to be quarantined after the trip,” the friend said. “He was in fact under de facto house arrest and his movements were restricted.”






Our 'just-in-time" supply chain will dry up

When Trucks Stop, America 


Just In Time: When the Trucks Stop, America Will Stop ...

Quarantines mean no one in, and no one out.

That means no trucks for deliveries.

According to an analysis of the United States transportation network, performed by the American Trucking Association, here's what "No trucks" turns into:

Here's a link to the full study by the American Trucking Association (HERE)


The NZ government is putting people at risk while trying to manage its relationship with China

Are the authorities monumentally stupid or do they actually WANT US to be at risk?

It is a case of "risk management", which entails balancing the needs of the population with the"needs" of the economy - and that, in turn, means kowtowing to China.


People struggle to find places to self-quarantine amid coronavirus outbreak

18 February, 2020

People returning from mainland China are calling for more guidance and help from the government as they struggle to find places to self-isolate.
The Covid-19 outbreak has now claimed 1775 lives, and the confirmed cases have surged to 71,335 worldwide, with a majority of them in mainland China.

The government has asked those who have travelled from and through mainland China since 2 February to stay in quarantine for two weeks, but some people say they have nowhere to go.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said up to midnight Sunday, there have been 4386 people who have registered as being in self-isolation.

Auckland woman Connie, who didn't want her surname used, was busy looking for a place to stay for her adult nephew, who's returning from Guangdong in south China on Friday.

For the past 10 years, he's been living with Connie and her family of four. However, things are a bit tricky this time.

"We don't have a place for him to stay in quarantine. The whole family lives in the same house. There isn't any additional space. We will have to live in the same space, using the same toilet and bathroom all the time. How can we stay away from each other?"

"If the government or the Healthline can give them a place - make somewhere available for them to spend these 14 days quietly, that would be good. Then it wouldn't cause any trouble to others and they have somewhere to stay. We can take care of sending food."

Connie said she was told government emergency housing could be arranged for her nephew only after he was finished quarantine.

Jianwu Zhang slept in his car for two nights after coming back to Auckland from Shanghai last week.

He chose to stay away from his flatmates, and spent two hours in the airport calling around for alternative accommodation.

"I was wanting to book a hotel. A friend was helping to make calls as well. I was also making my own calls, but we called four or five motels in Auckland, they all said I can't stay there."

He finally found an estate in north Auckland with short-term accommodation. Zhang said there were things the government can improve on.

"For people like me, who need to quarantine themselves, the government doesn't have clear guidelines. We don't know how to self-isolate - without somewhere to stay. We don't know whom should we contact. We don't know what to do."

Auckland woman Julia Miao was among a group of volunteers who have been helping people like Zhang to look for a place to stay.

She said they were searching accommodation websites, putting the message out on social media - as well as contacting schools and government agencies. But it had been hard work.

"Most of them [accommodation providers] have said 'no', and very few said 'let me think about it'. Generally they will take a few days to think. I've tried very hard to follow up. But our people can't wait. We also got lots of calls from overseas asking for help - these people can't wait a few more days," Miao said.

Tauranga man Andy Liu, who was part of the group, said they had received 150 calls for help since late last month and calls kept coming in.

The group has helped some people already, but there weren't enough volunteers to answer all the pleas for help and it could be difficult to find suitable accommodation.

"I don't know what the government's plans are, but we hope every department can co-operate with each other to overcome the difficulties ... the government is the main power in this," he said.


The Ministry of Social Development's group manager of client service delivery, Kay Read, said the ministry had made "a small number" of hardship grant payments related to the virus and that number was expected to increase.

"We encourage people to get in touch with us to discuss their individual situation and what help is available. We will be offering all available support to assist people through this period of uncertainty," she said.

The Ministry of Health said anyone who needed assistance should contact Healthline's dedicated COVID-19 phone number 0800 358 5453, and some financial assistance was available to individuals and families.

"Healthline are working to understand people's individual welfare needs, and will be regularly checking on the welfare and wellbeing of those persons registered," it said in a statement.

"The ministry is continuing to work with other agencies to explore how we can further support people who are self-isolating. For example, there is already a range of support available to New Zealanders who are faced with financial hardship."

According to New Zealand Customs Service, 7459 people have arrived from mainland China since 3 February.

Are the authorities monumentally stupid or criminal psychopaths?

Eleven New Zealanders are among thousands of passengers due to leave the cruise ship tomorrow after spending two weeks confined to their cabins because of a corona virus outbreak.

The Australian government has offered to take New Zealanders to Darwin on a flight out for its citizens but they must agree to undergo two weeks quarantine when they get home.

New Zealander Wren Manuel had initially said he and his wife would not take the Australian flight because they did not want to be quarantined again.

But since learning they would have to be quarantined no matter where they were, they decided to take the flight to Darwin.

He was frustrated that the government had not evacuated New Zealanders earlier and lessened the time they would have to be isolated.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said anyone who did not come home on the Australian flight would need to undergo quarantine in Japan.

