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tv   Inside Story 2020 Ep 33  Al Jazeera  February 2, 2020 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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they've been marching in several cities including baghdad nasiriyah and now jeff former communications minister mohammed thought he was named prime minister designate on saturday the turkish military ascend another convoy towards italy province in syria that's where government forces backed by russia are intensifying in the salt against rebel forces activists say 9 people were killed by strikes on sunday the u.s. democratic hopefuls are in iowa for the 1st votes in the presidential race party members will choose their preferred candidates on monday every state will hold a vote over the next 6 months and their nominee will be confirmed the democratic national convention in july those are the headlines the news continues here now to syria after inside story.
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the corona virus is spreading around the world and so is the alarm countries are closing that food doesn't banning travel in an attempt to contain the outbreak but all these measures you know how difficult is it to control the virus this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program i'm daryn jordan the coronavirus s. so far killed more than 300 people with at least 14000 infected in over 20 countries it's been just over a month since the disease was 1st detected in china as well and city
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a global health emergency has since been declared and countries a racing to stop it spreading but the ability of poorer countries to handle any outbreak is causing concern it's called highlight takes a look at the growing crisis in china. one of the purpose built coronavirus hospitals it will hand will open its doors on monday another is due to go online in the coming days together chinese officials say more than 2000 patients with the virus will be able to get care at the new facilities but with urgent calls for more supplies and warnings of understaffed and overworked medical teams at the existing one hospitals these new facilities will probably take some time before they can run at full capacity. this as the announcement health officials around the world have been bracing for the 1st coronavirus death outside of china a 44 year old chinese man from mohan died on saturday in the philippines in his last few days the polish army runs a bar and showed signs of improvement however that the shot of the patient that the
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earlier 8 dead well will be the last flight before our worst fears are being enhanced by. more countries are flying their citizens out of who they province and new zealand has joined the list of nations barring non-citizens who have recently traveled to china from entering as this was supposed to be the end of the extended lunar new year holiday the streets of beijing should be bustling but the government here has said only essential workers will return the others not for another week at least businesses and private enterprises are doing so. many are stuck inside their homes millions of chinese are taking to social media to talk about the coronavirus mostly venting frustration on the slow reaction of the one government when the virus was 1st discovered and how donations have been diverted or delayed this story about a t.v. crew stopped from reporting on the work of the war on red cross received nearly 300000 comments chinese officials are also taking to social media using it to
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notify the public about details of cases of coronavirus so those who traveled on the same flights trains or buses as infected patients and repast blee exposed can get tested to try and prevent the virus from spreading further god or al jazeera beijing. well countries around the world of announce measures to try to control the virus the philippines new zealand us and australia are denying entry to foreign visitors who've recently traveled to china russia and vietnam are restricting visas singapore mongolia nepal and other nations have closed their borders with china governments are flying their citizens from china and those coming from who bay province where the outbreak started will be quarantined for 2 weeks more airlines have suspended flights to china those include united and american airlines new zealand their british airways qatar airways vietnam airlines and others but the world health organization has advised against such action it says travel
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restrictions can hump of the supply of medicines and accelerate the spread of the virus. so let's introduce our panel of guests in hong kong nicholas thomas an associate professor at the city university of hong kong in canberra australia by skype sun giant sun yaki a professor of infectious diseases at the australian national university and from london mark parish regional medical director for northern europe at international s.o.s. gentleman welcome to the program son jaya son of the arche there income but let me start with you if i may send jai i mean the medical experts are telling us that corona virus has surpassed sars in terms of the number of infections so what assessments are medical experts like yourself making that might reassure a very worried public i mean the 1st thing is that the mortality rate is still very low with same except least 2 percent but the reality is there may be
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a lot of cases that we haven't so it could be much lower than that we compare that to sars which is around 10 to 15 percent and another coronavirus actually called mers it was 38 percent it's and all. also at this day somewhat reassuring is that outside china even though cases have been detected you know over 20 countries they have been very few 2nd rate cases they have beat some at very few secondary cases in those countries let's bring in mark mark parrish there in london mark al worrying are these coronavirus numbers now i mean given the speed of the contagion how concerned should the general public be a because there seems to be a growing sense of anxiety perhaps that the us doesn't care and as santa have said we should be a maybe. there that in mind with the facts i won't repeat those that he said but i
