Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

The news cycle moves really fast, and can be difficult to keep up with. That’s why I decided to put together a timeline of COVID-19 (also called coronavirus). This blog post contains everything I could find about it from credible sources.

Before reading this blog post, you may want to read my previous blog post, A Timeline of COVID-19 – January 2020.

January 3, 2020: The Washington Post was the first to report (in March of 2020) that U.S. Intelligence reports warned President Donald Trump about coronavirus in January and February. That article is locked behind a paywall.

Vox posted an article on March 21, 2020, titled: “Intelligence reports warned about a pandemic in January. Trump reportedly ignored them.” It was written by Riley Beggin. Here is the portion of the article that is relevant to January 2020:

US intelligence officials reportedly warned President Donald Trump and Congress about the threats posed by the novel coronavirus beginning in early January – weeks before the White House and lawmakers began implementing stringent public health measures and as the president minimized the threat posed by the virus in his tweets and public statements.

The fact those warnings were largely disregarded – something first reported by the Washington Post’s Shane Harris, Greg Miller, Josh Dawsey, and Ellen Nakashima – suggests Trump administration officials failed to take action that could have prepared the health care system to handle an influx of patients, helped Americans avoid mass social distancing, and saved lives.

Top health officials first learned of the virus’s spread in China on January 3, US Health and Human Services Secretary said Friday. Throughout January and February, intelligence officials’ warnings became more and more urgent, according to The Post – and by early February, much of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA’s intelligence reports were dedicated to warnings about Covid-19…


The World Health Organization (WHO) posted daily reports about the number of confirmed daily cases of COVID-19, the number of daily deaths, the number of confirmed cumulative cases, and the number of confirmed deaths. I have put that information into this blog post.

I have left out the numbers of suspected cases because those cases had not yet been confirmed. You can click on the links to each WHO report if you want to see those numbers.


February 2020

February 1, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: 8

February 1, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted a report titled: “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 12”. From the report:

The main driver of transmission, based on currently available data, is symptomatic cases. WHO is aware of possible transmission of 2019-nCoV from infected people before they developed symptoms. Detailed exposure histories are being taken to better understand the pre-clinical phase of infection and how transmission may have occurred in these few instances. Asymptomatic infection may be rare, and transmission from an asymptomatic person is very rare with other coronaviruses, as we have seen with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus. Thus, transmission from asymptomatic cases is likely not a major driver of transmission. Persons who are symptomatic will spread the virus more readily through coughing and sneezing.

In China, 60.5% of all cases since the start of the outbreak have been reported from Hubei Province…

…Additional instances of human-to-human transmission outside China were reported…

Notable Epidemiological Events Reported in the Last 24 Hours:

In France, the first time outside China, a healthcare worker was diagnosed as being ill with 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease. The health worker treated two patients who were later identified as probable cases.

The first instance of third-generation human-to-human transmission outside China has been identified, in an individual who was exposed to a confirmed case from the cluster in Bavaria, Germany.

For the first time, a case was reported from a country other than China: a patient was identified in South Korea following their exposure in Japan to a confirmed case.

In the last 24 hours, additional instances of human-to-human transmission outside China were reported; in Japan, a tour guide who is part of the same cluster of Japanese cases who had contact with tourists from Wuhan; in Germany, a case that is part of the cluster in Bavaria; and in Thailand, a taxi driver who had no travel history to China.

Countries, territories or areas with reported cases of 2019-nCoV. Data as of 1 February 2020:

  • China (including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (13 confirmed cases) Macau SAR (7 confirmed cases) and Taipei (10 confirmed cases): 11821
  • Japan: 17
  • Republic of Korea: 12
  • Viet Nam: 6
  • Singapore: 16
  • Australia: 12
  • Malaysia: 8
  • Cambodia: 1
  • Philippines: 1
  • Thailand: 19
  • Nepal: 1
  • Sri Lanka: 1
  • India: 1
  • United States of America: 7
  • Canada: 4
  • France: 6
  • Finland: 1
  • Germany: 7
  • Italy: 2
  • Russian Federation: 2
  • Spain: 1
  • Sweden: 1
  • United Kingdom: 2
  • United Arab Emirates: 4
  • TOTAL: 11953

February 1, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Getting a little exercise this morning!” The tweet included a photo of the president playing golf.

February 1, 2020: Massachusetts Department of Public Health posted a press release titled: “Man returning from Wuhan, China is first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus confirmed in Massachusetts”. From the press release:

The first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Massachusetts has been confirmed by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) were notified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the positive reported in the United States. This is the eighth case of coronavirus reported in the United States. The risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.

The man recently traveled to Wuhan, China, and sought medical care soon after his return to Massachusetts. He has been isolated since that time and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. His few close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for any sign of symptoms…

DPH and BPHC continue to work closely with the CDC to maintain vigilance during this virus outbreak…

February 1, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia, The Honorable Scott Morrison MP, posted a transcript titled: “Press Conference – Sydney, NSW”. From the press conference:

Prime Minister: Good afternoon, thank you for coming together. Of course I’m joined by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Our Government is taking every step to keep Australians safe. And we’re taking further action in relation to coronavirus today which I’m going to run through with you and the Foreign Minister will make further comments on the action that we’re taking.

…Earlier today, the Australian Health Protection Principals Committee, which is the chief medical officers of all the states and territories and the Commonwealth, met. They met on the advice of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia, and they considered the changes in the epidemiology of coronavirus in China. They noted the increasing, but still relatively small number of cases in provinces outside Hubei Province and the now resulting risk posed from travellers from all of mainland China.

They agreed to the following to expand the case definition for the novel coronavirus infection from today, the 1st of February 2020 to apply to people from all of mainland China. It’s essentially addressing the issue of human to human transmission of coronavirus outside Hubei Province across the rest of mainland China.

They recommend that DFAT now increase travel advice to level four, which is do not travel to all of mainland China. And the Australian government is putting that in place now. As of today, all travellers arriving out of mainland China, not just Hubei province, as has been the case up until now, being asked and required to self isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China, and that finally to substantially reduce the volume of travellers coming from mainland China they recommend additional border measures be implemented to deny entry to Australia for people who have left or transited through mainland China from the 1st February today, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, and aircrews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment. And this applies to passengers transiting in Australia unless they are Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate families.

I convened a meeting of the National Security Committee this afternoon to receive that advice and that recommendation. And the National Security Committee has adopted all of those recommendations. What that means is the travel advice is changing. What that means is that if you come from mainland China at any time after 1st of February. Then you will be required to isolate for a period of 14 days. And for anyone other than Australian-citizens, Australian residents, dependents, legal guardians or spouses, then you will not be permitted entry into Australia. And the arrangements have been put in place through our border authorities to ensure that can be actioned.

In addition to that, there will be advanced screening and reception arrangements put into place at the major airports to facilitate, identifying and providing this information and ensuring appropriate precautions are being put in place.

There’s half a million masks that will be provided to these airports to support those who are coming off these flights, as well as those who are interacting with those coming off these flights, there will also be thermometers which are being provided to those airports and we’re working with those airport authorities now to ensure that we can put those arrangements in place.

That means there will be flights who will be arriving in the morning, the National Security Committee, with the support of the chief medical officer, has given discretion to the Border Force commissioner to deal with those flights in the morning. As they – it was his advice that they consider that the immediate threat is low. But we need to get these arrangements in place as soon as possible. So from the 1st of February, that’s the effective date that we’ll be seeking to determine whether someone has been in mainland China as opposed to more broadly in the Hubei province.

So these are further steps that we are taking, up until today it has not been the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, and our medical experts that this has been necessary. This is a matter that was even considered yesterday at the National Security Committee. And the advice yesterday was that these measures did not need to be put in place. Their advice today is that it should. And our action today is to put them in place…

February 1, 2020: Bloomberg News posted an article titled: “Coronavirus Death in Philippines is First Fatality Outside China”. It was written by Claire Jiao and Derek Wallbank. From the article:

A 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan died in the Philippines on Feb. 1 from the novel coronavirus, the first death recorded outside of China, the World Health Organization said on Sunday.

The man arrived in the Philippines on Jan. 21 accompanying the country’s first confirmed case, a 38-year-old woman, after they had traveled from Wuhan via Hong Kong, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said at a televised briefing in Manila. He was hospitalized on Jan. 25 after experiencing a fever, cough and sore throat, which developed into severe pneumonia…

…Earlier on Sunday, President Rodrigo Duerte widened his travel ban previously imposed on visitors from Hubei province to all of China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and also prohibited Filipinos from traveling to those areas, according to his spokesman, Salvador Panelo. Citizens returning from China and its spcial administrative regions must go into quarantine for 14 days, Panelo said…

…The 38-year-old woman is no longer showing symptoms for the coronavirus, the health secretary said. She had traveled with her companion to the central provinces of Cebu and Dumaguete after arriving from Hong Kong, and was hospitalized with him in Manila on Jan. 25…

February 1, 2020: Scottish Government posted news titled: “Novel coronavirus testing”. From the news:

Two Scottish facilities established.

Two testing facilities for possible cases of novel coronavirus are being established in Scotland.

From today (Monday) two laboratories, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh, will begin to process all tests from Scotland.

The new Scottish facilities mean negative test results can be returned quicker. Previously, all samples have been sent to London for testing…

…Background

Existing NHS laboratories based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh are being equipped with the technology to test for novel coronavirus.

