While the death toll from the Coronavirus, now referred to as COVID-19, continues to grow there are some signs that the spread may be slowing. The World Health Organization (WHO) now says there are 44,730 cases of COVID-19 in China, with 1,114 deaths. Outside of China, they report 441 cases from 24 countries and one death. The Director-General of the WHO says:
The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilized over the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution.
This outbreak could still go in any direction.
The number of countries reporting cases also has not changed since 4 February. Of the 48 new cases confirmed outside China yesterday, 40 were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is currently quarantined in Yokohama.
Meanwhile, there are questions about whether China is being forthcoming with all information related to the virus, especially after two citizen journalists either disappeared or were arrested. Watch more on this from CBS above.
Here in the United States, CNBC writes:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it is preparing for the new coronavirus…to “take a foothold in the U.S.”
“At some point, we are likely to see community spread in the U.S. or in other countries,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call. “This will trigger a change in our response strategy.”
There are currently 13 cases in the United States. One American citizen contracted the virus in China, and died there.
The quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship also has 174 cases now. NBC says:
Japan’s health ministry said Tuesday that 39 additional cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed aboard a cruise ship being quarantined off Yokohama, south of Tokyo, with 3,700 passengers and crew members on board.
The latest batch of confirmed cases came from additional 53 samples that were taken on the ship.
Japan’s health minister also reported one case involving a quarantine officer.
All will be transferred to medical facilities on shore.