2020-02-13 Beijing Review

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14 BEIJING REVIEW FEBRUARY 13, 2020 http://www.bjreview.com

staff member told Beijing Review that it was
developed by hi-tech company Baidu and
recently put into service to detect infection
without having to stop the people passing by
it. Passengers detected with high temperature
are led to a quarantine zone and given medical
treatment. On the loudspeaker tips on how to
travel safely are being repeated.
With these and other measures to block
disease transmission, “the epidemic will hope-
fully peak in the next 10 days to two weeks or
so,” Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory
respiratory syndrome (SARS) 17 years ago,
told state broadcaster China Central Television
(CCTV) on February 2. The 84-year-old is in
Wuhan leading an experts’ team dispatched by
the National Health Commission (NHC) to com-
bat the virus.
the rise, Zhong cautioned that prevention and
control still need to be strengthened. “We can-
not relax our vigilance,” he said, reiterating that
early detection and isolation of patients is still
the most effective method against the disease.
“The SARS breakout lasted nearly six

months. Today, our country has made great
progress in dealing with major infectious
diseases. We are confident of controlling the
2019-nCoV pneumonia more effectively and
restore normal social order as soon as pos-
sible,” he said.

A glimpse into the situation
The first alarm was sounded by vigilant
medical workers in a hospital in Wuhan who
ted into the hospital with pneumonia at the
end of December. All four had worked in the
Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which
sold live poultry, aquatic products and wild
The cases were reported to the Chinese
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(China CDC) on December 31. “On the last day
of 2019, staff members were poised to usher
in a new year in peace. However, the tranquility
was suddenly broken... A report about pneu-
monia of unknown cause in Wuhan arrived,” an
article on the center’s website recounted the
Experts dispatched by the center arrived at

and began investigations. On January 8, re-
was the pathogenic cause of the pneumonia.
Though the market was shut down on January
1 and Wuhan suspended public transportation
and mass gatherings and cut itself off from the
outside world since January 23, the virus is still
But encouragingly, most patients show only
at a press conference on February 4.
Earlier, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at
China CDC, also said the new type of corona-
virus pneumonia is not as severe as previously
thought. An analysis of more than 7,000 con-
firmed cases in China shows that so far, there
has been no death among patients under 30.
The mortality rate of patients between 40 and
59 was only 0.2 percent. Death mainly occurred
among elderly patients, especially those who
also suffered from other diseases. Wu said fatal-
ity among patients over 80 was relatively high at
about 18 percent.
On February 2, Zhong said the fatality rate

in central China, the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, on January 24

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