"We need to keep in mind that if they try and fly commercially then that exposes a number of other people to risk," she said.

Some of the passengers were distressed about having to be quarantined again, she said.

"I understanding how frustrating that will be for many of them... but unfortunately there has been such a rate of transmission, despite some incredible efforts from all those involved, that we do need to put public health and their health first first," she said.

The government was considering chartering a commercial flight from Darwin to New Zealand, she said.

Health minister David Clark said it was most likely the returning passengers would go to the centre at Whanagaparaoa where 157 people who travelled from Wuhan were due to finish their quarantine tomorrow.

This is while China has locked down half of its population and is not allowing people to leave their homes.

At a media conference at the Chinese Embassy in Wellington this morning, Wu Xi noted the World Health Organisation has said there is no need for such restrictions.

Trade has stalled and Chinese students are unable to start university here and it's time New Zealand reconsidered its position, she said.

"Recommendations from the WHO are clear cut and it has been reiterated time and again."

Wu added that cases of coronavirus are declining, which shows the Chinese government has the virus under control.

She also praised the "outstanding leadership" shown by President Xi Jinping in the wake of the crisis and played a number of video-clips from Chinese media positively describing the prevention and control efforts underway.

Wu contrasted the response of the current situation to the 2009 H1-N1 influenza pandemic, which the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention estimates killed between 150,000 and 575,000 people worldwide during its first year.

"The actions taken by the government were not to impose a travel limit," Wu said.

"In a lesser situation, with a lesser risk, why should tougher measures be imposed in this case?"

She said the restrictions were also placing stress on international students.

Forty percent of international Chinese students are still overseas waiting for the travel ban to lift.

Students that have arrived in New Zealand are facing xenophobia due to misinformation circulating here and those students still overseas feel uncertain about their schooling futures, she said.

"That's why we are keeping in very close touch with the universities and schools to ensure their rights and interests are not impeded by this limit."

She said New Zealand and China have a solid foundation to their bilateral relationship and she hopes that will mean the nations find a "proper way to prevent and control this epidemic".

Xu ended her section on the bilateral relationship by quoting a saying: "when in prosperity friends know us, and when in adversity we know our friends".



Toi Te Ora Medical Officer of Health Dr Neil de Wet says that 26 people are in self-isolation for COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board region.

On Saturday night, the Ministry of Health reported that there continue to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

In New Zealand, self-isolation registrations with Healthline continue to grow. A further 341 registrations for self-isolation were made on Friday and as at midnight February 14 just under 4000 people had registered since the register went live at 5pm on Friday February 7.

The people who are self-isolating have been registered with the Ministry of Health, and the local medical officer of health on call will be notified if any of them develop any symptoms that may be indicative of the virus.

Self-isolation means staying away from situations where you could infect other people, says the Ministry of Health website.

This means any situation where you may come in close contact with others, face to face contact closer than 1 metre for more than 15 minutes, such as social gatherings, work, school, child care/pre-school centres, university, polytechnic and other education providers, faith-based gatherings, aged care and health care facilities, prisons, sports gatherings, restaurants, and all public gatherings.”

See also - No COVID-19 virus cases in the Bay


TV director in Japan cannot be tested because "he has no symptoms"

A TV director of a Japanese broadcasting company TBS interviewed a "random" taxi driver in Tokyo about new coronavirus. During the interview, the driver got a call from the health department to announce he tested positive. He WAS the first infected taxi driver in Tokyo. The TV director demanded the health department to test himself too, but they rejected because he showed no symptoms yet.

This is going to be a mess.

During the interview, the 

interviewee was found to be 

positive for the new 

coronavirus. The director of 

the TBS program

interviewed can not 

be inspected



17 February, 2020

It was reported on February 17 in TBS programs such as the TBS-related information programs " Asa-chan !" And " Hiruobi! " According to the content of the program, the male director of "Asa-chan!" The taxi driver who accidentally boarded the director on February 15 was a participant in a new year party on a houseboat, which is believed to have triggered the spread of the new coronavirus infection.

He moved out of the car, turned his camera and began interviewing, and he stated that the driver had been tested for the new coronavirus the day before. The driver was asymptomatic and had heard that he would be contacted if the test was positive, but he said he was working because there was no contact.

However, during the interview, the health center contacted the driver's mobile phone and found that the test result was positive. The driver was surprised as he moved away from the director, explaining the situation on the phone, saying, "I'm working. I'm receiving a TV interview."

Media officials came into contact with infected people during the interview over the new coronavirus, which continues to spread.

According to a TBS spokeswoman, the male director was an employee of an affiliate of TBS. After the interview, the man contacted the consultation desk and told him that he had contact with the infected person, but he said he had not been tested because he had no symptoms and could not be tested.

As of February 17, the male director's physical condition has not changed, but the male is said to be waiting at home for the time being.

" GogosumaAfter conveying a series of circumstances, he concluded that `` There was no symptom even if infected with the new coronavirus, people who are living everyday life were highlighted '', but not only that, there is a possibility of infection The reality is that there are many people who cannot be tested