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think we should also be aware of a couple of other things here we have become aware of this virus very quickly the outbreak was 1st detected in december we obtain the molecular structure of the virus in january that's been sent around the world and we've now got tests that can diagnose it in us the chinese have done a fantastic job at quarantining hugh bay and will haunt which is where where it started and we have certainly seen cases elsewhere around the world and in every province in china and we know a lot about the virus we don't know everything about the virus i think we will get much better information about that virus in the next days and weeks and we will then see how the outbreak progresses but it's been contained and managed very well just to reinforce what was said before most of us are not going to get this virus at all if we do get it which is very unlikely we will get the symptoms of cough and a cold that so many of us get during the winter period it is very unlikely that we
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will become worse and if we do become worse then medical care is there to support us and help us 2 percent of us at the moment look like we do die from it when we get it those tend to be all that all of those cases so far have been the infirm and the elves of the unsaid the those are the individuals who are more susceptible to these and so many diseases so for us it's a case of keep an eye on it let's look at where it's spread there's a very good amount in our website you can see that that spread and just keep it just and i think be realistic and let's bring in the killers thomas in hong kong nicholas let me stay with the issue of public anxiety just for a 2nd i mean is there a sense of panic in asia do you think i'm not just came back from malaysia where pharmacies there had completely run out of face masks on hand sanitizer so what's the atmosphere like in hong kong how people i mean how worried are people that. i think people are concerned and they getting more concerned here i completely agree with the other 2 presenters however that when we look at the actual data there
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isn't a great deal to actually be worried about at this time especially given there are other seasonal flus going around but i think the critical thing is that a lot of people aren't actually focusing or even trusting the official data was saying there's a high degree of suspicion as to the message coming out of china at least here within hong kong as well as the message being given out by the hong kong government and i think this is the other aspect to any form of epidemic or public health emergency and that you have to have trust in the information channels that are providing the critical data and when that trust starts to break down you do see heightened levels of anxiety as you said in malaysia you've had runs on masks here in hong kong if a pharmacy is alerted to the fact that it has face mask if people are allergic to fact a pharmacy has facemasks their cues forming for hours outside and people get quite from people are getting quite frustrated when i can't get the masks even though
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them are some selves especially the regular paper masks don't nestle protect you to any great extent from the virus. encumbrance bring you back into the discussion i mean do you think pop culture and the internet perhaps has helped increase the false awareness of the outbreak i mean in hollywood produces zombie flicks like the walking dead i mean that you know advertently helps to scare people as well doesn't it i mean there's a fascination and an undercurrent of interest pandemics i mean directly we've seen it with movies like contagion and as you correctly alluded to the walking dead i mean as far as i'm concerned every song the movie and series is about any fiction that is transmitted and does something nasty when it's all about who to keep control so i think maybe there is that underlie more evil of course there's also that realistic concern that's come about. 1st appeared in 2002 we've had a few pandemic preparedness exercises. with ebola with swine flu
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that has made the public more informed about what we worry about as health professionals and what would happen if the really not keep endemic mark parish your company your organization international s.o.s. focuses on helping people and companies reduce exposure to and mitigate risks while traveling abroad so what are you telling your clients about the dangers of of the corona virus. well we're giving them their current facts and the fact that different companies countries are putting in place different measures to control this disease it's important they're aware of that telling them how the diseases spread which is by coughing and sneezing by by droplets giving them some advice on how to prevent it which is simple personal hygiene measures and then we're also talking to them about having a plan in place for communicating this information to their employees and also making sure that if they do have a case of corona virus in one of their employees which is most likely to be in
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china what they should do how they should manage that most companies have these plans in place they have them for any sort of issue and they would call it a crisis they have crisis management teams they'll have them for previous diseases such as sars they just need a little bit of reviewing folk around a virus and then making sure that information is passed out to all of their teams to reassure them because it's concerning isn't it if you have a business in china and you have employees in china you want to make sure that you're looking after them we spend a lot of our time doing that and again as we've said as the that the other 2 percent is here said it's giving that consistent fact based message balance of course as you say rightly say with some of the maybe less accurate information going around on the web and social media of nicholas thomas in hong kong them in various countries have taken steps to limit the spread of the virus with travel bans and border closures we know that the hong kong government has said it won't
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close its border with china and medical staff there have compounded the problem by saying look we're going to walk off the job so how much could the political crisis the in hong kong impact on the response to the virus do you think i think the political response for any virus not just this particular one is a critical component of the response strategy here in hong kong of course we've had 6 months of protests before we had the virus outbreak and that has caused people to become. a bit more suspicious of what the government says a bit more unwilling to trust the government even when it has to be said the hong kong government is actually pulling in some of the world's best experts people who trained up under sars and under subsequent brakes of page one n one swine flu and also the page 7 n 9 outbreak in 2013 but the lack of political trust sort of lingers in hong kong in a way that we didn't see with those earlier outbreaks frankly i don't see that we
