The novel coronavirus has infected more than 181,500 people and killed over 7,100

The US doesn't have enough stockpiled medical equipment for the pandemic, health officials warn

Top health care officials in the US warned today that the country doesn't have enough stockpiled medical equipment like masks and gloves to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services told medical professionals on a conference call today that there was not enough personal protective equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile to fulfill anticipated gaps in state and local supplies, according to a source who was on the call.
These crucial equipment include masks, gowns and gloves. The call was confirmed to CNN by a Department of Health and Human Services official.
The officials said on the call that the government didn't yet have a solution for the looming shortfall, but was working on one.

"We have been transparent that more supplies are needed -- hence the request to Congress for additional funding so we could procure more and scale up production," an HHS spokesperson said in a statement 

There are now more coronavirus deaths outside China than inside

The number of coronavirus deaths outside China have now surpassed the number of deaths inside.
Mainland China -- where the pandemic began at the end of last year -- has recorded 3,226 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the country's National Health Commission.
The Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and additional sources, puts the global death toll at 7,138 – which would mean 3,912 deaths outside of mainland China -- nearly 700 more deaths outside of China than inside.
The World Health Organisation’s latest global death toll stands at 6,610. They list the China death toll at 3,218, with 3,392 deaths outside China, or at least 174 more deaths outside China than inside so far.

South Korea has expanded its special immigration measures to cover all arrivals starting Thursday, the country's health ministry announced during a news conference.
The new policies will require all visitors regardless of the port of origin to undergo a one-on-one temperature check when entering the country, it said. Those exhibiting symptoms will be required to take a diagnostic test and quarantine for two weeks. 
All visitors will also be required to confirm their local addresses and phone numbers, and install a self-diagnosis app on their smartphones before they are allowed entry.
In Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also raised its outbound travel advisories for several European countries amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The highest warning, which advises citizens not to travel, has been issued for all of Iceland, as well as some provinces of Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. The ministry currently also advises its citizens not to make non-essential trips to other continental European countries.

Lockdowns are being imposed around the world. China's example highlights the costs

As Chinese President Xi Jinping passed an apartment complex last week during his tour of Wuhan, he looked up and waved back at rows of residents who -- still under lockdown -- greeted him behind masks from their apartment windows.
The upbeat footage -- beamed into millions of homes across China later that evening -- was meant to send a confident message that, under Xi's leadership, the country had turned a corner.
But for many Wuhan residents, the images on state media do not match with the reality of day-to-day life.

"What's for sure is that Xi Jinping cannot hear any genuine voices at all," said resident Zhang Yi.
Zhang, and many others like him, have been sealed off from the outside world since late January, when the metropolis of 11 million was placed under a state-imposed lockdown to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus -- and their frustrations have been mounting.

Anger at the government: When the epidemic was at its most severe, many Wuhan patients said they were unable to get treated due to an extreme shortage of hospital beds and medical resources.
Now, as the number of new reported cases in China slows to a trickle, millions of residents are still restricted by the government to their homes; they're not even allowed to go outside to shop for groceries. Instead, the residents CNN spoke to said they have to rely on designated neighborhood committees to make group orders for daily necessities -- often at a higher price.
While state media has doubled down on constructing a positive narrative of life in Wuhan, the deep well of public anger resulting from stringent censorship, soaring food prices and the failures of the local government is starting to chip away at the propaganda facade.

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 181,500 people and killed over 7,100 The novel coronavirus has infected more than 181,500 people and killed over 7,100 Reviewed by Anson Moore on March 17, 2020 Rating: 5

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