A Pandemic Looks Likely

Confirmed coronavirus cases shot up over the weekend to 17,205 as of this a.m.—a grim marker that spurred a growing resignation that the outbreak will likely become a pandemic, the New York Times reports.

“It’s very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic,” said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “But will it be catastrophic? I don’t know.” 

”Some epidemiological models indicated that there could actually be 100,000 or more cases. And, while that still makes it less transmissible than flu or measles, it far exceeds what virologists saw with SARS or MERS,” Don McNeil, Jr. writes.

Key Developments:

  • China opened a new hospital in Wuhan—built in just 10 days (AP)
  • 361 deaths (including the first death outside mainland China, in the Philippines, reported Sunday)
  • Chinese scientists report evidence of fecal-oral transmission (Xinhua)

China, meanwhile, accused the US of scaremongering with its focus on curbing travel and extracting its citizens over offering China significant aid, according to Reuters. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the US has “…manufactured and spread panic” by contradicting the WHO advice against trade and travel restrictions.

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