Warnings over rapid rise of coronavirus

| 30/01/2020 | 53 Comments

(CNS): The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is meeting today, Thursday, after which it may declare a global health emergency, given the rapid spread of the virus. As well as spreading across every region of China, infections have been recorded in at least 15 other countries. Public health officials here in Cayman are urging people to be on alert, as air travellers are clearly spreading the respiratory illness. Meanwhile, 6,000 people on board a cruise ship in Italy were prevented from getting off because one Chinese passenger had flu-like symptoms, sparking fears that she had the coronavirus.

The international death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak is now at 170, and several countries have now implemented quarantine plans. In China, where the virus originated, health authorities said there were 7,711 confirmed cases as of 29 January.

“In the last few days the progress of the virus, especially in some countries, especially human-to-human transmission, worries us,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.

Public health officials here urged residents to “be in the know” about the novel coronavirus when travelling abroad and to practice general infection control measures. Travellers coming to the Caribbean from an affected country can expect to undergo entrance screening. Officials said the health service has the capability to manage any imported cases of the virus and will activate national contingency plans as needed.

Surveillance has already been enhanced at all borders within the Cayman Islands, public health officials said, as they warned arriving passengers to seek medical attention and to share their travel history with healthcare providers if they have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness. Common symptoms of the 2019-nCoV infection are respiratory, such as shortness of breath and coughing, along with ‘flu-like’ symptoms and fever.

It is not clear yet if Cayman is screening cruise passengers.

In Italy, at the port city of Civitavecchia, passengers aboard the cruise ship, which belongs to one of Carnival’s subsidiaries, were prevented from disembarking by local authorities due to fears that two Chinese passengers, the woman with flu-like symptoms and her husband, could be carrying the coronavirus. However, preliminary tests suggested they were not.

For more information on the 2019-nCoV visit the WHO website or contact the Public Health Department on 244-2621.


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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (53)

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  1. BIC BOy says:

    CNS can you please repost 12th August 2019 picture of health workers in the DRC for these oversensitive puffs.The truth maybe offensive to some but it aint no sin CNS these Propaganda experts from china need to get a grip and tell us how long they have known about this coronavirus before it became a problem because its seem they are very careless with the truth.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you live in Cayman, you should be worrying about getting cancer, not coronavirus.
      You’re obviously a CNN listener for if an opinion is different from theirs, you immediately label them propaganda experts.

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  2. Caymankind to death says:

    When exactly is the govt going to act and stop talking $#!@ stop allowing Asian nationals to travel up and town from the high risk countries to Cayman please How do you think it is going to affect tourism on this small islands if it starts here. In 2014 your cabinet had no problem banning EBOLA countries How come you cant do the same thing now????

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  3. Laila says:

    I have an issue with the choice of photo that was used for this post. Everyone knows that the virus has originated from Wuhan, China, but have you not stopped to think about what this choice of image portrays? All over the world Chinese and other individuals of asian decent have been the brunt of racial discrimination as a result of media representation and widespread fears of the virus. Media representation like this might seem harmless on the surface, but the reality is that it has contributed to mass xenophobia and racism as it continues to spread negative and harmful messages of asian people. The fact is, anyone who has travelled to Wuhan and the surrounding regions may have contracted the virus and could spread it – NOT JUST ASIAN PEOPLE. This novel coronavirus is not restricted to any single race or ethnicity. We have to be more aware of how media representation can impact racialized communities. There is no need to use the image that was chosen. Please keep this in mind for future posts.

    CNS: I don’t wish to downplay the negative impact of racism, but I believe your finger-pointing is misplaced. According to the latest figures from WHO (2 February), of the 14,557 confirmed cases 14,411 are in China, 9074 of which are in the Hubei province which includes the Wuhan area. The next four highest countries are Japan (20), Thailand (19), Singapore (18) and the Republic of Korea (15). So, although the virus is not restricted to China or Asia more generally, this is unarguably where it is concentrated. To try to pretend otherwise is not responsible journalism.

    It is the common practice of news organisations to use pictures that best illustrate the facts. If the virus was concentrated in Europe, pictures of European people would be used. But the facts are that the virus is vastly concentrated in China and specifically the Wuhan area.

    The xenophobia and racism surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, or any of the previous outbreaks like SARS, is not the result of factual reporting but a result of misinformation and racial stereotyping spread on social media, which suggests that the virus is generated by Chinese people as a result of ethnicity, lifestyle, etc, and not from a geographic area. It is often circulated by people who already have racist tendencies, plus the army of conspiracy theorists who just believe everything they read on Facebook.

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    • Puritian says:

      Never heard you complaining about images in 2014 Laila when cabinet banned countries in Africa from spreading EBOLA here even though it was less of threat to the Cayman Islands. You attacking CNS who is merely pointing out the fact from where this virus came now we have Chinese Chicken Avian and PIG flu outbreaks I guess you will be upset about that too. We ain’t blocking roads and cutting off communities here in Cayman yet but its happening in China. Bit oversensitive???

