South Korean Coronavirus
Cases Explode After "Super
IRAN SUDDENLY THE NEW
CENTER OF GLOBAL
The Islamic Republic Is Accused Of Covering Up The Full Impact Of The Outbreak.
21 February, 2020
Tuesday, Iran reported its first two confirmed cases of coronavirus, which were soon amended to deaths. The next day, the “official” number of infections had more than quadrupled—and no one knows why.
The two Iranians who were found to have died from the coronavirus had no recent travel history, and seemingly had no way of directly contracting the virus from a Chinese national in their close proximity. So, how did they contract the disease?
No one knows—and that’s become a problem, not just for Iran, but for its neighbors, as well.
The state-run PressTV reports:
“A health ministry spokesman said on Thursday that two people in Qom and one more in Arak, a provincial capital to the southwest of Qom, had been tested positive for coronavirus.
“Kianush Jahanpour said on Twitter that the affected person in Arak was “a dear colleague from the health community” in Iran. He later told ISNA news agency that the man was a doctor from Qom.
“The official also retweeted a statement from the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office saying that they were in close contact with Iranian authorities to investigate and respond to the outbreak.
“The statements come a day after two deaths were reported as a result of a first incidence of the epidemic in Iran, more than a month after it began in central China.
“The two old men died hours after authorities said they had tested positive for coronavirus based on preliminary tests.”
But other sources say the actual death toll is nine, not five. New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi flat-out called the Iranian government a bunch of liars on Twitter:
“Coronavirus cases increase in Iran. Three in Qom, one in Arak, and five suspected transferred to Tehran. Lack of transparency about how and when virus entered and spreading and why public wasn’t informed earlier is infuriating Iranians afresh.
“Iranians are saying they don’t trust public health officials’ statements about coronavirus outbreak. Because? The regime lied and covered up shooting down passenger airplane for three days.
“Compounding the anger is Iranian carrier Mahan Airlines still operating flights to and from China with little oversight from public health officials. Long after most countries have suspended flights from China.
“Tomorrow are Iran’s elections. In Qom, health officials have warned people to stay away from public spaces. What precautions are officials taking to not spread coronavirus in long lines and finger stamps?
“Many Iranians were already planning to sit out the elections. Hopelessness for change and anger over disqualification of reformist candidates, lying about airplane shooting and November killing of hundreds of protestors. Fear from coronavirus could be another excuse to boycott vote.
“The brother of one dead coronavirus patient in Qom is a member of Iran’s central medical committee. He disputes government account, says his brother was 60, not elderly and had no existing health issues. He caught the virus in the streets of Qom. He accuses officials of a ‘cover up.’
“Qom’s Governor said elections will be held as scheduled. He asked voters to bring their own pens and said polling stations will have masks and disinfectants.
“Several more suspected coronavirus cases reported in other cities in Iran. Tehran shut down a potentially contaminated subway station in downtown and Isfahan disinfecting subway stations.”
Iraq has responded to the news by banning all border crossings by Iranians for the next three days. Additionally, the state-run airline, Iraqi Airways, has suspended all fights to Iran. And in Kuwait, the ports authority has suspended all movement of people to or from Iran until further notice.
Meanwhile, the number of cases of coronavirus in South Korea has exploded to more than 100 and officials warn it may have spread to the country’s military.
Dozens of people caught the disease while attending a megachurch in Daegu, the fourth-largest city in the country. After word got out of the “super spreader” incident, the city of 2.5 million people quickly became a ghost town, much like those seen in non-government reports from mainland China
Additionally, a sailor in the South Korean Navy is being checked for a possible coronavirus infection. This has added concerns that the disease has spread to the military barracks just as tensions are building with North Korea—which is suspected of hiding its own coronavirus horror story.
This afternoon, China’s National Health Commission reported the latest “official” numbers from Hubei province, which includes Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. There were 411 confirmed cases and 115 deaths, an increase of both numbers compared to Wednesday.
Here are the other coronavirus-related stories we’ve been following:
HONG KONG ‘SUPER SPREADER’
Hong Kong may have just suffered its first “super spreader” event. The city’s police force issued a statement this afternoon announcing that 59 officers have been quarantined after another tested positive for the coronavirus.
BEIJING NOW UNDER ‘WUHAN-LEVEL’ LOCKDOWN
Blogger Jennifer Zeng reports that she was informed second- or third-hand that Beijing has informed Communist Party officials that the capital city’s epidemic prevention status was being raised to “Wuhan level.” This would mean no one can leave their homes unless they are given specific permission to do so. Zeng said she could not independently confirm the rumor, although she has heard it from multiple sources. If true, people are being asked to stock up on food, water, and batteries.
PPEs RUNNING IN SHORT SUPPLY
World Health Organization Tedros Ghebreyesus told reporters that coronavirus numbers may be falling in China, but the outbreak is far from over. If governments don’t take adequate steps to fight the disease, he added, the number of cases outside China “won’t stay low for very long.” Further causing concern, he said he has already been in contact with 12 CEOs at companies that make personal protective equipment to “seek their cooperation to ensure supply to protect health workers.”
NTD News, a New York-based outlet funded by the Falun Gong, reports that a Chinese biologist is challenging the official narrative, claiming the coronavirus is a bioweapon developed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Wu Xiaohua challenged the Bio-Security Level 4 facility’s director to “answer key questions about the suspicious gene mutations found in the virus.” He also claimed the disease got out due to lax security, saying:
“For instance, some researchers in these labs kept the laboratory dogs as pets; some disposed of animal carcasses casually because following the biosafety rules and cremating them costs a lot of money. Some cut up the laboratory pigs and took the meat home to eat. I know this happened at Beijing 301 Hospital’s spine surgery lab. Worst of all, some laboratory animals were sold to wet markets as wild-caught animals for profit.”
(Photo Credit: Reuters/TruNews)
Coronavirus outbreak: "I
was so scared" says
infectious disease specialist
on Diamond Princess
Six people were isolated after presenting minor symptoms on arrival at Darwin airport yesterday morning.
The 164 people from the cruise ship will spend two weeks in quarantine at the Howard Springs quarantine centre.
Six New Zealanders were also on board that evacuation flight, and are currently in quaratine at Whangaparaoa air base.
The Ministry of Health said there were no confirmed cases in New Zealand.
The New Zealanders who arrived back home from Diamond Princess are being kept in isolation and are not displaying any signs of the virus.
The Australian government's chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, says authorities were prepared for positive coronavirus cases from the evacuated cohort.
"Given there was continued evidence of spread of infection on board the Diamond Princess in recent days, the development of some positive cases after return to Australia is not unexpected, despite all of the health screening before departure," he said in a statement.
Murphy said both infected Australians "remained well" and were being quarantined in a separate isolation unit.
A medical evacuation to the home states of both patients and their families is currently being organised by health authorities.
A plane from Tokyo carrying Australian evacuees who had been stranded on the coronavirus-riddled ship arrived in Darwin yesterday morning, just hours before Japanese public broadcaster NHK announced two passengers who had been aboard the cruise ship had died.
"All passengers were health screened before being allowed to leave the ship, none had positive tests or any symptoms of disease," Professor Murphy said.
"They were monitored throughout the flight, screened again at the RAAF Base in Darwin and again on arrival at [Howard Springs].
"Six people were identified as having minor respiratory symptoms and/or fever. They were immediately separated from others at the airport and went directly into isolation at the village.
"Two of those people have since tested positive for COVID-19 infection."
As of Thursday, more than 612 passengers were infected on the ship, including 46 Australians.https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/410048/coronavirus-cases-confirmed-among-australian-diamond-princess-evacuees-in-darwin