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Coronavirus latest: Desperate Chinese government sprays disinfectant on people and cities, as the virus crisscrosses the globe

The speed and intensity with which the Wuhan coronavirus – known as Covid-19 – raced across China was truly shocking. Nobody saw it coming, and when it struck, one of the most important economies in the world ground to a halt and massive cities were reduced to ghost towns. Millions were placed under quarantine, with massive restrictions implemented to control the flow of people purchasing food, seeing doctors, etc.

The most recent reports out of China would seem to indicate that the government’s draconian measures have proved somewhat effective. In the past few days, the number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in China has been slowly but steadily decreasing.

But at what price? Some of the drastic measures taken by the Chinese government may have long-term effects that we cannot even imagine right now.

Cities – and people – doused in toxic chemicals

In a desperate bid to stem the tide of the disease, authorities first ordered that entire cities be doused in chemicals. And when those measures proved to be insufficient, men dressed in hazmat suits were dispatched to spray disinfectant right inside buildings, even when there were people standing right there.

Dousing citizens in bleach water might have slowed down the progress of the coronavirus in the short-term, but how will these chemicals affect people in the long-term?

Reporting on the drastic measures taken by the Chinese government, Business Insider reported:

Spray trucks, hoses, and bottles filled with household disinfectants like bleach are quickly being dispatched across China, as the country scrambles to control the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV. …

China has placed around 56 million people under quarantine, hoping that keeping people home, and having them wear masks when they go outside, will help prevent more virus spread. …

But in cities and towns across Asia, sanitation workers are also redoubling efforts to spray down entire towns, sending trucks filled with low concentration bleach-and-water solutions into the streets, and dispatching hazmat-suited workers into train stations and malls to wipe every nook and cranny.

While China appears to be winning the war against corona, however, the rest of the world cannot say the same.

Number of new infections down in China, but increasing sharply elsewhere

Today, for the first time, the number of new coronavirus cases diagnosed in China was lower than the number in other countries. The disease is now spreading at a steady rate across the globe.

As reported by the BBC, the World Health Organization has still not taken the step of declaring the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic, but as one country after another reports its first cases, it is looking increasingly likely that the agency will be forced to do so before too long:

Several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, all apparently linked to the growing outbreak in Italy.

Austria, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland said their cases involved people who had been to Italy, as did Algeria in Africa.

The first positive virus test has been recorded in Latin America – a Brazilian resident just returned from Italy.

Italy has in recent days become Europe’s worst-affected country.

Authorities have confirmed more than 300 cases and 12 deaths there, the most recent a 70-year-old resident of Lombardy who died after being taken to intensive care in Parma. The country has also seen four children infected.

In the Canary Islands, on the island of Tenerife, hundreds of guests are in lockdown in a hotel, after two Italian guests tested positive for the virus.

In addition, the Iranian government has reported 139 cases of the virus, with 19 deaths – though authorities believe that the government is not accurately reporting the number of cases there.

And in South Korea, 115 new cases were reported today, raising the total number of infected patients to 1,261, with 11 people succumbing to Covid-19.

Clearly, we have not even come close to seeing the end of this disease. And we may have to deal with the fallout from the disease itself, as well as the measures taken to curb its spread, for years to come.

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