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Anti-epidemic Experts in Taiwan: At least 500,000 Cases of Infection in Wuhan

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[See China, February 14, 2020] Hubei’s Wuhan pneumonia epidemic is spreading rapidly. Confirmed infections occur in many countries around the world, and the number of deaths on the mainland continues to increase. 

The outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan has spread and the number of deaths on the mainland has increased daily. 
(Image source: Public domain)

Zhong Nanshan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said in an exclusive interview with Reuters that the pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan is expected to end in April.

Radio Free Asia interviewed Su Yiren, director of the Department of Health’s Disease Control in Taiwan during the SARS era, pointing out that if the infection rate is estimated at 5%, there will be at least 500,000 infected patients in Wuhan.

Su Yiren analyzed that there are three possible ways in which the pneumonia epidemic can develop. It is safe to say that according to Zhong Nanshan’s speculation, the closure of Wuhan and other dozens of counties and cities in Hubei, and the “semi-closed cities” is not effective.”

“If the epidemic is not under control, it may cause community infections in Hong Kong or other areas, I am afraid it will take another two months.” He pointed out the worst is the third state: “Because conditions in Wuhan are very bad in almost every aspect, except for severe patients, patients with mild symptoms are not treated, and there are some asymptomatic people, these, if it is not dealt with, may still pass on, and in the end, it will become impossible to control. “

Su Yiren also took the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently docked in Yokohama, Japan as an example of “sealing”, which is similar to the situation of “sealing” in Wuhan.

At present, the total infection rate of Diamond Princess is about 5 percent. But Diamond Princess has better epidemic prevention than Wuhan and Hubei. No one knows how Wuhan will evolve in the future.

Su Yiren said: “There are 10 million people in Wuhan. If 5% of Wuhan is the true estimation, then the number of infected patients maybe 500,000. But now there are ten times as many confirmed cases of around 40,000 or 50,000.”

“At present, they still have a lot of patients who cannot be diagnosed and diagnosed. Looking at the entire evolution of Diamond Princess to the end, this is an experimental module. Everyone knows that Coronavirus is being transmitted in a closed state. This can be used as a reference for the closure of Wuhan, Hubei or other regions. “

Wuhan’s severe medical shortage

Su Yiren pointed out that the current medical system in Wuhan has collapsed, and almost only severe pneumonia in the medical system will be handled. If the confirmed cases are handled in this way, the recovery rate is very low, and the mortality rate of severe patients will gradually increase in the future.

“According to Wuhan’s current strategy, the proportion of patients who can be isolated or diagnosed is quite limited. Now when all severe pneumonia cases are sent to Vulcan Mountain Hospital or Thunder Mountain Hospital, their recovery rate will be lower.”

Su Yiren said that if the local diagnosis of patients is confirmed, all medical systems in Wuhan may not be able to test such a large number of patients. “I am afraid that there are 20,000 to 30,000 tests a day. There are 20 or 30 hospitals in Wuhan. The hospital can afford 600 cases, and about 1,200 tests per day are saturated.”

“So I believe that many of them were sent to Vulcan Mountain Hospital or Fangcai Hospital. They are now all confirmed cases, but if the tests were not completed, where could you go? This will cause accelerated cross-infection.”

“Asymptomatic people in the community, with mild fever, cough, and symptoms of mild pneumonia still need moderate to severe medical treatment, what could be done at Vulcan Mountain Hospital?”

Su Yiren said: “Whether it is Thunder Mountain or Vulcan Mountain, it can’t take care of seriously ill patients. The equipment and medical manpower in that place are not enough. Sending severely ill patients there is equivalent to merely waiting for the patients to die.

Going by the current situation in Wuhan, the pneumonia virus can be transmitted without symptoms, but the authorities in charge of people with milder illness symptoms have not taken care of it, let alone patients with severe or illness. “They obviously can’t handle this part because the outbreak is too big.” Su Yiren said

No data on China epidemic

Su Yiren believes that China’s current politics and economy are controlling everything, and the epidemic situation in various places can’t be accounted for by incomplete data. 

He speculated that the current Chinese government’s main strategy is to ignore mild or asymptomatic patients temporarily.

“So, viewing the data published by the authorities is strictly not allowed. Everything depends only on how they diagnose and how they report. The biggest problem now is that they do not test for milder illnesses. These people will become a major source of infection in the community, so in this way, the epidemic will continue.”

Su Yiren said that the most feared thing in the world is that some mild and asymptomatic people have become the source of infection. 

If China then declares that the epidemic is no longer there and that it has improved, the city will not be closed. These mild and asymptomatic people will spread it everywhere, and other countries and regions will probably become rat tails.”

Su Yiren reminded that the information announced by the Chinese mainland must not be used to come to any conclusions. If there is no real information and no conclusions, how to deal with economic, political and epidemic situations may be the biggest challenge facing Taiwan.

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