Should a test result come back positive, the sample will be sent to Public Health England’s Colindale laboratory in London for a confirmatory test.

Under the terms of International Health Reulations, high consequence infectious diseases like novel coronavirus are reportable to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Positive tests from new testing centres across the UK are in the process of continuous validation and this requires additional confirmatory testing to be undertaken in the WHO designated testing centre at Colindale…


February 2, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 8

February 2, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report-13”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries have reported cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease in the last 24 hours.

WHO is receiving information about cases from a number of countries. As additional details become known, WHO requests countries to share information in a timely manner as specified in the guidance on Global Surveillance for human infection with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The first death has been reported outside China, in the Philippines. The patient was a close contact of the first patient confirmed in the Philippines.

Due to the high demand for timely and trustworthy information about 2019-nCoV WHO technical risk communication and social media teams have been working closely to track and respond to myths and rumours.

TECHNICAL FOCUS: Risk communication and community engagement:

Managing the 2019-nCoV ‘Infodemic’

The 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.

Due to the high demand for timely and trustworthy information about 2019-nCoV, WHO technical risk communication and social media teams have been working closely to track and respond to myths and rumours. Through its headquarters in Geneva, its six regional offices and partners, the Organization is working 24 hours a day to identify the most prevalent rumors that can potentially harm the public’s health, such as false prevention measures or cures. These myths are then refuted with evidence-based information. WHO is making public health information and advice on the 2019-CoV, including myth busters, available on its social media channels…and website.

County risk communications and community engagement (RCCE) preparedness and response

Country risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) is a critical public health intervention in all countries. Countries should prepare existing public health communication networks, media and community engagement staff to be ready for a possible case, and for the appropriate response if this happens. Countries should coordinate communications with other response organizations and include the community in response operations. WHO stands ready to coordinate with partners to support countries in their communication and community engagement response.

Ensuring a people-centered response to 2019-nCoV

An expanding group of global response organization such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (IFRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are coordinating efforts with WHO to ensure that biomedical recommendations can be applied at the community level. These organizations are active at the global, regional, and country level to ensure that affected populations have a voice and are part of the response. Ensuring that global recommendations and communication are tested, adapted and localized will help countries better control 2019-nCoV outbreak.

Situation in Numbers – total and new cases in the last 24 hours:

  • Globally – 14557 confirmed (2604 new)
  • China – 14411 confirmed (2590 new); 2110 severe (315 new); 304 deaths (45 new)
  • Outside of China – 146 confirmed (14 new); 23 countries; 1 death

WHO Risk Assessment:

China – Very High; Regional Level – High; Global Level – High

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 2 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 9074
  • Zhejaing: 661
  • Guangdong: 604
  • Henan: 493
  • Hunan: 463
  • Anhui: 340
  • Jiangxi: 333
  • Chongqing: 262
  • Sichuan: 236
  • Jiangsu: 231
  • Shandong: 225
  • Beijing: 183
  • Fuijan: 159
  • Shaanxi: 116
  • Guangxi: 111
  • Hebei: 104
  • Yunnan: 99
  • Heliongijang: 95
  • Liaoning: 64
  • Hainan: 63
  • Shanxi: 56
  • Gansu: 45
  • Tianjin: 40
  • Guizhou: 38
  • Ningxia: 28
  • Inner Mongolia: 26
  • Jilin: 21
  • Hong Kong SAR: 14
  • Taipei: 10
  • Qinghai: 9
  • Macau SAR: 7
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 14411

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV Data as of 2 February 2020:

  • China: 14411
  • Japan: 20
  • Republic of Korea: 15
  • Viet Nam: 7
  • Australia: 12
  • Malaysia: 8
  • Cambodia: 1
  • Philippines: 2
  • Thailand: 19
  • Nepal: 1
  • Sri Lanka: 1
  • India: 2
  • United States of America: 8
  • Canada: 4
  • France: 6
  • Finland: 1
  • Germany: 8
  • Italy: 2
  • Russian Federation: 2
  • Spain: 1
  • Sweden: 1
  • United Kingdom: 2
  • United Arab Emirates: 5
  • TOTAL: 14557

February 2, 2020: California Department of Public Health posted news release titled: “Six Confirmed Cases of Novel Coronavirus in California”. From the news release:

The California Department of Public Health has been informed of a new case of confirmed novel coronavirus 2019 in Santa Clara County. In addition, two people in San Benito County have tested positive, bringing California’s number of confirmed cases to six. This information is confirmed by Santa Clara County Public Health Department, the San Benito County Public Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Laboratory.

The two cases in San Benito County are spouses, one of whom traveled to China and one who did not. This marks the first instance of close household person-to-person transmission of novel coronavirus in California. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission in the general public in California.

Currently, the California Department of Public Health confirms a total of six cases of novel coronavirus in California: two people in Santa Clara County, two people in San Benito County, one person in Los Angeles County, and one person in Orange County have tested positive for novel coronavirus 2019…

…It is very important for people who have recently traveled and who become ill to notify their health care provider of their travel history. Those who have recently traveled to China or who have had contact with a person with possible novel coronavirus infection should contact their local health department or health care provider.

The Department of Public Health has been prepared and is continuing with the following actions:

  • Providing information about the outbreak and how to report suspect cases to local health departments and health care proiders in California.
  • Coordinating with federal authorities who plan to quarantine passengers returning to the U.S. from Hubei Province, China, through SFO and LAX.
  • Assuring that health care providers know how to safely manage persons with possible novel coronavirus 2019 infection.
  • Supporting hospitals and local public health laboraties for collection and shipment of specimens for testing at CDC for novel coronavirus 2019.
  • Activating the Department of Public Health’s Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response efforts across the state…

February 2, 2020: Agency YG Entertainment posted on Facebook: “WINNER [CROSS] TOUR ENCORE IN SEOUL Cancellation Notice”. From the notice:

Hello, this is YG Entertainment.

Thank you for your love and support for ‘WINNER [CROSS] TOUR ENCORE IN SEOUL.’

As the worldwide efforts in reducing the spread of Corona Virus (2019-nCoV) continues, YG is keeping a close watch on the situation, with the health and safety of the artist and fans at top priority.

Due to this situation, we are deeply sorry to announce that the cancellation of ‘WINNER [CROSS] TOUR ENCORE IN SEOUL’ on February 14th (Fri) & 15th (Sat) is confirmed.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused to everyone that made reservations. Those who have purchased tickets will recieve full refund through the original mode of payment. Full refund details will be available at the official booking websites.

We wish for the quick recovery for all those diagnosed with the Corina Virus, and wish to send our encouragement and support to the medical teams and all those working hard for preventative measures.

Thank you.

February 2, 2020: Billboard reported that Agency YG Entertainment cancelled AKMU’s February 8th and 9th concert dates in Changwon.

February 2, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Governor Cuomo Issues Update on Novel Coronavirus and Announces New Hotline Staffed by State Health Department Experts”. From the news:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an update on the status of testing for the novel coronavirus in New York State. As of today, samples from 12 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. Of those, 11 have come back negative. One sample, from New York City, is awaiting results from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York State.

Additionally, today the Governor announced New Yorkers can call a hotline… where Department of Health experts will be available to answer questions regarding the Novel Coronavirus. The Department of Health has created a dedicated website as a resource for New Yorkers…

…The Department of Health continues to provide preparedness guidance to New York’s health care facilities and local health departments and are working closely with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to adhere to CDC-led airport entry protocals for travelers arriving from China — which will take effect Sunday evening…

…Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “The Port Authority is working closely with federal, state and local partners to implement the mandated screening of international passengers. Protecting the public health and ensuring smooth operation of our airports is our number one priority and we are taking all appropriate steps to do that.”…

February 2, 2020: Billboard reported that GFriend decided to hold their February 3 showcase without an audience due to concerns about coronavirus. The event was streamed for fans on February 3, 2020.

February 2, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “French plane brings home more than 250 foreign nationals from epidemic-hit Wuhan to France”. From the article:

More than 250 people from 30 countries arrived in France on Sunday after being flown out of the Chinese city of Wuhan, the centre of an outbreak of coronavirus, French officials said.

The French plane landed at a military airbase in Istres, southern France.

Out of the 254 evacuees, 124 were returning to their home countries, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said.

Sixtyfour French nationals will be quarantined either at a holiday resort at Carry-le-Rouet or at the French National Fire Officers’ Academy near Aix-en-Province.

Sixty non-European nationals, including from Mexico, Brazil, Rwanda and Georgia, were staying in France for a 14-day quarantine. Twenty evacuees presented some coronavirus symptoms and stayed at the military airbase until tests show if they had the virus.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the plane carried nationals of 30 countries.

The Czech Republic said it had five citizens onboard and that they would fly on to Bruzzles to be taken home on a Czech plane.

Sweden said about 10 of its nationals were on the flight and would be taken to Sweden. Some British nationals were also onboard.

February 2, 2020: Government of Canada posted a news release titled: “Government of Canada evacuating Canadians from Wuhan, China”. From the news release:

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today announced the Government of Canada’s plan to assist Canadians who have requested help in departing from Wuhan.

