VIDEO: Chinese Hazmat Team Puts Couple in Metal Cube, Drives Off With Woman Screaming Inside

VIDEO: Chinese Hazmat Team Puts Couple in Metal Cube, Drives Off With Woman Screaming Inside

by GABRIEL KEANE – 2/14/2020

A video of a couple apparently being forced into a mysterious metal cube in the back of a white pickup truck by men in pink hazmat suits is circulating on social media.

The footage shows two men in pink hazmat suits and possibly a third man holding an umbrella conversing on the sidewalk with a couple, on the opposite side of the street from the pickup truck emblazoned with what appear to be government markings.

The man comforts the woman with him, who appears to become increasingly distraught as the conversation unfolds.

A cut in the video then shows the couple entering the cube strapped to the back of the truck, carrying what appears to be hand luggage.

The woman in white still appears very reluctant to enter the cube.

She eventually enters the container, and her luggage is pushed in after her.

The video then registers a very distinct and high-pitched series of agitated screams as the truck drives away to an unknown destination.

The video has since circulated on image boards, YouTube, and Twitter.

Many people are disturbed by the footage.

Vietnam Quarantines 10,000 Villagers for Coronavirus

Local residents wearing protective facemasks amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus wait to pass through a checkpoint in Son Loi commune in Vinh Phuc province on February 13, 2020. - Villages in Vietnam with 10,000 people close to the nation's capital were placed under quarantine on February 13 after six …

JOHN HAYWARD

The first mass quarantine outside of China for the Wuhan coronavirus was reported in Vietnam on Thursday, with over 10,000 people living in farming communities near Hanoi locked down for 20 days after six virus infections were discovered.

AFP reported on Thursday that six villages in the Son Loi farming region, covering 2,500 acres about 25 miles from Hanoi, have been quarantined and surrounded by security checkpoints:

Health officials wearing protective suits sprayed disinfectant on vehicles. Police warned people wanting to enter the quarantined area that while they would be allowed in, they would not be able to leave.

The order comes after the health ministry reported that five people have been infected with the virus. It later announced a sixth case.

They all originated from a female worker who was sent to Wuhan in central China — where the virus originated — for training.

The disease then spread to her family and her neighbors, including a three-month-old baby.So far, only the female worker has fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital, according to updates from the ministry, while the others remain in a “stable” condition.

The disease was reportedly spread by celebrations of the Lunar New Year, a holiday known as Tet in Vietnam. Villagers said they have been told to avoid large gatherings for the duration of the crisis. Residents of the area said they are having trouble getting work in the vital construction industry because clients are suddenly reluctant to hire anyone from Son Loi.

Vietnam has reported a total of 16 coronavirus infections to date. Although the Vietnamese government banned air travel to China, the land border has proven difficult to lock down.

Vietnam rejected docking requests from two cruise ships this week due to coronavirus concerns. A local official explained that forbidding cruise passengers to disembark was “just a temporary solution to prevent the intrusion of diseases.”

The captain of one ship, the Norwegian Jade, shot back that Vietnamese port officials have been “unreasonable during this process” and refused to allow his ship to dock despite having no signs of illness aboard and no passengers who had visited China recently.

The Norwegian Jade ultimately headed for Thailand, which is believed to have given it permission to dock at the port of Laem Chabang.

Reuters noted that Vietnam is planning to quarantine hundreds of its own citizens at military camps and temporary facilities along the border as they return from China.

SHOCK VIDEO: MAN IN HAZMAT GEAR BARGES INTO CHINESE OFFICE, DOUSES EVERYTHING IN CHEMICAL SPRAY

Shock Video: Man in Hazmat Gear Barges Into Chinese Office, Douses Everything in Chemical Spray

Office workers stay frozen in place as man marches through their work space

Gabriel Keane | National File – FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Video footage shows a man in full white hazmat gear marching into what appears to be a day trading office or call center in China, spraying everything with an aerosolized spray.

The employees, who appear to be mostly women, stay frozen in place, some ducking low and covering their heads as the suit-clad man barges unceremoniously through the office.

A male employee standing by a doorway, seemingly unaware, is caught off guard when the spray cannon-wielding juggernaut shoots him the face with the liquid blast.

The employee recoils and ducks away as the hazmat guy storms past into the next hallway, brushing another woman aside with the spray cannon.

The video surfaces as China moves to “disinfect” Wuhan with fleets of rolling trucks and platoons of men in hazmat suits wielding spray cannons like the one seen above.

