US military preps for pandemic; North Korea executes official for breaking coronavirus quarantine.
As of Thursday, the world has over 65, 247 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus reported from 28 countries and territories, with 1,491 deaths.
Reports say 10,604 of those afflicted patients are in critical condition, and 7,092 are confirmed recoveries.
***We will update this post with new information.
In the United States, there are 427 People Under Investigation (PUI) for possible Wuhan coronavirus, distributed in 41 states and territories. Of those, 15 have tested positive (located in six states), 347 have tested negative, and 65 cases have pending diagnosis status.
15th US case of coronavirus is an evacuee at an Air Force base in Texas
The 15th case of COVID-19 in the United States has been diagnosed is one of the evacuees at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The patient has been under the 14-day federal quarantine since arriving in the United States from China on a chartered flight on February 7, the CDC said. The person, described by a CDC official as a “solo traveler,” has been isolated and is receiving medical care at a hospital.
“We are right in the middle of that potential incubation period so it is not surprising that maybe someone would have developed symptoms in this time frame,” Capt. Jennifer McQuiston of the CDC said in a news conference Thursday. “And we’re going to continue to be watching people during the whole 14-day quarantine period.”
US military prepping for coronavirus pandemic
The Military Times reports that U.S. Northern Command is executing plans to prepare for a potential pandemic of the Wuhan coronavirus.
An executive order issued by the Joint Staff and approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper this month directed Northern Command and geographic combatant commanders to initiate pandemic plans, which include ordering commanders to prepare for widespread outbreaks and confining service members with a history of travel to China.
The Navy and Marine Corps messages, issued Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, reference an executive order directing U.S. Northern Command to implement the Department of Defense Global Campaign plan for Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Diseases 3551-13.
The document serves as the Pentagon’s blueprint for planning and preparing for widespread dispersion of influenza and previously unknown diseases.
U.S. Northern Command said Wednesday it was directed the Joint Staff Feb. 1 to commence “prudent planning” in their assigned role synchronizing the department’s plans for pandemic flu and disease.
But in no way “does the planning indicate a greater likelihood of an event developing. As military professionals, planning for a range of contingencies is something we owe the American people,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mike Hatfield said.
North Korean official reportedly executed for breaking coronavirus quarantine
It appears that there is another way to die from COVID-19:
A North Korean official who returned from China has reportedly been executed for going to a public bath in violation of his quarantine – while experts express doubts about Pyongyang’s claim that the hermit kingdom doesn’t have a single case of the coronavirus.
The trade official, who had been placed in isolation after traveling to China, was arrested and immediately shot for risking the spread of the deadly disease, the Dong-a Ilbo news outlet in South Korea reported.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to “rule by military law” against anyone who leaves quarantine without permission.
Meanwhile, an official at North Korea’s National Security Agency was exiled to work on a farm because he hid a recent trip to China, according to the UK’s Mirror.
China’s Communist Party is purging local officials as public anger mounts at coronavirus epidemic
There is no news yet indicating that either executions or exile have occurred…yet.
China has purged high-ranking officials in the Hubei — the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak — amid public outcry over the virus.
Several Communist Party officials, including the party secretary for the Hubei Health Commission and the head of the commission, lost their jobs in the government purge, the BBC reported citing local media.
According to the BBC, the deputy director of the local Red Cross was demoted for “dereliction of duty” over the handling of donations. The outlet reported that hundreds of people have been investigated, fired, or received warnings in Hubei because of the coronavirus outbreak.
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