Government officials have reached out to Canadians and are continuing to offer information and assistance. The Government of Canada has chartered a plane that is standing by. It will land in Hanoi, Vietnam, and deploy to Wuhan, where the airspace is currently closed, once the Government of China has given authorization to land. Work is also underway to comply with the Chinese requirements, including providing manifest details in advance of the flight departure and further documentation on the Canadians wishing to depart. Additionally, government officials and Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel are currently on their way to Hanoi and in the process of obtaining the necessary visas from the government of China to enter Wuhan.

Canadian official are in constant contact with Canadians who have requested assistance to facilitate their departure from the affected region. Staff from the Embassy of Canada to China in Beijing, as well as members of Global Affairs Canada’s Standing Rapid Deployment Team, are now deployed to Wuhan to prepare for the departure of the flight.

To protect the health and safety of Canadians – both those who are coming to and those who are already in Canada – the returning individuals will undergo a thorough health screening before boarding, during flight and upon arrival at CFB Trenton, Ontario.

The Government of Canada is working with provincial, territorial and local health authorities to support Canadians who may require further medical attention to be safely transferred to the health-care system upon their arrival. All other returning Canadians, including staff and flight crew, will remain at CFB Trenton for 14 days for further medical assessment and observation, and be provided with all the necessary medical and other supports as needed to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians…

February 2, 2020: The U.S. Department of State issued a China Travel Advisory – Level 4: Do Not Travel. From the Travel Advisory:

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the impact of COVID-19.

Do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of travel restrictions with little or no advance notice. Most commercial air carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.

Those currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means. U.S. citizens remaining in China should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chinese health authorities’ guidance for prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment. We strongly urge U.S. citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including in large gatherings. Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home. In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to U.S. nationals within China may be limited.

In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have suspended air, road, and rail travel in the area around Wuhan and placed restrictions on travel and other activities throughout the country. On January 22, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan. On January 29, 2020, the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of U.S. government employees from China. On January 31, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members under age 21 of U.S. personnel in China…

February 2, 2020: NYC, The Official Website of the City of New York, posted a transcript titled: “Transcript: Mayor De Blasio Holds Media Availability To Discuss First Suspected Case of Coronavirus in New York City”. From the transcript:

Mayor Bill de Blasio: About a week ago, I reported New Yorkers on the status of the coronavirus and I said at that point it was a question of not if but when. And now, we have our first case under investigation here in New York City. This individual, this patient who is being evaluated right now did exactly as they should have – followed the guidelines that the City of New York put out and they met these specific criteria: they had traveled to China, they did have the specific symptoms associated with coronavirus, and they did come to get medical care here at the hospital – exactly what we want anyone in a similar situation to do. We will in the next 48 hours, hopefully sooner, get results back from the testing of this individual.

If this is a positive case, we’ll confirm that publicly right away. And the individual of course will be treated until they are at a point where they are no longer symptomatic and contageous. Also, if it turns out to be a positive case, the Department of Health will do the work that it is well known for in tracing back all substantial contacts the individual’s had to ensure that anyone else who may have been affected gets the potential medical treatment they need. That work would start immediately in the instance of a positive measure.

What I would say as a non-doctor, and then you’ll hear from our Commissioner of Health, is there is still a lot we do not know aabout the coronavirus, a lot the global medical community does not know. What we do know, causes us a tremendous amount of concern and causes the City of new York to be in a high state of readiness.

This is a disease now with over 12,000 cases worldwide. Eight of them here in the United States and 259 individuals have died so far globally. We take it very, very seriously and we will use all measures at our disposal to protect New Yorkers. And obviously we are working now with the guidance provided by the federal government and we’re going to work immediately to implement that guidance. There’s a lot we have to work through with the Centers for Disease Control. There are many outstanding issues, but what’s clear is we’re going to work immediately to keep all New Yorkers safe…

…With that, I’ll turn to our Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot…

…Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Good evening. So, as the Mayor says, we are confirming our first individual who has been designated as a patient under investigation. This individual did what we have been asking New Yorkers to do, which is if you have traveled to affected areas in China within the last 14 days and you have symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, or you’re feeling unwell, to contact your doctor or to seek care in an emergency department.

Additionally, this particular situation really highlights the fact that all of the measures that we have put in place with our partners are working the way that they should be working. So that when the patient presented here to Bellevue, they were appropriately evaluated, the appropriate first line tests were done to rule out a potentially common virus that could have been accounting for those symptoms, and they immediately called us when they had the information that indeed there was positive travel and a negative BioFire.

Because of patient confidentiality, we’re not going to share any detailed information…

February 2, 2020: South China Morning Post posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: Apple closes stores in China amid outbreak.” From the article:

The ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus caused Apple to temporarily close its 42 stores in mainland China, one of its largest markets, on Saturday as the death toll in the country rose to 259.

The iPhone maker said in a statement it was closing stores, corporate offices and contact centres in China until February 9 “out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts.”…

…Apple’s online store will remain open…

February 2, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “China Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 2, 2020

China – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Global Heath Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concerns (PHEIC). Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of travel restrictions with little or no advance notice. Most commercial air carriers have been reduced or suspended routes to and from China.

Those currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means. U.S. citizens remaining in China should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chinese health authorities’ guidance for prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment. We strongly urge U.S. citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings. Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home. In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to U.S. nationals within China may be limited.

In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have suspended air, road, and rail travel in the area around Wuhan and placed restrictions on travel and other activities throughout the country. On January 23, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan. On January 29, 2020, the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of the U.S. government employees from China. On January 31, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members under age 21 of U.S. personnel in China…


February 3, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: 11

February 3, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a “Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: CDC Update on Novel Coronavirus”. From the transcript:

…Benjamin Haynes: …We are joined by Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of CDC National Center for Respiratory Diseases. She wil be provding remarks. I’d like to now turn the call over.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier: Thank you for joining us today. Since we last briefed you CDC has confirmed additional five infections with novel coronavirus in the United States bringing the total number of confirmed positives in the U.S. to 11. The new cases include one patient identified in Massachusetts and four more in California. Four of the five patients have travel history to Wuhan, China. One patient in California is a close household contact of another patient in California. This is the second instance of person-to-person spread in the United States.

We expect to see more cases of person-to-person spread among close contacts. And we continue to expect this will happen given the explosive nature of this outbreak in China and our very aggressive public health response where we are putting a lot of resources into finding infections this virus.

As of this morning, 167 persons under investigation, or PUIs as we call them, have tested negative for infection with the novel virus. We currently have testing pending on 82 PUIs. Some of the 82 that are pending include samples in transit to CDC. As we have reported earlier, CDC has developed a real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction or RTT-PCR test that can detect 2019 Novel Coronavirus and respiratory and serum specimins from clinical specimens. On January 24, CDC publicly posted the assay protocol for this test. CDC has isolated the virus, and this week it is being sent to the NIH resource repository for use by the broad scientific community.

I’m pleased to report that, today CDC plans to submit an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA package to FDA. The EUA process expedites the use of potentially life-saving medical or diagnostic products during a public health emergency. Once approved, the EUA will allow public health labs across the United States to use the CDC developed diagnostic assay. This will greatly enhance our national capacity to test for this virus. In preparation for that approval, CDC has shipped the test to the International Reagent Resource so that States and international partners can begin ordering the test for their use.

Also on the topic of the test, I want to clarify something I said on Friday in relation to the people quarantined at March Air Reserve Base, that even if an initial screening test comes back from CDC’s laboratory, it does not guarantee these people won’t get sick. There has been some confusion about that statement, and some people have taken it to mean the test doesn’t work. That is not the case at all. This is an accurate test. A negative test most likely means a person is not infected. However, it may mean that an infection has not developed enough to determine if someone is infected with this new virus has not yet been determined. When confirming infections, CDC asks for multiple different types of samples from patients, including from the nose and throat.

On Friday, the U.S. government also took unprecedented steps in the area of travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus…

…Now I want to talk you through the specifics of the travel policies announced late Friday afternoon. We have a presidential proclamation in palce that suspends entry of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days into the United States. There are some exceptions. Sorry, there are some exemptions including for immediate family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. These people will be allowed into the United States…

…We are also putting into place measure to detect this virus among those who are allowed entry into the United States who are entering the country within 14 days of having been in Hubei province or the rest of mainland China. All of these passengers will be directed to one of 11 U.S. airports. At those airports, American citizens and exempted persons who have been in Hubei province in the previous 14 days will have an additional health assessment. They will be screened for fever, cough, difficulty breathing. If symptomatic, American citizens and those who are exempt will be transferred for further medical evaluation. They will not be able to complete their itinerary and will be isolated for 14 days. If asymptomatic, American citizens and those who are exempt will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at or near that location…

Dr. Nancy Messonnier: I want to give you an update on another activity. The Department of State is bringing more people back from Wuhan. The first plane arrived last week. More are planned. Over the weekend CDC sent four additional teams to specific Department of Defense locations where those planes will arrive. These passengers, like the ones in March air reserve base, will be under Federal quarantine that will last 14 days from when the planes left Wuhan, China. Medical staff will monitor the health of these people, including temperature checks and observation for respiratory symptoms. Medical care will be readily available at the first onset of symptoms. We do not believe these people pose a risk to the communities where they are being temporarily housed as we are taking measures to minimize any exposure…

February 3, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 14 – Erratum”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.

WHO has developed a dashboard for Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) with the number of confirmed cases globally, which includes in China by provinces, regions and cities, as well as confirmed cases outside China by country.

