Students line up to sanitize their hands to avoid the contact of coronavirus before their morning class at a hight school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
UPDATED 5:25 PM PT — Friday, February 14, 2020
The number of coronavirus cases in China has skyrocketed over the last 24 hours. On Friday, the Chinese government reported 5,000 new cases and 121 new deaths.
Over 2,100 of those infected are in severe condition. This brought the total number of coronavirus deaths to nearly 1,400 while the total number of confirmed cases has exceeded 63,000.
China’s financial minister said the country has allocated over $11.5 billion to combat the epidemic.
“We have made every effort to ensure epidemic prevention and control funding. As of February 13th, a total of $11.52 billion (has) been allocated from all-level governments, with $5.86 billion already spent. We have also issued a notice demanding financial departments at all levels put people’s life and health first, and implement all relevant policies.” – Ou Wenhan, Chinese Assistant Minister of Finance
Moving forward, officials are working to track down and test those who have had close contact with victims.
Personnels wearing protective suits wait near an entrance at the Cheung Hong Estate, a public housing estate during evacuation of residents in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Meanwhile, the U.S. military is making preparations to handle a possible pandemic of the deadly coronavirus. American troops around Asia have reportedly started enforcing a plan handed down by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Esper directed troops to take certain steps last month, including quarantining service members who have recently traveled to China. The protocol reportedly follows the Pentagon’s plan for dealing with the flu and other unknown diseases.
This came after the CDC confirmed the 15th case of the virus in the U.S. this week.
“The immediate risk of novel coronavirus remains low for the U.S. public at this time, (and) CDC is taking aggressive action to keep the nation safe,” the agency said in a statement. “COVID-19 represents an unprecedented public health threat and requires everyone’s continued cooperation.”