Media round-up: Coronavirus threat


So, if we are to consider one of the many current conspiracies theory out there, this is the one I’d be most concerned about. Wuhan, the source of the outbreak and site of Patient Zero, houses more than the ‘wet’ animal market. It is also home to a secret bio-weapons facility. As countries across the globe seek to find a cure for the virus, biochemists are taking it apart. In India, scientists believe there is an HIV component to the virus — THAT DID NOT OCCUR NATURALLY.

Numbers are growing – and that’s believing the Chinese authorities.

Remember, symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. There aren’t many preemptive steps that can be taken to avoid infection, other than practicing basic sanitary measures on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, in Wuhan: that’s a LOT of disinfectant getting sprayed through the streets!

The world is watched. Everything is studied. And right now, watchers can see way more SO2 Sulfer dioxide) in and around Wuhan than there should be.

It has been measured at over 1200 micrograms/m^3 over the past few days. This is absurdly high as it is normally around 60 micrograms/m^3. SO2 is produced by burning biomass (protein contains sulfur that gets oxidized in the burning process). You’d expect that if anything there would be lower SO2 emissions from a ghost town.

Conspiracy theory says? They are burning a huge number of bodies in crematoria. Check out these SO2 levels in real time: for Wuhan. You need to click the dot for it to show the current particles.

In fairness, the conspiracy theory gets watered down somewhat by this statistician:

However, even without the SO2 data, an investigation into Wuhan crematory operational rates suggests massive, fraudulent under-reporting of coronavirus deaths, as Chinese crematories are operating at 4-5 times the normal rate. Very few of the deceased are listed as coronavirus deaths. This image from fxstreet.

Meanwhile, this citizen journalist, deliberately confronting the government, has gone missing. But not before he got some scary stories about the true state of affairs in Wuhan.

The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reported today (2/12) that to date China has reported 42,708 confirmed cases, including 1,017 deaths. 

With 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world,” he also referred to “some concerning instances of onward transmission from people with no travel history to China”, citing cases this week in France and Britain. Five British nationals were diagnosed with the coronavirus in France, after staying in a ski chalet with a person who had just been to Singapore. “The detection of this small number of cases could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire. But for now it’s only a spark. Our objective remains containment,” he said.

Meanwhile, a very stupid Chinese traveler decided it was a smart idea to smuggle a bunch of small, dead birds back to the USA through Washington Dulles Airport.

The birds were from China, according to Customs and Border Protection officials, are prohibited for import due to the potential threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza. The avian products were seized on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and destroyed by incineration, with USDA approval.