WASHINGTON – Thursday saw a drastic spike in coronavirus cases with China reporting nearly 15,000 new infections and more than 250 more deaths.
The increase is due to expanded diagnosis criteria, allowing doctors to more quickly diagnose patients and begin treatment.
Worldwide, about 60,000 people are infected with this novel coronavirus – now labeled COVID-19 – and more than 1,300 people have died because of it.
The latest spike raises questions about China’s testing methods and numbers, resulting in the firing of two-party officials in Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak.
With the number of coronavirus cases on the rise, health officials are warning it could soon start spreading in the United States.
The newest case in the US was confirmed Thursday in San Diego at a quarantined military base.
Of the new cases confirmed outside China, nearly 50 were on board a Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan.
“As each day progresses, we are having additional people tested positive,” David Abel, a cruise ship passenger from the United Kingdom, said in a video recorded with his phone.
And a Holland America cruise ship has finally been cleared to dock in Cambodia after it was turned away from five different ports in Asia. No coronavirus cases have been confirmed on board, however.
“We’re all a bunch of humans that have lives outside of this cruise ship that need us,” said US passenger Angela Jones. “Families, children, pets, jobs.”
Now, help from Israel in the form of new technology could help curb the virus.
A facemask, made by Israeli company Argaman, has the ability to kill 99 percent of viruses, including the coronavirus.
“It kills all viruses, all bacteria, all fungus and will do it 100 percent of the time, all day, all night, seven days a week,” Argaman president Jeff Gabbay told CBN News. “You can wash it. You can bleach it. You can dye it. You can hit it with a baseball bat. It’s going to do its job.”
Israeli scientists use invisible soundwaves to inject copper particles, with antiviral properties, into cotton. These engineers then combine the ancient tradition of spinning cotton with today’s technology. The result is a mask far more effective than the standard N-95 mask used by millions.
The company is shipping these life-saving masks to Hong Kong.