WHO has prepared a list of Q&A to respond to queries WHO is receiving from various organizations and individuals.

Working with technical experts in health operations, WHO operational support and logistics have developed a “2019-nCoV kit”, similar to prepared kits used for outbreaks of other high threat pathogens. In the coming days, the costing, procurement and assembly of these kits will be a priority.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 3 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 11177
  • Zhejiang: 724
  • Guangdong: 683
  • Henan: 566
  • Hunan: 521
  • Anhui: 408
  • Jiangxi: 391
  • Chongqing: 300
  • Jiangsu: 271
  • Sichuan: 254
  • Shandong: 246
  • Beijing: 212
  • Shanghai: 193
  • Fujian: 179
  • Shaanxi: 128
  • Guangxi: 127
  • Heilongijang: 118
  • Hebei: 113
  • Yunnan: 109
  • Liaoning: 70
  • Hainan: 70
  • Shanxi: 66
  • Gansu: 51
  • Tianjun: 49
  • Guizhou: 46
  • Inner Mongolia: 33
  • Jilin: 31
  • Ningxia: 31
  • Xinjaing: 24
  • Hong Kong SAR: 15
  • Qinghai: 13
  • Taipei: 10
  • Macao SAR: 8
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 17238

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths:

  • China: Confirmed new cases: 17238 (2831); Total (new) deaths: 361 (57) Confirmed cases in China include Hong Kong SAR (15 confirmed cases (1 new)), Macao SAR (8 confirmed cases (1 new)); and Taipei (10 confirmed cases.
  • Japan: Confirmed new cases: 20; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Republic of Korea: Confirmed (new) cases: 15; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Viet Nam: Confirmed (new) cases: 8 (1); Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Singapore: Confirmed (new) cases: 18; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Australia: Confirmed (new) cases: 12; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Malaysia: Confirmed (new) cases: 8; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Cambodia: Confirmed (new) cases: 1; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Philippines: Confirmed (new) cases: 2; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Thailand: Confirmed (new) cases: 12; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Nepal: Confirmed (new) cases 1; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Sri Lanka: Confirmed (new) cases 1; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • India: Confirmed (new) cases: 3 (1); Total (new) deaths: 0
  • United States of America: Confirmed (new) cases: 11 (3); Total (new) deaths 0
  • Canada: Confirmed (new) cases: 4; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • France: Confirmed (new) cases: 6; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Finland: Confirmed (new) cases: 1; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Germany: Confirmed (new) cases: 10 (2); Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Italy: Confirmed (new) cases: 2; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Russian Federation: Confirmed (new) cases 2; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Spain: Confirmed (new) cases: 1; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • Sweden: Confirmed (new) cases; 1; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • United Kingdom: Confirmed (new) cases: 2; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • United Arab Emirates: Confirmed (new) cases: 5; Total (new) deaths: 0
  • TOTAL: Confirmed new cases 17391 (2838); Total (new) deaths: 362 (57)

February 3, 2020: BBC posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: First death outside China reported in Philippines”. From the article:

A man has died of the coronavirus in the Philippines, the first confirmed fatality outside China.

The patient was a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, in Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.

He appeared to have been infected before arriving in the Philippines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

More than 300 have died in the outbreak, so far, but the vast majority from Hubei. More than 14,000 people have been infected…

The US, Australia and an increasing number of other countries have barred the arrival of foreigners from China and are requiring their own citizens to be quarantined…

…The man traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan, via Hong Kong, with a 38-year-old Chinese woman who also tested positive last week, the Philippines Department of Health said.

Officials said he was admitted to a hospital in the capital, Manila, where he developed severe pneumonia.

The man is thought to have had other pre-existing health conditions.

Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the WHO representative to the Philippines, urged people to remain calm: “This is the first reported death outside China. However, we need to take into mind that this is not a locally acquired case. This patient came from the epicentre of this outbreak.”

The Department of Health was now trying to track down people who were on the same flight as the man so that they could be quarantined, he said, as well as any other people the man and woman may have come into contact with, such as hotel staff…

February 3, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “I hope Republicans & the American people realize that the totally partisan Impeachment Hoax is exactly that, a Hoax. Read the Transcripts, listen to what the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said (“No Pressure”). Nothing will ever satisfy the Do Nothing, Radical Left Dems!”

February 3, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Republicans in Iowa, go out and Caucus today. Your great Trade Deals with China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Korea and more, are DONE. Great times are coming, after waiting for decades, for our Farmers, Ranchers, Manufacturers and ALL. Nobody else could have pulled this off.”

February 3, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

February 3, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”

February 3, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Big WIN for us in Iowa tonight. Thank you!

February 3, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: death toll passes Sars virus as dozens more die in Wuhan”. It was written by Lily Kuo. From the article:

Dozens more people have died in the city at the centre of China’s coronavirus outbreak, where hospitals are severely understaffed and residents have been described as increasingly desperate conditions.

Chinese state media reported 57 new deaths on Monday, all but one in Wuhan, the state capital of the central province of Hubei which has been under lockdown for almost two weeks as authorities try to contain the outbreak.

The foreign ministry issued an urgent appeal for protective medical equipment as the total number of casualties reached 361, surpassing deaths in mainland China caused by the 2002-03 Sars virus. The number of infections also jumped, passing 17,200…

…Authorities in provinces that are home to more than 300 million people – including Guangdong, the country’s most populous – have ordered everyone to wear masks in public in an effort But factories capable of producing about 20 million masks a day are only operating at between 60 and 70% capacity, according to the ministry of industry…

…The state news agency Xinhua said 68 medical teams of 8,300 staff from across China had been sent to Hubei. One of two new emergency hospitals built in the last 10 days to house patients infected by the virus was due to open on Monday. State media said 1,400 military medics would be sent to run the facility…

…On Monday, hundreds of medical workers in Hong Kong walked out of their jobs to protest against the refusal by the chief executive, Carrie Lam, to shut the city’s border with China. Hong Kong, which is particularly vulnerable because of its proximity to China and constant flow of Chinese tourists, has confirmed 15 cases of the coronavirus..

February 3, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Far from virus epicentre, China’s Wenzhou city scrambles to curb outbreak”. From the article:

…Wenzhou is more than 680 km (425 miles) from Wuhan, where the epidemic was first reported, but its problems underscore the challenges faced by China’s big cities as they grapple with the rapidly spreading disease.

Wenzhou had 291 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up 26 on the day and the most of any city outside Hubei province, where Wuhan city is located.

Under restrictions implemented on Saturday, only one person per household is allowed to leave home at a time, and markets, shopping centres and entertainment venues have been closed.

Wenzhou is used to large numbers of people flowing in and out. Its reputation as a centre of Chines and global manufacturing and commerce gave authorities little choice but to impose draconian restrictions on movement, residents said…

…Wenzhou began implementing “special measures” at the start of February. City officials told a briefing on Jan. 31 that most of the original confirmed cases had travelled back from Wuhan, but the virus had spread elsewhere.

Of the 26 new cases reported in Wenzhou on Feb. 2, 23 had no links to Wuhan and 17 had direct contact with other confirmed coronavirus patients, according to official data…

…Wuhan itself reported 5,142 confirmed cases so far, with another 1,246 in neighbouring Huanggang..

Wenzhou businesses will not be allowed to return to work until Feb. 18, and the city has also ordered schools to close until March 1, on of the longest suspensions in the country…

…Wenzhou has so far seen no fatalities. The total number of deaths in China from the epidemic rose to 361 as of Sunday, up 57 from the previous day, health authorities said…

February 3, 2020: People’s Daily China (the largest newspaper in China) tweeted: A one-month-old infant has been confirmed as having been infected with the novel #coronavirus in Guizhou Province on Feb 3, according to the local health authority”.

The tweet included a photo of a doctor who is covered by protective gear next to a bed. The infant is not shown.

February 3, 2020: Gizmodo posted an article titled: “Uber Suspends 240 Accounts in Mexico Over User Suspected to Have Coronavirus”. It was written by Judy Serrano. From the article:

As the coronavirus outbreak rages on, its effects are being felt around the world. In Mexico, Uber felt compelled to act when it learned that its drivers had possibly come into contact with a person suspected to have coronavirus. Consequently, it temporarily deactivated the accounts of 240 users who had also travelled with the drivers in Mexico City.

Uber informed its users about the incident in a statement posted to Twitter [in Spanish] this weekend. In the statement, the company said that it had received information about a rider suspected of being infected with coronavirus from Mexico City’s Health Department. Uber proceeded to provide the department with the contact information of two drivers that had possibly been in contact with that users.

Nonetheless, it did not stop there. It explains in the statement that it temporarily deactivated the accounts of 240 users that had also travelled with the two drivers and informed them that they could contact Mexico’s Epidemiological Intelligence and Health Unit (UIES) for more information or to report symptoms…

…Mexico currently does not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Feb.2 Situation Report. There are 14,557 confirmed cases globally in 23 countries. As of Sunday, there have been 304 deaths, all of which except one have been in China..

February 3, 2020: South China Morning Post posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: Hong Kong faces escalated medical strike despite government move to expand border closures”. It was written by Tony Cheung, Sum Lok-kei, Chris Lau, and Chan Ho-him. From the article:

Hong Kong’s embattled leader has buckled under intense public and political pressure to announce a further closure of the city’s borders with mainland China to keep out the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, but still stopping short of the total shutdown demanded by public hospital workers who vowed to escalate a strike they began on Monday.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Monday said all border crossings would be closed, except for the Hong Kong – Zhuhai- Macau Bridge, Shenzhen Bay Port and the international airport, even as the city confirmed its first case of human-to-human coronavirus infection.