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      • Laila says:

        I am not attacking CNS for posting the information that was said. Of course it is important for the public to be properly educated about the issue at hand! Of course it is important to understand the origins etc. – What I am trying to draw attention to is that with the responsibility of informing the public also comes the responsibility of ensuring that what we portray is not harming others and not contributing to the issues already at hand, like the current xenophobia regarding asian people. I can appreciate that using photos like this may be common practice, and I know the intention was not to cause harm, but the fact of the matter is that our use of imagery is powerful and unintended consequences are that images like that communicates more than simply where the virus has originated. I am currently away from home studying in Canada, and am witnessing the impacts of this xenophobia first hand and it has been extremely disheartening. Similar issues were created simply from the names of previous epidemics like Ebola and MERS which also created stigma and xenophobia of individuals from Africa and the Middle East. It is important for us to recognize and realize that as innocent as pictures and words may seem, they can have massive impacts on others that we are not aware of. Again, I am not disputing the content of this article nor am I criticizing it, nor am I saying we are to cover or downplay the origins of the virus. I was simply trying to highlight the negative impacts that imagery like this is having on the asian community and that it is possible to communicate facts without causing harm.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Puritan, get some Corona beer and relax. You seem to be agitated.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with Laila

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  4. Anonymous says:

    On the 21 October 2014 the Cayman Islands Government in cabinet banned all people from a number African countries because of the Ebola virus why now can they not do the same now for all Asian countries

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  5. Anonymous says:

    “The National Security Council will be meeting early next week and will consider whether travel restrictions may be in the national interest and any further actions deemed necessary,”

    So they worry about the virus, but don’t give a $hit about cancer rates?

    When are they going to consider whether the Dump is directly affecting each and every resident’s health? May be this should be a priority for discussion?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    the chinese eat dogs…karma is coming back to bite them.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Coronavirus or work permits fees your choice Cayman? The government needed to act before this foolishness started.But did not want to offend their foreign friends whilst everybody was taking the necessary measures to deal with this very serious contagious virus how truly sad .

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  8. Anonymous says:

    yawn…people need to grow up. this is nowhere near the level of danger associated with sars or ebola.
    how did cayman do with them???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not as deadly but MUCH more dangerous. It appears to be capable of very easy transmission and is pressing much more quickly than SARS or MERS.

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    • Tom says:

      Seasonal flu killed 700,000 people worldwide yearly! And no one panic about it.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    The effect of measures taken to prevent the epidemic of a new type of coronavirus in China will be noticeable by February 8, said Zeng Guang , a leading epidemiologist at the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of China .
    He explained that the meaning of Wuhan quarantine is to prevent the spread of the virus.
    Now in other countries cases of infection are still being recorded, mainly among Wuhan residents, the reason is that they left before quarantine and the incubation period has not yet ended.

  10. Anonymous says:

    No one is trying to downplay and simplify the situation. On the contrary, the emphasis is precisely on warning as many people as possible about the danger. The current wave of coronavirus has already exceeded the number of patients with SARS in 2003, and it is likely that more and more new cases will be recorded in the near future.

    Why are there so many rumors surrounding the Chinese coronavirus? Perhaps it is the most powerful in terms of lethality? Not. For example, in 2017 in Madagascar there was an outbreak of plague, in a few months 2,417 people became ill, there were about 200 deaths. And no one heard of it, except for specialists. Plague outbreaks were recorded in China last November in the Inner Mongolia region. Between 2009 and 2018, 26 cases of plague and 11 deaths were recorded in China – the ratio is much more serious than in the Wuhan case (2019-nCoV), but no one sounded the alarm.

    According to preliminary calculations made by WHO, the index R0 (a number that shows how contagious / transmitted the pathogen is, that is, how many other people one patient can infect on average in the group susceptible to this disease) lies in the range 1.4-2.5 ( some doctors believe that the upper threshold is above three) with a death rate of four percent. For plague, R0 is six to seven with a mortality rate of about 30 percent, for SARS (that is, SARS 2003), three with a mortality rate of 9-16 percent, for measles – 11-18, for seasonal flu and Zika virus – 3-6 , 6 percent, for polio – five to seven. That is nothing catastrophic.

    So why so many rumors and attention? It seems that there are three factors: the scale of China itself, the unusual maximum information openness of the Chinese authorities and the potential consequences for the global economy.

    Paradoxically, China is failing in its own openness. Beijing learned from the bitter experience of SARS 2003 information coverage, when information was hushed up and scaled down in the first stage. As a result, China received absolutely fair accusations of distorting crucial information, and this could lead to an underestimation of the scale of the threat from both citizens and medical personnel.
    Even many Beijing hospitals, faced with cases of SARS, did not understand what they were dealing with. Now China is acting quite the opposite: from the first days of the outbreak of the virus, observers from WHO and major virological laboratories were admitted to the sites of the largest mass media, “live counters” of sick and dead are posted, press conferences are held almost daily, through the Chinese messenger WeChat and on the Weibo platform advice on what to do. Corresponding instructions are received in all hospitals in China, several hot lines are operating. The PRC authorities reasonably believe that the more information they can convey to their citizens, the more effective the fight against the virus will be. But this openness has the opposite effect: accustomed to not trust the figures of Chinese statistics, many people abroad don’t trust Chinese authorities.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s not ebola, the virus won’t kill you. What’s killing people is the lack of proper health care to treat side effects like pneumonia. Look at the photos coming out of Wuhan – despite all the hype China is mostly a Third World country and that’s why people are dying. The current stats suggest a mortality rate of between 1% and 2%, which means the vast majority of Chinese who catch coronavirus recover. When you bear in mind the attitude of the Chinese to modern medicines and their reliance on largely unregulated traditional remedies then couple that to the country’s underlying health problems this recovery rate is nothing short of miraculous.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Little do you know about China. “..unregulated traditional remedies” my a$$. Nothing is miracle about recovery rates.

