Last Friday, I posted the following query on Twitter:
Doesn’t Wuhan have enormous convention centers and other large buildings that can be converted into temporary hospitals?
Well, my question has now been answered in the affirmative:
Wuhan does not appear to be lacking in space, but rather supplies, medicine and personnel.
Probably not a bad idea under the circumstances:
Hubei Province, home to Wuhan city where the outbreak began, is suspending all marriage license registrations until further notice.
The suspension will begin on February 3 to prevent the spread of the outbreak, “protect public health, and safeguard public interests,” said the province in a statement on its website.
It’s just the latest of a series of drastic measures in the province — in one other city near Wuhan [Ed: Huanggang], every household is only allowed one representative to leave the house and buy groceries every other day.
Nearly 60 million people, mostly in Hubei, are under partial or full lockdown — this means limited movement in or out of cities and towns, closed roads, and suspended public transit.
Speaking of Huanggang:
The virus outbreak in Huanggang city is especially severe, the governor of Hubei province said on Wednesday, adding the city cannot be allowed to become the second Wuhan – the provincial capital and epicentre of the epidemic.
Wang Xiaodong said during a press briefing that companies in the province should not resume work before the end of Feb 13.
Huanggang, a city of 7.5 million people, is one of more than a dozen cities that have been under virtual lockdown as China seeks to curb the spread of the virus that has killed 132. The city has reported five deaths and 324 cases as of end-Tuesday, the second-most in both accounts among the cities in the province behind Wuhan.
The Wuhan coronavirus is apparently spreading much faster than SARS. The Chinese government, it seems, is concerned:
I visited Wuhan a couple times, many years ago. Even at the time it was described as “the Chicago of China.” A thriving economic, manufacturing and education hub.
Perhaps the US should be more concerned than it is:
Twenty-one students and five chaperones from the province at the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China arrived in the D.C. region two days ago to take part in a school exchange program with Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, Virginia.
Fairfax County Public Schools has confirmed with FOX 5 that the students will no longer take part in classes at the school, which were supposed to begin Wednesday, and they will not stay with host families in the area “out of an abundance of caution.” Instead, the students will stay at hotels until February 3, and visit tourist and cultural sites.
Oh, they will be visiting museums instead of attending school. That’s reassuring.
My modest proposal: shut down international travel until we get this thing firmly under control.