The Centre for Health Protection said the city’s 15th case, confirmed on Sunday night to be the mother of a 39-year-old coronavirus patient from Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom, had been infected through close contact with her son.

The 72-year-old woman had not traveled in the 14 days before she fell ill and was quarantined at the Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village.

Appearing at a media briefing without wearing a face mask this time, Lam said major land crossings at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau would be closed at midnight, along with the Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal – the three accounted for about 60 per cent of cross-border passenger traffic in 2018.

The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, with far lower traffic in comparison, would remain open…

…After the first six checkpoints were closed, the number of Hong Kong, mainland and other travellers entering the city had dropped by 57 per cent, 62 per cent and 49 per cent respectively, she said.

But as more than 100,000 people had still crossed the border on Sunday, the additional closures were necessary…

February 3, 2020: U.S. Senator Rick Scott (Republican – Florida) posted a press release on his official website titled: “Hong Kong Democracy Activist Nathan Law to Join Sen. Rick Scott as Guest at State of the Union”. From the press release:

Today, Senator Rick Scott announced Nathan Law as his guest to Tuesday’s State of the Union Address. Nathan Law is the founding Chair of Demosistō, a youth activist group in Hong Kong that promotes freedom and democracy. Nathan was forcefully unseated as a Hong Kong lawmaker under suppression from Communist China, and is currently a Yale graduate student.

Senator Rick Scott: “I am honored to have Nathan as my guest at the State of the Union. Nathan is an inspiration in the fight for freedom and democracy, and he has sent a powerful message to Communist China that the people of Hong Kong will not back down or be silenced. The United States will always stand with fighters like Nathan to rise up against injustice and fight for freedom. We cannot let Communist China and General Secretary Xi continue to silence the people of Hong Kong, and the world must stand together to present a unified front against Communist China’s aggression.”

February 3, 2020: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Republican – Florida) posted a press release on his official website titled: “Rubio to Host Uyghur Human Rights Activist and Florida’s Lt. Governor as His Guests for State of the Union”. From the press release:

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will host prominent Uyhgur human rights activist Rushan Abbas and Florida’s Lieutenant Governor, Jeanette Núñez, as his guests to President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening. Rubio has repeatedly condemned the mass internment of an estimated 1.8 million ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. As the Senior Senator for the State of Florida, Rubio will also welcome and host Florida’s Lieutinent Governor as his guest…

February 3, 2020: Reuters reported (via Yahoo! News) that the China Development Fourm, usually held in late-March, has been postponed until further notices. The source is listed as “Media Representative”.

February 3, 2020: AFP News Agency tweeted: “#BREAKING Chinese city of Hangzhou locks down three districts over virus fears: authorities #coronavirus”

February 3, 2020: AFP News Agency tweeted: “UPDATE: The city of Taizhou and three districts of the city of Hangzhou — including the area with the main office of Chinese tech giant Alibaba — will now only allow one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, officials say.”

February 3, 2020: William Yang (for DW News – a German news site) tweeted: “More on #coronavirus – In Guizhou, local health officials recorded a confirmed case, and the patient is a one-month-old infant. She is now receiving treating in quarantine and her conditions are stable.”

February 3, 2020: BBC posted an article titled: “Cameroonian student in China contracts coronavirus”. From the article:

A 21-year-old Cameroonian student in China has become the first African known to be diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus.

In a statement, Yangtze University said the student was being treated in hospital in southern Jingzhou city after contracting the illness while on a visit to Wuhan city, the epicenter of the outbreak.

He had returned to Jingzhou, where he lived, on 19 January, before a lockdown was imposed in Wuhan to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 200 people…

…In a statement, the university said:

“The university has provided psychological comfort to the student and has reported the situation to his parents and embassy.

At present, the student is actively cooperating with the treatment at the hospital.

His body temperature was normal for two consecutive days.

He has a good spirit and a healthy appetite and his vital organs are stable.”…

February 3, 2020: U.S. Department of Defense posted news titled: “Pentagon Spokesman Discusses Coronavirus Response Assistance”. It was written by Jim Garamone, DOD News. From the news:

The Defense Department is standing by to provide assistance to the Department of Health and Human Services to combat the coronavirus, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said today.

Hoffman said DOD is housing 198 people at March Air Reserves Base, California, and has identified housing support for up to 1,000 people at four bases who may need to be quarantined upon arrival from oversees travel, he said during a Pentagon news conference.

The department is not involved with treatment or observation of those at the facility; Health and Human Services is doing that. “DOD personnel will not be in direct contact with these individuals nor will these individuals have direct access to the bases beyond the housing,” Hoffman said…

…The four bases where people could be housed if they are quarantined are: the 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute in Fort Carlson, Colorado; Travis Air Force Base, California; Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California…

February 3, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Hyundai to halt South Korea output as China virus disrupts parts supply”. It was written by Joyce Lee and Hyunjoo Jin. From the article:

Hyundai Motor… will suspend production in South Korea because the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the supply of parts, it said, becoming the first major carmaker to do so outside China.

The flu-like virus has killed more than 400 people and its economic impact has spread beyond mainland China…

…Hyundai and Kia may be more affected as they tend to import more parts from China than other global automakers,” said Lee Hang-koo, senior researcher at the Korea Institute for industrial Economics & Trade…

…Hyundai has built huge production capacity in China over the past two decades.

“South Korean parts makers followed and built their own facilities along with Hyundai,” Lee said…

…Most of Hyundai’s South Korean factories will be fully idled from Feb. 7, with some production lines expected to restart on Feb. 11 or Feb 12, a union official said, declining to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.

Schedules for suspension will vary by production line, a Hyundai spokeswoman said.

The move follows a shortage of wiring harnesses, which Hyundai sources mainly in China, industry officials said.

Two of the affected suppliers, Kyungshin and Yura Corporation, said they were trying to boost production at their factories in South Korea and Southeast Asia to compensate for the disrupted supply from China.

Both plan to resume production at their Chinese factories after Feb. 9…

…Hyundai has seven factories in South Korea, catering for the local market and the United States, Europe, Middle East and other markets…

February 3, 2020: Gov.UK posted a press release titled: “£20m announced to fund vaccines for coronavirus and other infectious diseases”. From the press release:

The government has today pledged £20 million to develop new vaccines to combat the world’s deadliest diseases, amid concerns over the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

When visiting the Public Health England’s Porton Down laboratory last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the UK will ramp up efforts to fund ground-breaking research into vaccines, diagnostics and cures to fight against the threat of future viruses.

The new funding will support work developing new vaccines for epidemics, including their three new programmes to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. These projects aim to advance 2019-nCoV vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible….

…The £20 in funding will go to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) – an innovative global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations launched in Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics.

CEPI was originally formed in response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa…

…The Government is also in initial stages of talks between NIHR and UKRI regarding plans to run a rapid research call to support the global response to 2019-nCoV.


February 4, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 11

February 4, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 15”. From the report.

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the 24 hours since the previous situation report.

The business sector is one audience to whom EPI-WIN is reaching out with tailored information. EPI-WIN colleagues co-hosted a call with a global communications firm whose clients include large multinationals. Over 50 multinationals were represented on the call, where WHO provided an update of the 2019-nCoV situation and responded to questions about improving communications with employees; the role of businesses in a public health crisis; and managing uncertainty through accessing accurate information.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 4 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 13522
  • Zhejang: 849
  • Guangdong: 797
  • Henan: 675
  • Hunan: 593
  • Anhui: 480
  • Jiangxi: 476
  • Chongqing: 337
  • Jiangsu: 308
  • Sichuan: 282
  • Beijing: 228
  • Shanghai: 208
  • Fujian: 194
  • Heilongjiang: 155
  • Shaaxi: 142
  • Guangxi: 139
  • Hebei: 126
  • Yunnan: 117
  • Hainan: 79
  • Liaoning: 74
  • Shanxi: 74
  • Tianjin: 63
  • Gansu: 56
  • Guizhou: 56
  • Jilin: 42
  • Inner Mongolia: 37
  • Ningxia: 34
  • Xinjiang: 29
  • Hong Kong SAR: 15
  • Qinghai: 15
  • Taipei: 10
  • Macau SAR: 8
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 20471

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 4 February 2020

  • China – including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (15 confirmed cases), Macau SAR (8 confirmed cases), and Taipei (10 confirmed cases): 20471 cases (3235 new)/ 425 deaths (64 new).
  • Japan: 20 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 16 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 9 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Singapore: 18 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 12 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 10 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 2 cases (0 new)/ 1 death
  • Thailand: 19 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 11 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 4 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 6 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 12 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Kingdom: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 5 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths

February 4, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Market up big today on very good economic news. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”

February 4, 2020: South China Morning Post posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: two more cases confirmed in Hong Kong, suspected to have been transmitted locally, hours after city confirms first death.” It was written by Alvin Lum and Sum Lok-kei. From the article:

Hong Kong has confirmed two more cases of the deadly new coronavirus, just hours after a 39-year-old man became the first to die in the city after being infected.