Via National File:

Chinese government-owned newspaper The People’s Daily released video of the “disinfection” of the city of Wuhan featuring fire trucks and platoons of men in hazmat gear roaming the streets and spraying chemicals in the air.

The People’s Daily, which is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, posted the video to Twitter.

“Full-front disinfection work has started in #Wuhan, an effort to contain the spread of #coronavirus,” the tweet caption read.

In the footage, fleets of fire trucks can be seen rolling down the streets of Wuhan spraying some type of chemicals, presumably disinfectant, into the air.

The flashing emergency lights and clouds of mist create an interesting scene on what appear to be otherwise deserted streets.
In another clip, men in hazmat suits run while rolling a wheeled liquid cannon down a street, covering storefronts in a white mist.

Another man-portable variant of the “disinfectant” cannon is seen carried by several members of the hazmat crew. This version has a set of twin gas canisters that are mounted to the back of the user.

The measures being taken by Chinese authorities to fight the coronavirus stand at odds with previous reports that the coronavirus was no more harmful than the common flu.

WHO Turns On China, Demands To Know How Nearly 2,000 Doctors Were Infected With COVID-19

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

Summary:

  • China says 1,716 medical workers have been infected

  • WHO demands to know more about sick doctors, insists group of 12 virus experts will reach Beijing over the weekend

  • Singapore reports largest daily jump in cases amid increased human-to-human transmission

  • Hong Kong reports 3 new cases

  • Hubei’s new party boss orders quarantine tightened

  • President Xi touts new “biosecurity law”

  • Hong Kong Disney land offers space for quarantine

  • Chinese company says blood plasma of recovered patients useful in combating the virus

  • US mulling new travel restrictions

  • Japan reports 4 new cases; one patient recently returned from Hawaii.

  • CDC Director: Virus is “Coming” to the US.

Update (1040ET): The WHO has just wrapped up its now-daily presser for Friday, and it appeared to focus on imminent plans to send a group of a dozen scientists and researchers to Beijing to figure out exactly what the hell is going on.

Much fuss has been made over the past week over China’s continued refusals to allow Americans, or any other foreigners, for that matter, to offer assistance with the virus response. It’s almost as if they’re…hiding something…

Even after yesterday’s big reveal about the change in their ‘pro forma accounting standards’ to reflect a higher death toll and number of confirmed cases (the jump alarmed global investors and prompted a selloff on equity markets), China still won’t let Americans participate in a WHO-sponsored team of 12 researchers who are traveling to the mainland.

It was a big deal earlier this week when Beijing said it would reluctantly accept the team, ending weeks of suspiciously standoffish behavior (though the WHO bigwigs did travel to Beijing for meetings). But as one analyst said earlier on CNBC: ‘We want to see foreign boots on the ground before we simply take the Chinese at their word’.

It’s also notable how the WHO, initially a purveyor of what seemed like propaganda hot off the presses in Beijing, seems to have turned completely against its benefactor, now treating it with public suspicion.

  • WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION TEDROS SAYS WE NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT INFECTION OF 1,760 CHINESE HEALTH WORKERS, INCLUDING TIME PERIOD AND CIRCUMSTANCES

  • WHO BOSS TEDROS SAYS HE EXPECTS FULL TEAM OF WHO-LED INTERNATIONAL HEALTH EXPERTS TO TOUCH DOWN IN CHINA OVER WEEKEND TO HELP PROBE CORONAVIRUS

  • WHO MISSION TO CHINA WILL FOCUS ON UNDERSTANDING TRANSMISSION OF CORONAVIRUS, SEVERITY OF DISEASE AND IMPACT OF ONGOING RESPONSE MEASURES – WHO CHIEF TEDROS SAYS

  • WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION TEDROS SAYS WE NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT INFECTION OF 1,760 CHINESE HEALTH WORKERS, INCLUDING TIME PERIOD AND CIRCUMSTANCES

But after today’s WHO press conference, we were left with the distinct impression that it’s almost as if China doesn’t…want the team to come.

Why else would they have waited to reveal the figures about all the sick doctors and health-care workers until Friday morning in the US and Europe? Just a thought.

Back in the US, a team of American expertss is prepared to travel to China to investigate the outbreak on a moments notice, should they ever receive clearance from a government official, according to Secretary Azar.

As he said (and we noted) earlier, the US is bracing for the possibility that the warm weather doesn’t kill the virus, as President Trump expects.

Anyway, moving away from China, we’ve seen unconfirmed reports of four patients in St. Petersburg escaping a COVID-19 quarantine. Earlier in the week, two women escaped quarantines in Siberia.

