Anticipating a sharp sell-off, China’s central bank and other financial regulators said Sunday that they had prepared an emergency package totaling an astronomical $173 billion to support companies and markets during the coronavirus crisis.
This news came as a new study by University of Hong Kong scientists, published in the Lancet, said the outbreak could be even worse than it appears and could get dramatically worse over the next week or two.
They found that as many as 75,815 people in Wuhan had been infected with the coronavirus by Jan. 25, based on an assumption that each infected person could have passed the virus to 2.68 others. It also said the epidemic was doubling every 6.4 days.
If the virus was spreading at a similar level around the country, “we inferred that epidemics are already growing exponentially in multiple major cities of China with a lag time behind the Wuhan outbreak of about 1-2 weeks,” the scientists wrote.
Medical advice over the past two weeks has emphasized the need to wear masks to stop transmission through respiratory droplets from the mouth and nose. But Chinese authorities are now saying that the virus can be passed from fecal matter.
Researchers from the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported this weekend that there had been fecal-oral transmission. It warned medical workers to “protect themselves against vomit and feces of patients.”