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can ever close our borders with china that's not a realistic option i would be cutting off our food supply for one thing and would also be affected closing the ports and causing a major economic disaster that way so it has to be moderated at the same time we do see airlines shutting down their flights around into into china from around the region and around the world but that's also balance with the fact that chinese flights are still leaving china so i think there's a question here is to the effect that such measures can actually play largely that i think they can be seen in terms of reassuring their domestic audiences yeah i mean. in congress and you're the world health organization says these travel bans are actually counterproductive because they into the delivery of medicines and medical supplies and could actually increase the viral spread what's your take on it do they have a point. it can be an issue that's that's definitely the case and in fact
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that's why the world war health organization sometimes is reluctant to call a public health emergency of international concern because they are warry member states might impose trade and travel restrictions that they otherwise wouldn't have recommended and i certainly think it's the global community the best way to get on top of this outbreak is by stopping it is china so i think if we can throw a lot of resources at china which we probably can do because we're not having local spread within our own countries that would be a good idea mark parrish let me pick up on the point that sanjaya just made them in what's your assessment then of how china is handling this outbreak in terms of its response i mean has beijing learned from previous outbreaks and got this one right do you think yes i think they have there was a much slower response to the sars outbreak 17 or so years ago and i think that
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that certainly affected the management of sars and and i think effect that spread elsewhere outside china this time if we look at it the chinese have been fast and they have transmitted information they've been very open about it from sending their molecular information about the virus around the world so that we could all look at that and make testing for it keeping everybody updated with the numbers of cases the occurring and locking down that will harm and other cities and hubie province it's it's no easy thing to lock down a city of 10000000 or so people here the chinese have done that and if we look at that that will make a significant difference to the to the spread of this infection and is likely to stop it spreading i'm sure we will still see some other cases popping up around the world outside china and other cases in china because before they locked down the city center many chinese have moved elsewhere for the chinese new year but go back a little. the incubation level of the time of this virus is about 14 days it's now
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the 2nd of february and i think we'll han was locked down on the 21st of january so we're getting to that 2 week period and it'll be on after that would be interesting to see if the number of infections that count tails off as this this lockdown has worked so let's put that point then to sanjay there in canberra sanjay what's your assessment then of how china has managed this so they've got it right i think they're doing an extraordinary thing that very few other countries could do to lock down cities of almost total you know almost 60000000 people is it seems just extraordinary i still can't get my head around it and as mark correctly says at that 2 week mark after implementing their intervention that will start to give us an idea of whether they be successful or not of course now we're seeing 2000 cases . new cases being confirmed every day but let's give it
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a few days and see where we're headed and nicholas thomas i mean we've seen the 1st death now outside china i mean a chinese man in the philippines has died from the virus how much alarm is that likely to create being the 1st death outside of mainland china. i think within the social media this is being picked up especially within the chinese social media this being picked up as an issue but i would reiterate what the other 2 speakers said it hasn't been a perfect implementation of the quarantine but we still are seeing the virus largely centered in one han in the surrounding cities still today you've got 96 percent roughly of all deaths still in the immediate vicinity and although we are seeing it spreading more generally within the chinese population it's not as rapid i think it's fair to conclude the federal reserve had those quarantine measures not being perfectly implemented so i think this is an example of china learning from
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previous outbreaks perhaps still needing to fix up a couple of issues in terms of the political and policy side of things but so in the technical and biomedical side working very well and very closely with the international community and mark parrish in london we know there's no vaccine for the corona virus at the moment sadly we know the experts are rushing to make one to talk us through some of the difficulties i think they face in bringing out a vaccine very quickly. i'm not an expert on vaccine development but i know that it does take a lot of time to go from having the molecular structure of a virus or a bacteria and then being able to create a vaccine for that you can take many years to do that for instance we still don't have a vaccine for hiv and we've only just started trying and using vaccines for about it despite having known it for a very long time to go back to just the previous point about incubation period and what we're going to see maybe in the next few days a week or so well these numbers tail off it's not an exact science any of this and
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i don't think we should expect to see exactly it's 2 weeks in numbers will start turning off because there are so many other variables in play here and i'm sure that so many people traveled out to woo han before that quarantine ban was put in place but i do believe that given all that's happened with this outbreak the chinese have done and continue to do a phenomenal job which as i'd agree with sanjay be very hard for other countries to do to to quarantine 60000000 or so people and stop the spread that's what's going to stop the spread and interestingly that's no different to hundreds of years of public health measures if you go back to the very 1st example of this which was john snow in the broad street pump in soho not far from here where he stopped color and he'd done a little map of where color had been broken out in so he traced the main point of contact with that in fact was a water pump he took the handle off the water pump to stop the local using the water cholera went away we're just trying to do the same thing now we're just doing
