Noon came and went on Wednesday without a change in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
More cases are of course expected as San Francisco ramps up testing. But given the spate of cases that appeared in the last week following the announcement of the first two last Thursday, this should cautiously be seen as good news?
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County just recorded its first death from the virus, and it reported six new cases in the county. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the woman who died was over the age of 60 and not a Los Angeles resident — she was visiting the area after extensive travel "including a long layover in South Korea." According to the county public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the woman died shortly after being hospitalized.
The count of confirmed cases in San Francisco stands at 14, and all we know about the patients is that they are both men and women, and range in age from 20s to a man in his 90s. And as the Chronicle reports, the Bay Area count is now at 99.
90 Bay Area Catholic schools are now closed for the next two weeks, as KRON 4 reports via the Archdiocese. But San Francisco public schools remain open.
The World Health Organization today announced that the coronavirus epidemic had crossed the threshold into being a global pandemic. This is the first pandemic since the H1N1 swine flu in 2009, and as the New York Times notes, the declaration is largely symbolic since the virus has been widespread for weeks. This is also the first pandemic to be caused by a coronavirus — and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sounded a note of hope Wednesday saying, "We also believe that this is the first pandemic that is able to be controlled."
The WHO has praised China's ability to reduce the increase of new infections from 3,500 per day in late January to just 24 in the country's last count, citing the "aggressive" quarantine and containment strategy there. It should be noted that China, Singapore, and South Korea have not been encouraging home quarantine because of the rapid spread of the virus that can occur in families.
The WHO has been making the distinction lately between "uncontrolled spread" and "uncontrollable spread," noting that South Korea and China have proven that the spread of the virus is controllable through various measures.
Photo: Macau Photo Agency