* * *

Update (1000ET): China is turning the quarantine nob up to ’11’.

After imposing strict lockdown conditions on nearly a third of the country, Beijing’s is kicking off its shift to ‘wartime measures’ by adopting even more strikingly draconian measures on the residents of its capital city.

From Feb. 14 on, all people returning to the city will be advised to quarantine for 14 days.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that hundreds of conference atendees in London have been contacted by health officials after one of them was later diagnosed with the virus.

The person, who has not been identified, attended the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Conference Centre last week. Two Labour MPs who attended the conference said they’re cancelling public events until Feb. 20, just in case.

So far, nine people in the UK have been confirmed to have the virus.

* * *

Update (0915ET): Japan has reported 4 new cases of the virus, including one man who recently returned from the US state of Hawaii, and another who helped transfer an infected patient diagnosed aboard “the Diamond Princess”, the cruise ship that has been quarantined in Yokohama for 10 days.

Meanwhile, over in the US, this interview of the director of the CDC warning that the virus could become widespread in the US ‘beyond 2020’.

* * *

Update (0850ET): Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during an interview on Friday morning that more travel restrictions are “on the table,” suggesting that the US might apply similar restrictions to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and other Asian countries that have reported rising numbers of cases.

Earlier this month, the State Department raised its travel alert for China to ‘4’, and the US imposed restrictions on foreigners who have recently traveled to China and re-routing Americans who have been to viral hotspots to certain US airports for screening on arrival. These travel restrictions have infuriated Beijing, and prompted a government spokesperson to accuse the US of spreading hysteria.

Even if the virus does “go away” in April, as President Trump has insisted…

…At this point, Q1 GDP is going to be a disaster anyway, so the US might as well kitchen-sink it.

And it’s not like investors have anything to worry about – bad news is still good news, after all, and the market will simply go to pricing in ~1 Fed rate hike in 2020 to ~2.

* * *

Update (0810ET): Earlier this morning, Hong Kong confirmed three more coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 56.

CAP

Here’s more information on the new cases from SCMP:

  • The Centre for Health Protection said one of the three cases involved a man in critical condition after suffering shortness of breath for more than 10 days. He had to be intubated in Princess Margaret Hospital. He lives in Shek Lei Estate in Kwai Chung, and passed through the Lok Ma Chau border crossing on January 22.

  • Another person who tested positive for the virus, which causes the disease known as Covid-19, was the cousin of a previously infected case. Both attended a family gathering of 29 at a restaurant in North Point on January 26. At least six other members at that gathering have been infected with the new deadly virus, while at least two are still in quarantine pending test results.

  • The third case is a worker in a dim sum restaurant in Sheung Wan, whose husband visited their son in Xinhui, Guangdong province, from January 23 to January 28. Her husband and son are not infected.

Unlike most of the countries that have reported cases of the virus, both Singapore and Hong Kong have confirmed human-to-human transmission within their own borders, meaning the outbreak has already started to spread past the 2nd and 3rd generations of the infected.

Though Singapore is still ahead in terms of number of cases, Hong Kong is giving it a run for its month (though, as we’ve said before, it’s an outbreak, not a race).

* * *

Following Chinese health officials’ claim last night that it “double-counted” some deaths (while crematoriums in the country have been working 24/7 as the outbreak has worsened over the last few weeks), the good people at China’s NHC have disclosed for the first time that 1,716 medical workers have been infected across the country.

Does this figure seem a little underwhelming? Officials put the infected medical worker total at 3.8% of 60k+ total cases on the mainland, and added that six medical workers – including the martyr Dr. Li – have died as of Friday. Of course, even if they’re all wearing protective gear (which we know many aren’t especially in the hardest hit areas like Hubei) this number would still seem low for such an infectious disease, given that more than 65,000 cases have been confirmed across the world.

One expert who spoke to the New York Times said the number of infected medical workers is “concerning.”

“I think it’s quite concerning,” said Benjamin Cowling, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong. “Healthcare workers face the challenge of caring for a substantial number of patients in Wuhan. It’s worrying to discover that a number of them have been infected.”

From what we’ve heard and read, it seems that shortages of supplies like facemasks, gloves, goggles and other protective gear have persisted, even in Hubei, according to the NYT. During the SARS outbreak, 961 medical workers were infected, representing some 18% of all infections. Since COVID-19 is even more contagious than SARS, we’d expect the number of medical workers infected to be even higher.

