Friday 30 October 2020

China does not count symptomless infections as confirmed cases

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Mainland China reported eight new COVID-19 cases as of 1 September, down from 10 a day earlier, China’s national health authority said on 2 September. The National Health Commission said in a statement all of the new COVID-19 cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas, marking the 17th consecutive day with no local infections.

The number of new asymptomatic cases fell to 19 from 34 a day earlier. China does not count symptomless infections as confirmed cases. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 85,066, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

This callous approach to statistical records in China is happening even as 90% of a sample group of coronavirus-recovered patients from a prominent hospital in Wuhan, where the pandemic broke out, have reported lung damage and 5% of them are again in quarantine after testing positive for the virus, according to a media report on Wednesday.

A team at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University led by Peng Zhiyong, director of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, has been conducting follow-up visits with ‘100 recovered patients’ since April.

The first phase of this one-year programme finished in July. The average age of the patients in the study is 59.

According to the first phase results, 90% of the patients’ lungs are still in a damaged state, which means their lungs ventilation and gas exchange functions have not recovered to the level of healthy people, state-run Global Times reported.

Peng’s team conducted a six-minute walking test with the patients. They found that the recovered patients could only walk 400 metres in six minutes while their healthy peers could walk 500 metres in the same period.

Some recovered patients have to rely on oxygen machines even three months after being discharged from the hospital, Liang Tengxiao, a doctor from the Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, was quoted as saying by the report.

Liang’s team is also conducting follow-up visits with recovered patients aged above 65.

The results also showed that antibodies against the novel coronavirus in 10 per cent of the 100 patients have disappeared.

Five per cent of them received negative results in Covid-19 nucleic acid tests but positive results in Immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests, and thus have to be quarantined again, the report said.

China kept notorious Wuhan lab open throughout pandemic

The P4 lab in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China has been at the forefront of controversy since the outbreak of COVID-19. Referred to as the ‘Wuhan virus’ by US President Donald Trump, COVID-19 was first detected at this very laboratory in December of 2019, if the Chinese government is to be believed.

Satellite images clearly indicate that the P3 and P4 labs never halted operations but continued their experiments despite objections by the global community.

Reports of this infection were first brought to notice of the world by Dr Li Wenliang, a Chinese ophthalmologist, through his Weibo posts. The whistleblower who tried to caution his colleagues at Wuhan’s City Central Hospital was pulled up by the police for ‘anti-national activities’.

The death of a whistleblower doctor of COVID-19 on 6 February highlighted the scourge of government of China’s making.

China does not count symptomless infections as confirmed cases

Merrymaking amid COVID

Thousands of partygoers packed out a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, keen to party as the city edges back to normal life.

The popular Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with people frolicking in swimsuits and goggles for an electronic music festival, many perched on rubber dinghies or wading up to their chest in water.

The water park reopened in June after Wuhan gradually opened up after a 76-day lockdown and strict restrictions to try and control the spread of the virus.

The park — which local media says has capped attendance at 50% of normal capacity — is offering half-price discounts for female visitors.

A performer in a stage show at the front of the water waved at the crowd, packed close and waving their arms back, some snapping photos on phones protected in plastic pouches around their necks.

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