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There's Actually Some Good News on Coronavirus

The number of new cases in Wuhan, China, was just 5 on Friday
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2020 8:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Not all the news on the coronavirus crisis is bleak. Most notable on that front is that the city of Wuhan, China, where this illness got its start, reported just five new cases on Friday, reports Reuters. That marks two days in a row with new cases in the single digits, and the rest of the nation saw no new locally transmitted infections. It's another sign the disease is ebbing in China, though Beijing must now worry about imported infections. In addition to the five locally transmitted cases in Wuhan, the nation saw two new cases in Shanghai and one in Beijing, and all of three of those were the result of infected people entering the country. Related:

  • Lessons: Not that things are all rosy in China: "Tens of millions of people are still under quarantine and much of the economy remains in a deep freeze," notes the Wall Street Journal. But the story notes that the government has crucially kept stores stocked with essentials and cracked down on hoarding and price gouging while its quarantine has been in effect. It was able to do so through mandates imposed by the central government, and "it isn't clear if other countries will want to go as far as China" on that front, writes Julie Wernau.

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  • The quarantine: China's quarantine is the largest in human history, affecting more than 60 million in 13 cities, writes Will Bedingfield at Wired. It may be wise to be skeptical of the numbers coming out of China, but the overall picture suggests the draconian efforts worked. Still, we don't have a clear picture of the "deprivation" being endured by those affected by the quarantine, or a sense of how long it can be sustained. One fear is that once all restrictions are lifted, cases will rise again.
  • Hopeful sign: As of Friday, Apple has now reopened all of its 42 stores in China, notes the New York Post. They had been shuttered starting in February.
  • Critical take: In a New York Times op-ed, Ian Johnson writes that China had no choice but to react to the outbreak. What he doesn't understand is that "for weeks now, the attitude toward the coronavirus outbreak in the United States and much of Europe has been bizarrely reactive, if not outright passive." The US and and other nations had weeks to get ready, and yet they seem blindsided.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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