After expressing skepticism about Beijing’s response to the virus earlier in the week, it looks like the WHO is back to shilling for the Communist Party, claiming overnight that the jump in cases in China shouldn’t be characterized as a “spike,” and that it’s normal to change how cases are defined.

Across the mainland, the Chinese people, who have been frustrated by the government’s dissembling, have come up with jokes like this one.

CAP

Given everything we’ve learned about the virus, and all the reports about shortages of medical supplies like facemasks across the country, but especially in Hubei Province, we suspect that the real number is much, much larger. It’s just the latest evidence that Beijing hasn’t given up on doctoring its disease stats, even after its big non-admission on Thursday that its methods for confirming virus-linked cases and deaths hadn’t been sufficiently inclusive.

As we first pointed out yesterday, party officials said yesterday that the country would use “wartime measures” – a kind of public emergency declaration – to fight the virus, suggesting that the lockdowns will become even more widespread.

‘Regrettable & unacceptable’: Japan’s Olympic minister blasts South Korean posters showing torch bearer in protective suit

CAP

Japan’s minister for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Seiko Hashimoto has slammed South Korean posters dedicated to the upcoming Summer Games featuring a torch bearer wearing an anti-radiation suit.

“The use of such a poster is unacceptable,” Hashimoto said at a press conference on Friday adding that the creation of such pictures is “very regrettable.”

READ MORE: ‘I would love to combine figure skating & anime’: Evgenia Medvedeva to portray Sailor Moon in Japanese ice show

A series of posters depicting an Olympic torch runner wearing a hazmat suit were produced by the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), a private group in South Korea who said they wanted to raise awareness about ecological issues in Japan.

The runner’s suit and green radioactive flame spewing from the torch apparently referred to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011 after a devastating 15-meter tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing high radioactive releases.

CAP

The prefecture was included in the route of the Olympic Torch Relay with Japanese officials stating there would be no radiation threat to the relay participants.

“We included messages of warning about the safety of radiation, the biggest concern during the Tokyo Olympics,” the VANK said. “Host country Japan said agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture are safe and announced that it will provide them for Olympic athletes.”

CAP

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government lodged complaints with South Korea regarding the posters which they found “unacceptable.”

Earlier this week Japanese officials said the deadly coronavirus outbreak would not affect the schedule of the upcoming Summer Games.

China Has Ground To A Halt: “On The Ground” Indicators Confirm Worst-Case Scenario

by Tyler Durden

Back on Monday, when analysts and investors were desperately seeking clues whether China has managed to reboot its economy from the 2-week long hiatus following the Lunar New Year/Coronavirus pandemic amid the information blackout unleashed by the communist party in the already opaque country, we pointed out some alternative ways to keep tabs of what is really taking place “on the ground” in China, where Xi Jinping has been urging local businesses and workers to reopen and resume output, while ignoring the risk the viral pandemic poses to them (with potentially catastrophic consequences).

Specifically, Morgan Stanley suggested that real time measurements of Chinese pollution levels would provide a “quick and dirty” (no pun intended) way of observing if any of China’s major metropolises had returned back to normal. What it found was that among some of the top Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu, a clear pattern was evident – air pollution was only 20-50% of the historical average. As Morgan Stanley concluded, “This could imply that human activities such as traffic and industrial production within/close to those cities are running 50-80% below their potential capacity.”

CAP

As a reminder, all this is (or technically, isn’t) taking place as President Xi Jinping on Wednesday sought to send a message that progress had been made in bringing the coronavirus outbreak under control and, for most parts of the country, the focus should be on getting back to business.

According to state television, Xi chaired a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s supreme political body, on the latest developments on the crisis and future policy responses, concluding that there had been “positive changes” with “positive results”.

Xi also reiterated that all levels of local government and Communist Party committees must strive to achieve China’s social and development goals this year, indicating that he did not want the public health crisis to hinder progress.

Most importantly, Xi urged local authorities to refrain from taking excessive measures to curb contagion, and yet clip after clip from China…

… shows that the measures being taken are far beyond merely “excessive” when it comes to limiting the potential spread of the virus, which probably makes sense considering the unexpected surge in infected cases in Wuhan, which have sent the total for China just shy of 60,000.

Add to this the ongoing uncertainty that Beijing is far behind the curve in containing the virus, and one can see why most businesses are reluctant to “get back to normal.”

