(TibetanReview.net, Feb16’20) – The Covid-19 infection continues to be a global health emergency despite China’s claim that infection rates have continued to decline even if only outside Hubei, the epicenter province in the outbreak, amid continuing doubts about China’s official reports on deaths from the disease. Latest figures show that there were 2,009 new confirmed infections and 142 deaths on Feb 15, reported Xinhua Feb 16, taking their totals to 56,249 and 1,965 respectively.
Hubei province accounted for 1,843 of the new confirmed cases and 139 of the deaths on Feb 15.
China said new cases outside Hubei declined for 12 straight days.
The fact that the situation in Hubei continues to be emergency is underlined by the fact that a total of 217 medical teams with 25,633 medics had arrived in Hubei to help in a continuing rush of such teams, according to an official chinadaily.com.cn report Feb 15.
The coronavirus that emerged from China’s Hubei province over a month ago and has spread to two dozen countries is already fueling mistrust from the US government on whether China can provide accurate information about the epidemic, noted a cnbc.com report Feb 15.
The report cited a senior White House official as saying this week it did “not have high confidence in the information coming out of China” regarding the count of coronavirus cases.
Also, China remained reluctant to accept help from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and had reportedly suppressed information about the outbreak from scientists that it deemed alarming, the report noted.
There is still no certainty when the outbreak might peak and eventually end.
The Sars epidemic sickened about 8,000 people and killed fewer than 800 over 2002-03. Its fatality rate of 9.6 per cent is significantly higher than that of Covid-19, which some estimates put at around 2.4 per cent.
However, it is obvious that the economic impact of Covid-19 will be far more severe than that of Sars, or any other previous epidemic, noted the scmp.com columnist Cary Huang Feb 16.