Despite apocalyptic panic from hysterical western media, Chinese authorities are increasingly confident that the coronavirus is nearing a peak and will be in decline throughout the coming month.
Beijing-based media group Caixin released the latest data on the virus yesterday, detailing exactly the current development of the infection.
British style “the end is nigh” sandwich boards it is not.
The data revealed by Caixin shows that while the situation surrounding the coronavirus remains severe, with the mortality rate of patients in Wuhan being much higher than in other regions, the overall mortality rate has remained at the level of 2.2% for 3 consecutive days. While the number of cases continues to grow throughout China, the actual growth rate of confirmed cases nationwide has shown signs of decline with the number of successfully cured cases on the 30th and 31st exceeded the number of new deaths from the virus.
Whooping cough has a 4% mortality rate, SARs 9-16%, ebola 25-90%, smallpox 30% and the MERs coronavirus 30%-40%. To also put the mass panic over the virus into some perspective, 16,000 people have died from the regular flu in the United States during this current flu season alone. A statistic that medicare fearing media are unlikely to broadcast.
The signs of decline are a confirmation that, despite western suggestions, Chinese methods of quarantine and treatment are having an immediate effect on the situation in Wuhan and beyond. New batches of nucleic acid reagent test kits for the virus were approved just days ago which will shorten detection times and recognize suspected cases, especially latent infections.
As a sign of an improving situation, 328 patients who have been infected by the coronavirus were discharged from hospital after successful recoveries on Saturday. The 328 were amongst 4,380 confirmed cases of which 304 have been fatal.
The sinophobic western response to the crisis covers-up an immense and technological effort by China to contain the outbreak, with an astounding 163,844 close contacts between infected patients traced and the 25,000-square-metre (30,000 sq yd) Huoshenshan Hospital being completed in Wuhan in a single week. The new hospital will contain around 1,000 beds.
The week-long construction of the hospital has been live-streamed.
And let us not forget the robots.
We wrote this past week a comparison of how exactly the United States handled the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic.
In 2009, it took the United States four entire months to roll out the new H1N1 flu vaccine, the disaster already nearly having reached its peak with 12,500 Americans dead. The vaccine prevented a mere 500 extra deaths. Flu vaccines are low-margin products meaning that only around 45% of U.S. citizens receive them in any given year. Any increase in demand means the system begins to quickly fail.
U.S. hospitals were equally unable to cope with the then outbreak, with many close to capacity and beginning to run out of essential life support systems when faced with patients suffering heart and lung failure. For an image of the scale with which systems are unable to cope with a major pandemic, the H1N1 strain of 2009 killed a mere 0.03% of the patients it infected. The fatality rate of the coronavirus is currently 2.2%.
While any pandemic is alarming, there is a concerning trend in western media to immediately play into the politics of fear. Constant references to the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 are seemingly an essential addition to coverage of any pandemic. The fearmongering extends beyond news outlets and into popular media, with devastating and apocalyptic global viruses being a recent running theme in popular media such as The Walking Dead. These constant reminders of human fragility serve merely to embolden the idea that western governments are the population’s protector against the disease and pestilence that potentially waits just around the corner.
Utilising the outbreak and this ingrained fear, the west has done little but encourage sinophobic rhetoric against China and the Chinese government, despite China carrying out an increasingly successful operation to contain the virus. The sheer concept that Britain or an America who froths at the mouth at the suggestion of medicare would have the ability or inclination to build an entire hospital in a week is laughable at best. The propaganda exercise underway against China is dangerous and those genuinely concerned about the outbreak would do well to ensure that facts remain the number one priority, not fearmongering anti-Chinese rhetoric that downplays the efforts of the Chinese state and the true relatively limited potential of the virus.
Main Image: Wuhan seafood market closed after the New Coronavirus was detected there for the first time | SISTEMA 12