In the latest confirmation of just that, several other indicators have emerged showing that despite Xi’s stark demands for 1.4 billion Chinese to ignore the global pandemic which may very well have been started by one of China’s own experimental labs…

… virtually all of China – and all those critical supply chains that keep companies across the globe humming and stocked with critical inventory – remain on lockdown.

As confirmation, while we wait for an update from Morgan Stanley on the latest Chinese pollution data (at least until Beijing’s definition of “pollution” is also revised) here is JPMorgan showing that while traditionally daily coal consumption – the primary commodity used to keep China electrified – rebounds in the days following the Lunar New Year collapse when China hibernates for one week, this year there hasn’t been even a modest uptick higher, indicating that so far there hasn’t been even a modest uptick in output.

CAP

Yet electricity is just one core indicator of real-time economic activity. Perhaps an even more critical one is human transit across the 1.4 billion person strong nation. Conveniently there is a way to track rudimentary traffic patterns across some of China’s key metro areas, and they show that – in a confirmation of the worst-case scenario – activity, as measured by travel, across most of China appears to have ground to a halt.

The charts below show TomTom’s traffic congestion data across key Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan as compared to the average measurement for 2019. What they show is that virtually nobody appears to be driving in China!

Here is Beijing’s congestion level over the past 48 hours (a 7 day average is also available) compared to 2019. The data indicates that travel is about 70% below its 2019 peak.

CAP

Amazingly, the industrial hub of Guanghzhou also appears to have ground to a crawl:

CAP

By comparison, here is what Los Angeles traffic looks like over the past 48 hours vs 2019 average.

CAP

While not perfect, and certainly not a comprehensive view of what is really taking place “on the ground”, the above data is a useful real-time indicator of how the people in China perceive the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, and one thing is abundantly clear: as the pandemic spreads further without containment, and as the charts above flatline, so will China’s economy, which means that while Goldman’s draconian view of what happens to Q1 GDP is spot on, the expectation for a V-shaped recovery in Q2 and onward will vaporize faster than a vial of ultra-biohazardaous viruses in a Wuhan virology lab.

CAP

Reporter Claims Authorities ‘Hiding’ 300 Coronavirus Cases & 1 Death In Shanghai

by Tyler Durden

Summary:

  • Japan reports first virus death

  • President Xi says China will minimize impact from virus

  • Chinese leadership scapegoats local officials

  • Death toll and case count soared last night: There are more than 60k cases worldwide, and more than 1300 deaths

  • EIA joins OPEC in warning about upcoming drop in oil use, the first in a decade.

  • HHS Secretary says CDC will announce another confirmed COVID-19 case in US on Thursday

  • 21 people in Spain released from quarantine

  • US admin reportedly questioning China’s reporting

  • White House reportedly “doubts” China’s coronavirus numbers

  • CDC warns more infections possible after first US case confirmed in Texas (15th overall)

  • 2 Russian women attempt escape from quarantine

  • EU could close border if outbreak worsens

  • Kudlow says US “disappointed” in China virus response

  • Shanghai reports 300+ more cases

* * *

Update (1400ET): President Trump just reportedly said during a radio interview that he believes China is handling the outbreak “professionally.”

This after a slew of frustrated messages from his administration and officials including Larry Kudlow.

* * *

Update (1320ET): Following last night’s admission that local officials in Wuhan were undercounting the number of cases, a reporter appears to have found evidence that more than 300 unreported cases are active in Shanghai, as well as 1 previously unreported death.

So China is tightening the lockdown in Shanghai to hide the truth about the outbreak? That’s unconfirmed for now.

* * *

Update(1250ET): Not long after reports claimed the White House is widely skeptical of Chinese numbers, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow appeared on television to say the US is “disappointed” in how China has handled the virus response, and that the Trump administration wishes there was more clarity.

Specifically, the US was most hurt by China’s refusal to accept an American team of experts from the CDC, who offered to help.

The US economy would be at 3% growth if not for the virus, he added.

* * *

Update (1230ET): As Beijing insists that it’s safe for foreign nations to soon lift their travel restrictions on China, CNN reports that the European Union is considering closing its borders if the outbreak really escalates.

They cite a Croatian health official, who said the plan is in the works, though he strongly suspects that it won’t be necessary.

The WHO has said that level of restriction isn’t necessary, but that’ hasn’t stopped Russia from closing part of its border and other countries restricting travel by Chinese.

* * *

Update (1215ET): For the second day in a row, the CDC has warned that more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US are inevitable, especially as the testing of ~800 evacuees from Wuhan continues.

After confirming the US’s 15th case at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, officials warned that “there may be additional cases” identified during this period.

