Latest on Wuhan virus: Source confirmed, no super-spreaders, and more

2020-01-22 13:16:40CGTN Editor : Gu Liping ECNS App Download

Nine people have died from the new type of coronavirus and 440 cases have been confirmed in China, Chinese health officials said Wednesday at a press conference.

All deaths happened in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital, according to an official.

Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, also confirmed the source of the new coronavirus, saying it was transmitted via wild animals illegally sold at a seafood market in Wuhan.

Here are the other answers to questions from Chinese authorities: 

Q: Are there super-spreaders of the coronavirus? As we all know, back in 2003, the emergence of super-spreaders of SARS caused the rapid deterioration of the situation. Will this disease turn out to be another SARS-like epidemic?

A: (Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention) 

There's no evidence to support the idea there are already super-spreaders. This is a scientific issue that we will keep monitoring closely. It's also a very important direction that guides us in the prevention and control of the virus. 

Note: A super-spreader is a highly contagious virus carrier. It could infect more secondary contacts than other hosts who are also infected with the same disease.

Q: According to a study conducted by the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, an estimated 2,000 people have been infected in China. Have you ever predicted the number of infected people who are not being treated?

A: (Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

I think any question like that is based on science. First of all, the calculation, which I also read, is a mathematical model. The number you just asked is the highest estimate that the model has predicted. In order to know the exact casualty caused by a new virus, facts should be ascertained by the available numbers and it should not be based on theories.

We welcome you to come up with models, and there are many models out there. Our numbers about the epidemic are open and transparent. And I think as you learn more about this virus, you'll want to test the reliability of this model. 

Q: Was early information disclosure insufficient? Has the government concealed some part of the whole picture? 

A: (Xu Shuqiang, director of the Emergency Management Office at the National Health Commission)

We attach great importance to information disclosure. After the outbreak, the National Health Commission directed the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee to release the latest situation on December 31, 2019 and January 3, 5, and 9, 2020. 

As the situation has changed, daily updates started from January 11. On January 9, the National Health Commission instantly released the finding that the pathogen is a new type of coronavirus. 

Recently, cases have been reported in areas outside Wuhan, Hubei Province. In order to inform the public of the latest, accurate and comprehensive situation, the commission has been collecting and publishing the number of confirmed and suspected cases in various provinces across the country on a daily basis starting from January 20, which can be found on our official website. The daily updates will continue, including during the Spring Festival holiday, until it is no longer needed. 


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