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      • Anonymous says:

        11:55 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated a warning for the whole People’s Republic, saying: “There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.”

      • Anonymous says:

        @11:55

        8:50 is correct. I had a year working as a teacher there – is that good enough? The country is quite scary. No proper medical services with very poor basic health due to poverty, pollution and lack of infrastructure in the provincial areas like Wuhan. The people actually have to pay for treatment and medication – there’s no blanket state health care like the NHS in the UK. This big news story about them building a new hospital in days is probably complete BS – that’s the way the country operates. Sure they’ve built a pre-fabricated structure but to turn it into a usable medical facility will take months – if they ever do it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    11 suspect cases now in Philippines one Confirmed the government needs to
    Now take concrete steps now to protect the Cayman Islands No more travel visas please until this has been contained act now Cayman stop immigration sham protect of children and vunerable.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You can quarantine yourself for as long as you feel necessary. Ask your friends and family drop food and water at your doorstep. It is difficult to control panic. Meditations are very helpful.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If they touch the food and water dropped at your doorstep, and then you touch it, there will have been little point in you quarantining yourself. God, are people really this stupid?

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        • Anonymous says:

          he will sure wash his hands and spray food containers and bottles of water with Lysol. He will use gloves as well.
          How do you think it was done during bubonic plague? Only they did not have lysol. Read small print on lysol spray- it says it is effective against human coronavirus.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Usually the stupid one is the person that calls others stupid.

          Quarantines have been employed for thousands of years as safeguards against the spread of disease. Early in the history of human civilizations, isolation and confinement of ill persons were the predecessors of quarantine.

          9:10 am can isolate himself until the treat of getting infected has passes.

          A Brief History of Quarantine https://vtuhr.org/articles/10.21061/vtuhr.v2i0.16/

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  13. Anonymous says:

    The budlightavirus is also multiplying. Watch out!

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  14. Done reach says:

    There is no one from the public health at the Airport, and they also have a real big nice office, that is empty, that’s real poor service. Government only looking at money, staff can get sick, why because they can be replaced.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The virus isn’t any worse than regular flu. The hype is. Many recover fast without medical intervention. Weak and elderly, just like with flu get complications and sometimes die.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I think you’ll find the fatality rate is quite a bit higher than the typical flu.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why is China is building facilities specifically for the virus then? You have to understand China is known for not being transparent about these sort of things. Take Sars for example.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s flu like but deadly. It’s nearly a guarantee that you will die once you get it. Unless of course big pharma is willing to release the cure which they already have and charge us lots of money.

        This is all about the money.

        CNS: This is from the BBC yesterday (see here): “The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 170… Chinese health authorities said there were 7,711 confirmed cases in the country as of 29 January.”

        The vast majority of people who test positive have not died. Countries are taking precautions but let’s not get hysterical. Seasonal flu kills 291,000 to 646,000 people worldwide each year (see source here).

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        • Anonymous says:

          cns: can we stop posting such rubbish from these nutjob internet whackos…..they do more harm than good/

          CNS: One problem with people getting news from Facebook and extreme websites, etc, is that the information disseminates within that bubble. I believe it’s a positive thing if people of whatever viewpoint post on CNS, where there is push-back on erroneous information and people of different viewpoints can discuss or argue the issues.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you CNS

          • Anonymous says:

            Spot on CNS. There’s a classic episode of one TV documentary where a woman quotes complete BS from Facebook to try and stop Irish customs seizing her car. People post complete nonsense on public access sites just for the kick of doing it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you CNS for schooling these paranoid people. No, I definitely wouldn’t want to catch it, but it’s not quite the death sentence many are making it out to be.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong.

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  15. Aubrey Stillwell says:

    Shut down the cruise ships! We need good health more than good tourist numbers.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I spoke to a vendor in China last night. She said she was working from home and that all the workers in her factory are suspended until further notice. This could have serious ramifications for the global economy. Apparently only the mask factories are doing shifts.

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  17. Scotland Yard says:

    WHO has declared a ” Global Public Health E.ergency”. Can we hear from our government, what plans will be put in place to protect the residents of the Cayman Islands. Will the be any travel restrictions, air or/and sea?

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    • Anonymous says:

      There should be travel bans from anyone who has been to China since the virus was announced including our own citizens. We cannot allow anyone to infect the country. It is for the greater good.

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