Health officials said there was no obvious source of infection for the two most recent cases but it was suspected it had been transmitted locally. It took the total number of cases in the city to 17.

Dr Chaung Skuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, said so far four confirmed cases presented “no obvious source of infection”, and warned of the possibility of outbreaks in the community.

“It is highly probably the four cases were infected locally, so there could be invisible chains of infection happening within communities,” Chuang said. “We do not rule out a large spread [of the virus] in the future.”

The Department of Health said neither patient had any recent travel history to mainland China nor family members who had crossed the border.

The first of the new cases concerned a woman, 64, who went to work at a clothing store in Jordon, Kowloon while displaying symptoms on January 23.

The department said they were not sure how many people had been in contact with the female patient, as she was in a deteriorating state and on a ventilator.

The other, a 60 year-old male retiree, visited four private clinics before he was taken to hospital and later tested positive for the virus.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, a man being treated for the virus at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, died after his condition deteriorated. He had suffered sudden heart failure, according to medical sources…

February 4, 2020: Australian Government Department of Home Affairs posted a statement titled: “Statement on visa cancellations – enhanced border control measures”. From the statement:

The health and welfare of the Australian community is the Australian Government’s highest priority. This includes all people in Australia of all nationalities, including citizens, permanent residents and temporary visa holders alike.

On the 1st of February 2020, the Government announced border measures to reduce the risk to the Australian community posed by Novel Coronavirus.

The National Security Committee agreed to give the Australian Border Force Commissioner discretionary powers to make decisions in relation to the arrival in Australia of persons who were in transit when the announcement was made.

This arrangement was put in place in anticipation of the arrival of a limited number of flights carrying people who did not meet the new entry requirements, particularly during the initial period following the announcement.

A number of visas were cancelled upon arrival in Australia, as they were assessed to be ineligible to enter Australia under Australia’s enhanced border control measures.

The Australian Border Force Commissioner has used his discretionary powers to provide border clearance to a number of individuals to allow them to enter Australia. For most people, this occurred at the airport. Others were placed in an alternative place of detention – serviced apartments – while their case was assessed.

All of these individuals undertook health screening and were counselled to self-isolate for a period of 14 days, in the same way as others who are exempt from the enhanced border control measures.

The ABF and the Department is working with impacted individuals to discuss future visa options.

The Commissioner will continue to exercise his discretion to ensure the enhanced border control measures are applied fairly and appropriately, in consultation with Australian Government and industry partners including the Departments of Education, Health and Agriculture.

February 4, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Governor Cuomo Issues Update on Novel Coronavirus”. From the news:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an update on the status of testing for the novel coronavirus in New York State. As of today, samples from 17 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. Of those, 11 have come back negative. Three samples from New York City and three samples from New York State outside of New York City are pending, for six total pending samples. There are still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York State…

February 4, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “First coronavirus death in Hong Kong as four more cities are locked down”. It was written by Lily Kuo and Emma Graham-Harrison. From the article:

Hong Kong reported its first death from the coronavirus and four major Chinese cities hundreds of miles from the centre ordered lockdowns as concerns about the spread of the disease mounted.

The country’s leadership admitted “shortcomings” in its handling of the outbreak, with the number of infections and deaths still mounting daily. The death toll inside China has passed 420 and Britain has advised its citizens to leave the country.

A 39-year-old man with an underlying health condition died in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning, according to broadcaster RTHK.

His death is the second outside mainland after a Chinese national from Wuhan was confirmed on Sunday to have died in the Philippines.

China announced 64 more deaths on Tuesday – surpassing Monday’s record to confirm the biggest daily increase since the virus was detected late last year in the central province of Hubei.

The Virus has killed at least 426 people, exceeding the 349 mainland deaths from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak of 2002-03, which killed nearly 800 globally…

…The vast majority of cases are still concentrated in and around Wuhan, the Hubei provincial capital, which has been on lockdown for nearly two weeks. But with increasing numbers of infections registered in other parts of China, some of the worst-hit areas are also bringing in radical measures.

Several cities in Zhejiang, a coastal province with a strong trade and manufacturing heritage, have shut schools, businesses, markets and shopping centres, cut off most public transport and barred residents from leaving their homes except to buy necessities or seek medical treatment…

…The virus is taking an increasing economic toll, shutting businesses, curbing international travel and affecting production lines of global brands.

China’s currency and stock markets steadied in choppy trade after anxiety over the virus hit the yuan on Monday and erased about £308bn in market value from Shanghai’s benchmark. Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub, said it had asked all casino operators to suspend operations for two weeks to help curb the spread of the virus.

Wuhan, a bustling industrial hub where the virus first infected humans, has been turned into a near ghost town as a de facto quarantine continues.

Residents say they are unable to find hospitals to care for their sick relatives. Several hospitals require patients to first get a referral from local community health centres, many of which are also overwhelmed. As the city remains under lockdown, with public transport and roads shut, people are also struggling to get to health facilities..

…France recommended its citizens – particularly those with families – should leave China “temporarily,” and recommended against all but “essential” travel to the country.”…

February 4, 2020: US News posted an article titled: “National Symphony Cancels 3 China Concerts Due to Virus”. From the article:

The National Symphony Orchestra has cancelled two concerts in Beijing and one in Shanghai next month following China’s virus outbreaks.

Music director Gianadrea Noseda had been scheduled to lead performances in Beijing on March 13 and 14 followed by a concert in Shanghai on March 17, all with Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang. The orchestra said Tuesday the decision was made due to U.S. State Department travel restrictions and the cancellations of its scheduled flights.

The orchestra’s first international tour under Noseda was shortened to five performances in Japan from March 6-11, with stops in Fukui, Sakai, Hiroshima and Tokyo…

February 4, 2020: CGTN posted an article titled: “Huoshenshan Hospital starts operation”. From the article:

Huoshenshan Hospital, a SARS treatment-model makeshift hospital in Wuhan, started admitting patients on Tuesday morning.

The first batch of 50 patients from three hospitals, including Wuchang Hospital and Hankou Houspital, has been transferred to the newly built hospital and the patients are undergoing treatment.

The hospital, built in 10 days, was formally delivered to military medics on Sunday morning.

Covering an area of 34,000 square meters, the hospital provides 1,000 beds for coronavirus patients who are gradually transferred to the hospital…

February 4, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Thailand evacuates 138 from virus-hit Wuhan”. It was written by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Patpicha Tanakasempipat. From the article:

A plane brought 138 Thais home from China’s coronavirus epicenter of Wuhan on Tuesday and they waved from evacuation busses as they headed off to two weeks in quarantine to ensure they are free from the disease.

Thailand, which has confirmed more cases of the new coronavirus than any country except China, announced a further six on Tuesday – bringing the total to 25.

Six of the evacuees from Wuhan were sent to hospitals with high temperatures after they arrives at the U-Tapao airport abord a Thai AirAsia evacuation flight, public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters…

…The others will be quarantined for 14 days in a naval resort in Sattahip, 180 km (112 miles) east of Bangkok, monitored closely…

…Three other Thais were not allowed to leave Wuhan, which has been in lockdown to try to stop the spread of the disease that has killed more than 420 people since it emerged early last month.

Thai authorities thanked China for helping the evacuation and said King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida had sent four tonnes of medical supplies to help Chinese authorities.

February 4, 2020: CBS News posted an article titled: “Macau shutters casinos over coronavirus fears”. It was written by Aimee Picchi. From the article:

Macau, the world’s largest gambling center, on Tuesday ordered casinos in the region to halt their operations for two weeks amid concerns about the deadly coronavirus spreading in China and other countries.

Announced by the Macau government on Tuesday, the suspension will temporarily shutter 41 gambling and entertainment businesses, an official said at a news conference, according to the Wall Street Journal. Among the casinos impacted by the order are the Venetian Macao, which is partially owned by Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Macau, owned by Wynn Resorts.

Theaters, bars, clubs and other entertainment venues where people gather are also hit by the order…

February 4, 2020: Belgium’s Health Agency posted a statement regarding coronavirus. The Guardian posted an explanation and translation of it in English.

A Belgian woman who was on a repatriated flight from Wuhan on Sunday has tested positive for the coronavirus, Belgium’s health agency has announced.

In a statement, it said:

“The person tested who tested positive shows no signs of illness at the moment. She was transferred last night to Saint Pierre University hospital in Brussels, one of the two reference centers in our country. This hospital has all the expertise and support necessary to guarantee the best care.”

The agency said all nine Belgian on the flight had undergone a series of tests in a military hospital in the capital, Brussels. Eight of them tested negative.

A further person, from Denmark, who had not been able to return home on Sunday, had also tested negative, the agency said.

February 4, 2020: Shine (Powered by Shanghai Daily, the largest English-language newspaper in East China), posted an article titled: “Officials offer details on 7-month-old coronavirus patient”. It was written by Cai Wenjun. From the article:

Shanghai health officials released further information about the youngest coronavirus patient in the city, a 7-month-old girl, at a press conference on Tuesday.

Zheng Jin from Shanghai Commission said the girl’s maternal grandparents arrived in Shanghai from Wuhan, in Hubei Province, the heart of the current epidemic, on January 20. They had dinner with other family members, none of whom had recent contact with Wuhan, on January 21 and 24.

On January 25, the grandparents voluntarily disclosed their recent travel from Wuhan to a neighborhood health center. They were staying with the girl and her parents at that time.

