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Coronavirus Update 2/18/2020

  • Death toll passes 2,000 as Hubei reports 132 deaths for Tuesday
  • Florida health officials mysteriously refuse to share virus info with reporters
  • Russia bars all Chinese from entering
  • NYT notes signs of impending economic distress
  • South Korea announces “emergency steps” to prepare for outbreak.

Health officials in Hubei reported a big jump in deaths on Tuesday, shattering the state’s narrative that the virus is being beaten because the number of confirmed cases and deaths were falling.

And with the new figures, the China death toll has hit 2,000 exactly, up from 1,868 deaths as of the end of Monday, according to China’s NHC.

  • HUBEI REPORTS 1,693 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES, 132 DEATHS FEB. 18
  • CHINA’S CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL HITS 2,000

Meanwhile, state officials in Florida are refusing to release any information about the state’s efforts to contain a coronavirus outbreak, including data about the number of patients who have been tested for the virus, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“The goal of this public health response is containment,” said state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, who presented to the Senate Health Policy committee Tuesday. “And if there’s a confirmed case, it will absolutely be reported.”

Rivkees added that the state wasn’t allowed to release the information because of “privacy concerns” – likely a rule about patient confidentiality codified in the federal HIPPA guidelines.

However, veteran journalists in the state pressed the surgeon general: These numbers were shared with the public during Zika, and since the numbers don’t include any personalized details, there shouldn’t be any conflict with HIPPA.

BNO News shared one of the latest videos out of Hubei Province, which we’d like to now share with you.

Video from Hubei province shows doctors running across the street to take patients who are critically ill with coronavirus to a new ICU unit. It took 30 minutes per patient, 10 in total – Xinhua pic.twitter.com/16XLrYzB8l — BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) February 18, 2020

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