Coronavirus Epicenter Reports No New Cases for First Time Since Outbreak Began
As the new coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, the country and city where it originated reported a hopeful milestone.
For the first time since the outbreak began, China reported no new domestic cases Thursday, The Guardian reported. And in Wuhan, the city where the disease that came to be called COVID-19 first emerged in December 2019, there were no new cases period, according to Time.
"Today we have seen the dawn after so many days of hard effort," senior National Health Commission inspector Jiao Yahui said.
China announced Thursday that all 34 new cases that were reported in the country compared to the day before were people who had arrived from elsewhere. The news suggests that China's dramatic quarantine measures, which placed more than 50 million people in Wuhan's Hubei province under lockdown since late January, have paid off, at least for now.
"It's very clear that the actions taken in China have almost brought to an end their first wave of infections," Ben Cowling, the head of the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at Hong Kong University's School of Public Health, told The New York Times. "The question is what will happen if there's a second wave, because the kind of measures that China has implemented are not necessarily sustainable in the long term."
In Wuhan, restrictions are already starting to ease, according to The Guardian. People in residential units deemed "virus free" can now leave their homes to do single activities, and, in places found virus-free for seven days, residents can move about free of restrictions if they don't gather in groups.
The news comes as the U.S. and Europe are restricting movement in response to a rising case load. In Italy, the death toll from the outbreak has risen past China's, BBC News reported Thursday, and lockdown measures originally set to expire March 25 have been extended. Italy has now seen 3,405 deaths compared to China's 3,245.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department Thursday issued its highest possible Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory, urging U.S. citizens and residents not to travel abroad, and to return home from abroad unless they were prepared to stay away indefinitely, CNN reported.
"Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice," the advisory said.
The coronavirus has so far sickened 209,839 people in 169 countries and killed 8,778, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization.
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Scientists are on the brink of scaling up an enzyme that devours plastic. In the latest breakthrough, the enzyme degraded plastic bottles six times faster than previous research achieved, as The Guardian reported.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jessica Corbett
In a rare calm moment during a historically active Atlantic hurricane season, an international team of climate scientists on Monday published a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change showing that human-caused global heating is making the world's oceans more "stable"—which, as co-author Michael Mann explained, is "very bad news."
<div id="e639b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d8d112e123588b9bf3c3eadcc89627e8"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310602217825726465" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Thank you to @MichaelEMann for patiently and clearly explaining to non scientists why increased ocean stabilizati… https://t.co/yW2BmQhKGp</div> — Dr Naomi Wolf (@Dr Naomi Wolf)<a href="https://twitter.com/naomirwolf/statuses/1310602217825726465">1601306893.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="85eca" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="43780424fc8b04e23a525e1bad1086eb"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310608647651811336" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Canada has oceans on 3 sides-we can't ignore the climate news that The Oceans Appear to Be Stabilizing. Here's Why… https://t.co/SfWJWWRHr7</div> — Friends Of Halifax Common (@Friends Of Halifax Common)<a href="https://twitter.com/FriendsHalifax/statuses/1310608647651811336">1601308426.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="3e52e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f210e186b6e1481a64770e0c8722a438"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310638669477236738" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">"Das bedeutet, dass das CO2-Budget, das zur Vermeidung kritischer Erhitzung (z.B. 1,5°C) übrig bleibt, möglicherwei… https://t.co/675YBTSybJ</div> — Parents For Future #SystemChangeNotClimateChange (@Parents For Future #SystemChangeNotClimateChange)<a href="https://twitter.com/parents4future/statuses/1310638669477236738">1601315583.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Ending his piece on a similar note, Mann wrote that "in short, it's unwise to be complacent given the accumulating scientific evidence that climate change and its impacts may well be in the upper end of the range that climate scientists currently project. There is ever-greater urgency when it comes to acting on climate. But there is agency as well. Our actions <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/dangerous-new-form-climate-denialism-making-rounds-opinion-1455736" target="_blank">make a difference</a>—something to keep in mind as we head into a presidential election <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/greta-thunberg-donald-trump-true-leadership-climate-change-free-world-1461147" target="_blank">whose climate implications</a> are monumental."</p><p>Mann is on the mounting list of climate experts and advocates <a href="https://www.axios.com/2020-presidential-election-joe-biden-endorsed-climate-scientists-24013990-0300-4c2c-ad95-57571b397196.html?fbclid=IwAR3vTCBmK5BwvoafwGefadTsnIMnKo9FS6ssc9PCdFLEeXr6p4KHlnrFWKU" target="_blank">supporting </a>Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in his effort to oust President Donald Trump—who has, at various points, ignored and exacerbated the climate emergency. Earlier this month, the <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/15/matter-life-and-death-after-175-years-scientific-american-backs-biden-magazines" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">editors</a> of<em> Scientific American</em> as well as the political action arms of both 350 and Friends of the Earth also <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/24/clarion-call-all-progressive-environmentalists-defeat-trumps-planetary-destruction" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">endorsed</a> the former vice president.</p><p>"The stakes are clear and present," Tamara Toles O'Laughlin from 350 Action said of the general election, for which early voting is already underway in some states. "The planet cannot withstand four more years of Trump."</p>
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By Hannah Murphy
When he talks about the Trump administration, David Doniger likes to say: "Imagine where we'd be if they knew what they were doing." The climate lawyer and senior advisor to the NRDC Action Fund spends his days defending the environment from the U.S. government, and for the past three and a half years, that's meant a front-row seat to the Trump administration's relentless attacks on any regulation that's meant to slow the climate crisis.
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The Johns Hopkins University tracker for worldwide coronavirus cases showed that the world passed a grim milestone early Tuesday morning, as more than 1 million have died from the virus and the infection it causes, COVID-19.
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Maryland will become the first state in the nation Thursday to implement a ban on foam takeout containers.
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