A major shift in the reported trajectory of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus has rocked China and comes as the U.S. military begins preparations for a pandemic-type scenario on American soil.
A jump in confirmed cases came Thursday morning as Chinese officials gave an updated count of over 59,900 infected on the mainland. Coupled with international cases, the infected now number over 60,000.
The increase of 14,840 new cases is the result of the central government’s changing criteria used to make a confirmed diagnosis, The New York Times’ Sui-Lee Wee reported.
This means that the virus now has a much different trajectory than previously thought thanks to more accurate numbers, and hints that not even the Chinese government knows the scale of this outbreak.
While China was blindsided by the contagion, which can spread before symptoms even appear, other countries were able to exploit the small amount of warning they were given.
Many countries surrounding China have shuttered their borders, and entire airlines have canceled flights to the impacted region.
Several cases have been confirmed on American soil, but civil authorities and President Donald Trump have acted to make sure the virus stays contained.
Due to the continuing threat of a potential outbreak, the U.S. military is similarly preparing to fight COVID-19 head-on.
“The current threat of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has raised concern that this virus could result in a pandemic disease,” a Marine administrative message from Wednesday reads. “In such a scenario, nCoV could spread, infecting U.S. personnel, and threaten the operational readiness of the U.S. Marine Corps.”
The Marines’ plan focuses on several aspects, all chosen to maintain operational integrity for the force and secure the safety of the American people.
To ensure a healthy fighting force, the message describes an intervention and quarantine plan for personnel that may have been exposed to the virus, as well as plans to contain the virus should outbreaks occur.
The Marines’ message also lays out support for civilian authorities and the U.S. government during any future efforts to combat a pandemic.
While the United States and its armed forces stand ready to face the disease, China’s communist regime is struggling to keep a lid on the pandemic in the mainland.
Social media postings critical of the ruling communist party and its response to the COVID-19 outbreak have been quickly suppressed, a classic tactic used by the country’s leaders.
The quarantine isn’t only digital, but physical as well.
Tens of millions have been corralled and kept in cities in a bid to contain the virus, which hasn’t been very effective. The coronavirus can now be found all across China.
Although our knowledge of this virus is still limited, America’s cautious preparations may keep our fate separate from that of China.
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