The 15th patient was a “solo traveler” from China who has been quarantined “since arriving at Lackland Air Force Base from Wuhan.

They remain in isolation at a local hospital.

Officials assured the public that there’s no risk to the local community, according to CNN.

“We are right in the middle of that incubation period so it is not surprising” that the individual developed symptoms, McQuiston said.

“For the most part the people in quarantine are not doing much associating with each other,” McQuiston said.

Across the ocean in Russia, two women being held under quarantine over fears they might have contracted the virus managed to escape, citing the appallingly poor conditions of their medical detention, according to the NY Post.

Both of the women were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms after returning the Hainan region in southern China that is popular with Russian tourists because of its tropical environment.

In honor of US stocks turning green, we’d like to share this memorable clip of hazmat-suit-wearing person spraying an office down with disinfectant as China continues to slow lurch back to work.

Remember, it’s just like the flu – except much, much worse.

If it was really so mild, would authorities be treating anybody even suspected of having the virus like this?

But as the lockdown begins to lift in Beijing, here’s how people are reacting to…well…being around other people.

Update (1150ET): Citing a senior White House official, CNBC reports that the White House doesn’t have “high confidence” in the coronavirus numbers coming out of China.

CAP

The U.S. does “not have high confidence in the information coming out of China” regarding the count of coronavirus cases, a senior administration official told CNBC.

The official also noted that China “continues to rebuff American offers of assistance.”

The current thinking is there must be a reason why they won’t allow the CDC to send over personnel to help with the virus response.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Zeng tweeted out video of migrant workers being forced to sleep outside because of the draconian lockdown.

How much longer until President Trump demands evidence that the virus wasn’t bioengineered?

* * *

Update (1015ET): Following last night’s debacle over China reporting, Fox News’ Edward Lawrence reports that administration sources say they believe China is under reporting the number of coronavirus cases by at least 100,000 in China.

CAP

Additionally, Lawrence notes that administration sources say scientists working on how the coronavirus spread are having difficultly getting to the sight on where the first case happened.

CAP

We suspect Chinese authorities will do their best to keep any “help” from the west at arm’s length for fear of discovering the truth behind this deadly outbreak.

Jennifer Zeng meanwhile tweeted a video of migrant workers in Jiangsu province being reduced to sleeping in the streets or woods thanks to the lockdown.

* * *

Update (0950ET): Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday morning that the CDC is preparing to announce another confirmed coronavirus case in the US later in the day. That would be the 15th case in the US.

The announcement hit US stocks just minutes after the open.

In Europe, CNN reports that 21 Spaniards who returned from Wuhan on an evacuation flight have been released from Gomez Ullah Hospital in Madrid. The Spanish Health Ministry said the individuals had finished their quarantine stretches.

* * *

Update (0915ET): Even China’s state-controlled press is beginning to sound alarmist as it becomes increasingly clear that the epidemic is anything but ‘contained’.

CAP

Meanwhile China’s CDC has reportedly declared ‘War Time Status’ to authorize war-time conditions on quarantine, supplies, management and, of course, control & discipline.

CAP

If you thought the lockdowns were bad, it looks like Beijing is about to get pretty creative as it tries to walk the balance of pushing the public to get back to worked and protecting them from the virus.

In Xiaogan, in Hubei Province, two young men were forced to kneel in the street after violating restrictions of traveling outside.

Reuters adds that Huanggang, another city in Hubei, that it will tighten epidemic controls by “sealing residential complexes and only allowing essential vehicles on roads.”

Patients quarantined in China’s hospital jails are clearly hoping that their patriotic socialist principles of valuing the common good over individual liberty will see China through.

In other news, the EIA warned earlier that the COVID-19 outbreak would cause the first drop in oil use in a decade.

CAP

* * *

Update (0750ET): News out of China is presenting yet another lesson in contrasts.

In his latest remarks, President Xi said his government is striving to hit China’s development targets, and that the government will “definitely be able to minimize impact from the virus,” according to Chinese state media that has been relayed to English-language newswires.

He also pledged to maintain the development momentum of China’s economy.

Meanwhile, over in Macau, the government of the beleaguered casino paradise is planning to hand out vouchers to residents allowing to buy food to try and help boost local consumption once the outbreak starts to subside, Bloomberg reports.

They can only be used at local restaurants and businesses over the next 3 months.The government is also planning to reduce some taxes and fees to help people recover (a rare example of fiscal stimulus directed at main street).

Here’s a video report published on NHK’s site (please excuse the excess text):

 

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