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it on a bigger scale and that's what's going to be most successful in the next few weeks yeah i mean i don't know of john's nose efforts can help to stop this virus but i mean sanjay let me ask you i mean can medical experts use the lessons from the outbreak of salas an ebola and mers and so on and helping them to fight this virus because there's always a worry that many african countries for instance don't have the resources to tackle a major contagion like this. yes well interestingly you bring up africa and africa as a continent has not had a case as as far as we know. and really if you think about africa there are some areas which are better results than others very example the democratic republic of congo despite its militias and a number of these fighting they still manage to contain the 2nd largest siebold that outbreak which is currently going on within within its borders lot so i think at the moment africa is doing ok but you do raise the issue of what happens
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if less resource less developed countries have importation of cases and that is true if there is going to be i guess nicky least here in a global response that could be where things fail because they may not have the ability or the resources to identify and isolate all the cases which might cause some local transmission within that country or region at nicholas in hong kong in hong kong i mean what lessons can we learn then from previous global viral outbreaks like sa's like you but with that are we better prepared this time around do you think. i think certainly on the technical side with the technical cooperation between the w.h.o. the u.s. c.d.c. the chinese c.d.c. and their regional counterparts we're much better prepared than what we were. 16 or so years ago just to pick up on the achilles heel idea that was just mentioned it's not just internationally in poorer countries you have to realize that parts of
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china where people be moving to throughout the chinese new year are themselves very poor and so you're going to have structural imbalances within china as to the way this disease gets dealt with the biggest cities beijing shanghai tianjin and so on they'll be able to deal with the outbreak because they have the infrastructure but once you get outside those cities and the more rural areas and 48 percent or so of the chinese population roughly is still living in rural areas you're going to start to see some cases getting missed now agree with what we started off with that most people who get this are simply going to have a bad flu but it does lead to questions of capacity for china to deal with in the more remote areas outside the central broke a bone just push for time so let me get a final question into mark parrish mark what's the situation there in the u.k. we know the national health service has just rolled out a public awareness campaign there are dozens of people who've been quarantined but
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the u.k. of course has been busy with briggs it so what's been happening there. yes i wouldn't necessarily link breaks it to dealing with a public health issue but the 2 are very different in that the u.k. has very well tried and tested plans for outbreaks of infectious diseases such as this we've had a couple of cases identified now in the u.k. they've been managed very well the u.k. authorities now are trying to find other people that have come from would harm at the same time as having flown some people back from we were on and they are in quarantine so again it's all this balance but we have in place all of the things that we need to deal with an outbreak like this irrespective of bricks it just a final thought to you sanjay everyone of course is wondering how long this outbreak will last is not something the experts can answer at this stage very briefly i can give you a confident i don't know because it looks at the end of the day this is a novel virus and even though it seems like we've been at it for
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a long time we're only into the 8 week and we're still seeing the number of cases excel right so we'll just have to watch to say yes well gentlemen that's all the time we have today thank you very much indeed for your insights in hong kong nicholas thomas in canberra australia some of the r.k. and in london mark parish gentlemen thank you all very much indeed and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a j inside story and you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at age 8 inside story from the town and told the whole team here the banks and.
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so i bring on al-jazeera. and the tension with the u.s. and protests over a plane downing iran's hanum entry election will be held on february 23rd parties to syria explores the fate of india's religious minorities on the prime minister modi's hindu move. us voters get their fast chance to weigh in on the 20 twentieth's action al-jazeera will have comprehensive coverage of the new series looks at how female scientists across the globe are opening doors for other women to pursue careers in science and up to 5 years of civil war could be to rivals agree a peace deal to revive africa's youngest nation. february on al-jazeera. talk
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to al jazeera we ask let me talk about 2 of the biggest problems facing and they all the endemic corruption and we listen so if you really put place china's enemy a little more with and that's really than yours we meet with global news makers and talk about the stories that matter just 0 a journey of personal discovery my great grandfather he was a slave of the only property al-jazeera is james gannon expose his family's legacy of slave ownership young like my family's status and wealth has benefited from their choice to enslave people and america's debt to the black people today some of us all star we've askey to speak out as a surprise. al-jazeera correspondent a moral debt. al-jazeera
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. every. this is al-jazeera. hello i'm sam is a this is the news hour live from doha coming up in the next 60 minutes a military operation in china the fight against the coronavirus as more countries impose travel restrictions. more protests across iraq 24 hours off and the president announces a new prime minister will have a live report from baghdad. place in london say they shot and killed the man i lost .


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