After the girl’s paternal grandfather was diagnosed with coronavirus infection on February 2, the girl, her parents, paternal grandmother and maternal grandparents were all ordered to stay at home for medical observation as close contacts. Some members of the family started to show fever that afternoon and were transferred to the hospital for quarantine and treatment.

On Monday, nuceic acid tests confirmed that the girl, her mother and maternal grandfather were infected with coronavirus…

…Currently, the girl and other infected family members are all hospitalized at designated medical facilities and are in stable condition…

February 4, 2020:The Guardian posted an article titled: “African students stranded in coronavirus heartland plead with embassies”. It was written by Jason Burke and Charles Pensulo. From the article:

Thousands of African students in Wuhan, the centre of the coronavirus epidemic, face dwindling food supplies, limited information and lockdowns restricting them to their campuses or hostels.

Two weeks after restrictions on movement were imposed, residents are running short of basic necessities, say students in the central Chinese city.

Several people described profound anxiety, insufficient food and a lack of information. Many complained about the lack of assistance received from their own embassies, but refrained from criticizing Chinese authorities.

There are more than 80,000 African students in China, often attracted by generous government scholarships. About 5,000 are thought to be in Wuhan, where there are scores of further education establishments offering qualifications that are prized in Africa….

…The students have asked the Malawian government to airlift them out of the city and return them home, citing the example of other countries in Africa. However, Chinese authorities have asked local embassies to tell their citizens not to seek to return home to avoid further spread of the disease…

February 4, 2020: The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office posted Foreign Travel Advice for China. From the advice:

COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving…

February 4, 2020: The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office posted a press release titled: “Coronavirus and travel to China: Foreign Secretary’s statement, 4 February 2020”. From the statement:

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gave a statement following the update to FCO Travel Advice advising against ‘all but essential’ travel to China.

In light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against ‘all but essential’ travel to mainland China and now recommends that British Nationals who are able to leave China do so.

Commercial airline options for departing China remain available throughout the country, except in the Hubei Province.

The Foreign Office continues to work on arrangements to evacuate any remaining British nationals from Hubei Province who wish to leave.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

“The safety and security of the British people will always be our top priority. As such, we now advise British nationals in China to leave the country if they can, to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus. Where there are still British Nationals in Hubei Province who wish to be evacuated, we will continue to work around the clock to facilitate this.”

February 4, 2020: The Guardian’s Andrew Roth reported (on the live blog) the following information:

Russia has sent planes to China as it begins its evacuation of Russian citizens from Wuhan and Hubei province, the center of the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 700 Russians are said to be living in the region, of which 132 had expressed a desire to return to Russia, the country’s embassy in Beijing has reported. They will be subjected to a two-week quarantine period, at a Russian military hospital. The quarantine site has not yet been made public…

February 4, 2020: ABC News AU posted an article titled: “Queensland confirms third coronavirus case as eight-year-old child from Wuhan, China”. From the article:

An eight-year-old boy has been confirmed as Queensland’s third case of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

The child, who is Chinese and from the virus epicentre of Wuhan, was confirmed to have the virus by Queensland health officials on Tuesday night.

He was traveling in the same tour group as the 44-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman who have been confirmed as Queensland’s other cases of coronavirus.

The child remains in isolation at the Gold Coast University Hospital and is currently stable.

The child is now the 13th person in Australia to be infected with the virus – there are four cases in NSW and Victoria and two cases in South Australia to go with the three in Queensland.

The boy is the first child to be diagnosed with the virus in Australia and the youngest by a wide margin, with other confirmed cases mostly occurring in people other than 30, though two in their 20s are also confirmed cases.

Two more Australians in China have also been infected with the virus…

February 4, 2020: GSMA posted a “GSMA Statement on Coronavirus”. From the statement:

London: The GSMA continues to monitor and assess the potential impact of the Coronavirus on its MWC20 events held annually in Barcelona, Shanghai and Los Angeles and as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences. The GSMA confirms that there is minimal impact on the event thus far. MWC Barcelona 24-27 February 2020, will proceed as planned, across all venues at Fira Gran Via Fira Montjuïc and La Farga L’Hospitalet, including YoMo and Four Years From Now (4YFN).

As previously stated, the GSMA has implemented many measures to help to mitigate the spread of the virus and is continuing to add other actions regularly.  Measures in place include;

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints, e.g. catering areas, surfaces, handrails, WCs, entrances/exits, public touch-screens, etc. along with the use of correct cleaning/sanitising materials and products
  • Increased onsite medical support
  • Awareness campaign via online and onsite info-share and signage
  • Availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use
  • Awareness and training to all staff and associates on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitising/disinfection products, etc.
  • Advice to exhibitors on implementing effective cleaning and disinfection of stands, offices along with guidance on personal hygiene measures and common preventive behaviour
  • Public health guidelines and advice communication to Barcelona hotels, public and private transport, restaurants and catering outlets, retail, etc.

Measures added this week include;

  • Installing new signage onsite reminding attendees of hygiene recommendations
  • Implementing a mic change protocol in production for speakers
  • Communicating advice to all attendees to adopt a ‘no-handshake policy’

The GSMA is building on its existing plans to protect the health of our attendees, clients and staff at MWC Barcelona. GSMA colleagues around the world are taking strong measures to contain and lessen any further spread of the virus.  These measures include adhering to advice from the WHO and other health authorities, respecting travel restrictions where they exist, arriving early in Spain to allow time for self-quarantine and ensuring access to masks…

February 4, 2020: ZTE Corporation tweeted: “#ZTE will participate in #MWC20 Barcelona as planned, showcasing comprehensive #5G end-to-end solutions and a wide variety of 5G devices. ZTE’s booth is in 3F30, Hall 3, FIRA GRAN VIA.”

February 4, 2020: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) posted a news release titled: “FDA Takes Significant Step in Coronavirus Response Efforts, Issues Emergency Use Authorization for the First 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diagnostic”.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use autiorization (EUA) to enable emergency use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel. To date, this test has been limited to use at CDC laboratories; today’s authorization allows the use of the test at any CDC-qualified lab across the country…

…Under this EUA, the use of 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is authorized for patients who meet the CDC criteria for 2019-nCoV testing. Testing is limited to qualified laboratories designated by the CDC and, in the U.S., those certified to perform high complexity tests. The diagnostic is a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that provides presumptive detection of 2019-nCoV from respiratory secretions, such as nasal or oral swabs. A positive test result indicates likely infection with 2019-nCoV and infected patients should work with their health care provider to manage their symptoms and determine how to best protect the people around them. Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole bais for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative result must be combined with clinical observations, patient history and epidemiological information.

The FDA can issue an EUA to permit the use, based on scientific data, of certain medical products that may be effective in diagnosing, treating or preventing such disease or condition when there is a determination, by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), that there is a public health emergency or a significant potential for a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of U.S. citizens, and a declaration that circumstances exist justifying the medical products’ emergency use…

February 4, 2020: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a press release titled: “HHS, Regeneron Collaborate to Develop 2019-nCoV Treatment”. From the press release:

To develop therapeutics to treat the 2019 novel coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Prepardness and Response (ASPR) will expand an existing collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Tarrytown, New York..

…BARDA and Regeneron now will leverage their partnership agreement to develop multiple monoclonal antibodies that, individually or in combination, could be used to treat this emerging coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV.

These monoclonal antibodies are produced by a single clone of cells or a cell line with identical antibody molecules. The antibodies bind to certain protiens of a virus, reducing the ability of the virus to infect human cells. Medicines developed for 2019-nCoV through the expanded BARDA-Regeneron partnership will leverage Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody discovery platform called Velocimmune, part of the company’s VelociSuite technology.

VelociSuite was used to develop a promising investigational three- antibody therapeutic which was deployed to treat Ebola in the most recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and an investigational two-antibody therapeutic to treat Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The technology shortened multiple aspects of the product development timeline for therapeutics to treat MERS-CoV and Ebola from years to months. The technology helped shorten certain stages of drug development, including the process of antibody discovery and selection, preclinical-scale manufacturing and clinical-scale manufacturing.

In addition to expanded collaboration with Regeneron, BARDA is working with counterparts across the government, including within HHS and with the Department of Defense. The team is reviewing potential vaccines, treatments and diagnostics from across the public and private sectors, particularly products in development for MERS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), to identify promising candidates for development to detect, protect against or treat 2019 nCoV…

February 4, 2020: The LA Times posted an article titled: “Child under coronavirus quarantine in Riverside County is taken to hospital with fever.” It was written by Colleen Shelby. From the article:

A child who has been quarantined and monitored for the novel coronavirus with 194 others at March Air Reserve Base has been taken to a hospital after developing a fever, Riverside County health officials said Tuesday.

The child, accompanied by a parent, was taken by ambulance to Riverside University Health System Medical Center on Monday night. Both are undergoing testing and observation for the virus. Samples will be submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and results are expected later this week, officials said.

“The child has no other symptoms or issues other than the temperature,” Riverside County Department of Public Health spokesman Jose Arballo Jr. said…

…In a separate incident Monday, an individual who flew into Los Angeles International Airport from China has been transferred to the base and is also under quarantine, health officials said.

“The individual has no symptoms of novel coronavirus but was moved to March out of an abundance of caution and because of their travel history,” Riverside County health officials said in a statement.

The traveler will be isolated from the other people at the base for the next few days…


February 5, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “HHS and CDC Receive Additional Flights Carrying Passengers from China”. From the media release:

This week, several planes carrying passengers from Wuhan China will arrive in three states. These locations are Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA, and Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio TX, and Eppley Airfield in Omaha, NE.

These planes will be met by a team of CDC personnel deployed there to assess the health of the passengers. The passengers have been screened, monitored and evaluated by medical and public health personnel every step of the way, including before takeoff and during the flight. CDC staff will conduct risk assessments to ensure the health of each traveler, including temperature checks and observing for respiratory symptoms.

These passengers will be issued quarantine orders upon arrival at their designated quarantine location. This legal order is intended to protect the travelers, their families, and the community. This quarantine order will begin on the day the flight left Wuhan and will continue for up to 14 days. Medical care will be readily available at the first onset of symptoms.

CDC will work with the state and local public health departments to transport any passenger exhibiting symptoms to a hospital for further evaluation.

CDC is committed to protecting the health and safety of Americans. We continue to believe the immediate risk of coronavirus exposure to the general public is low, however, CDC is undertaking these measures to keep that risk low. CDC is taking these measures to fully assess and care for these passengers to protect them, their loved ones, and their communities.

February 5, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a transcript titled: “Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: CDC Update on Novel Coronavirus”. From the transcript:

Mr. Benjamin Haynes: … We are joined today by Dr. Nancy Messonnier Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and rear admiral Denise Hinton from the food and drug administrations, she is the chief scientist. Dr. Messonnier and rear admiral Hinton will give opening remarks before taking your questions. At this time I’ll turn the call over to Dr. Messonnier.

Dr Nancy Messonnier: …Today I would like to provide a few updates on important developments in the last couple days. SInce we briefed you last, there have been no new confirmed coronavirus infections. The total number of confirmed positives in the United States remains at 11. Right now, 206 persons under investigation, or PUIs have tested negative for infection with this Novel virus. And we currently have testing pending on 76 PUIs. Some of those PUIs that are pending include samples in transit.

As we alluded to earlier this week and was reported by many of you last night, FDA signed the emergency use authorization or EUA for our diagnostic test. Today the test kits will start shipping to the over 100 public health labs, each of these labs is required to perform international verification for CLIAA compliance prior to reporting out. This process is expected to take a few days.

Initially, 200 test kits will be distributed to US domestic laboratories and another 200 will be distributed to select international laboratories. Each test kit can perform 700 to 800 patient samples. What this means is that by the start of next week, we expect there to be much enhanced capacity for laboratory testing closer to our patients….

…States will now start testing for confirming this virus and you may start hearing from states directly about confirmed cases. As always, their case count will be the most up-to-date. CDC will continue to report case counts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on our website…

…Rear Admiral Denise Hinton: My name is Denise Hinton, and I do serve as the FDA’s chief scientist and today I want to provide just a few updates on the work the FDA has been doing…

…Yesterday the FDA, as of February 4, 2020, issued an EUA to enable emergency use of the CDC’s 2019 Ncov diagnostic test. To date this test has been limited to use at CDC laboratories. Yesterday’s authorization allows the use of the test at any CDC qualified lab across the country as Dr. Messonnier had states.

Additionally, FDA announced that it had developed an EUA review template to test and detect the novel coronavirus which outlines the data to be developed in a pre-EUA package with is available to developers upon request. As of February 5, 2020, today, FDA has sent the template to 35 diagnostic developers. The FDA is committed to expediting the development and availability of critical medical products to prevent, diagnose, and treat 2019 nCoV using all applicable regulatory authorities to respond to the outbreak….

…NY POST: … My question is about the national stockpile. How well prepared is the U.S. to provide hospitals with masks, gowns, gloves, face shields and other protective equipment if in fact for at least one or two regions in the country there is a real demand for that? And secondly, is our reliance on China as the manufacturer of a lot of this equipment a weak link?

Dr.Messonnier: … And one thing that I will say is as many of you know, the national stockpile is actually under ASPC now not under CDC, but in general you bring up an important point which is the current risk to the American public is low, but as we project outward with the potential for this to be a much longer situation, one of the things that we’re actively working on is projecting the long term needs of our health care system and certainly for our health care workers. So, it is something that we are very much working on with additional meetings today about it. And hopefully we’ll have more to say in the coming days.

But it is also a good reminder for me to tell folks that as we anticipate the potential for this, we want to make sure that when those personal protective equipment, masks and especially masks but also gowns and gloves are being used, they are being used appropriately to keep our staff and health care workers safe, but not excessively. Because we may need to be preserving them for later when the risk is higher.

So, as I said, we do not think that the American public should be going out and buying masks, we don’t think that normal U.S. citizens going about their day to day lives in the U.S. right now are at risk. And so, I would definitely caution people to be patient as we work through these longer-term issues, but to understand that our guideance to folks now is let’s make sure that we have enough of those personal protective equipment for the folks at highest risk and specifically our health care workers.

And I would say that that is something that we’re actively working on and part of what we need to sort our is our expectations for how long this will last. If this is something that will be over quickly, obviously that projection looks a lot different than if it is something that will last a longer time. And as we’re learning more about the situation in China, about how transmission is happening, how it is being spread, it will help us to better do those projections in the United States which again is something that we’re actively working on…

February 5, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 16 – Erratum”. From the report:

Highlights:

Belgium reported its first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease.

WHO and partners have developed a global strategic preparedness and response plan, which outlines the public health measures that the international community can provide to support all countries to prepare for and respond to the 2019-nCoV outbreak. The overall goal is to stop further transmission of 2019-nCoV within China and to other countries, and to mitigate the impact of the outbreak in all countries.

WHO is working with the travel and tourism industry to discuss real and perceived risks experienced in the industry, measures put in place for customers and employees, and challenges faced regarding implementation of the Temporary Recommendations associated with the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In the coming days, WHO will work with the industry to identify solutions to these challenges, within the framework of the International Health Regulations (2005).

Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and Resource Requirements:

…The overall goal of the strategic preparedness and response plan is to stop further transmission of 2019-nCoV within China and to other countries, and to mitigate the impact of the outbreak in all countries.

The strategic objectives of the plan are:

  • Limit human-to-human transmission, including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and healthcare workers, preventing transmission amplification events, and preventing further international spread from China;
  • Identify, isolate, and care for patients early, providing optimized care for infected patients;
  • Identify and reduce transmission from the animal source;
  • Address crucial unknowns regarding clinical severity, extent of transmission and infection, treatment options, and accelerate the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines;
  • Communicate critical risk and event information to all communities, and counter misinformation;
  • Minimize social and economic impact through multisectoral partnerships

These objectives can be achieved by:

A Rapidly establishing international coordination to deliver strategic, technical, and operational support through existing mechanisms and partnerships;

B Scaling up country preparedness and response operations, including strengthening readiness to rapidly identify, diagnose and treat cases; identification of follow-up of contacts when feasible (with priority given to high-risk settings such as healthcare facilities); infection prevention and control in healthcare settings; implementation of health measures for travelers; and awareness raising in the population through risk communication and community engagement

C Accelerating priority research and innovation to support a clear and transparent global process to set research and innovation priorities to fast track and scale-up research, development, and the equitable availability of candidate therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. This will build a common platform for standardized processes, protocols and tools, to facilitate multidisciplinary and collaborative research integrated with the process.

The total estimated resources required to be mobilized by the international community to implement priority public health measures in support of countries to prepare for and respond to 2019-nCoV for this plan is USD 675.5 million. The resource request for WHO as part of this plan is USD 61.5 million. The response requirement period is three months, from 1 February to 30 April 2020.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 5 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 16678
  • Zhejaing: 895
  • Guangdong: 870
  • Henan: 764
  • Hunan: 661
  • Anhui: 530
  • Jiangxi: 548
  • Chongqing: 336
  • Jiangsu: 341
  • Sichuan: 301
  • Shandong: 298
  • Fujian: 205
  • Heilongjiang: 190
  • Shaanxi: 165
  • Guangxi: 150
  • Hebei: 122
  • Hainan: 89
  • Liaoning: 81
  • Shanxi: 81
  • Tianjin: 67
  • Gansu: 57
  • Guizhou: 64
  • Jiln: 54
  • Inner Mongolia: 42
  • Ningxia: 34
  • Xinjaing: 32
  • Hong Kong SAR: 18
  • Qinghai: 17
  • Taipei and environs: 11
  • Macao SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 24363

Countries, territories, or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 5 February 2020

  • China- including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (18 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (11 confirmed cases): 24363 cases (3893 new)/ 491 deaths (66 new)
  • Japan: 33 cases (13 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 18 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 10 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Singapore: 24 cases (6 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 13 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 10 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (1 new) / 1 death
  • Thailand: 25 cases (6 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 11 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 5 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 6 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 12 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Kingdom: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 5 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths

February 5, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!”

February 5, 2020: The Victoria State Government (Australia) posted a press release titled: “Fourth novel coronavirus case in Victoria”. From the press release:

A new case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Victoria.

The total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection in Victoria now is four. There are currently 13 pending results and a total of 149 negative results.

The latest case is a woman in her 20s, a resident of Melbourne, who is recovering at home with the respiratory illness. She was confirmed positive late yesterday following a series of tests.

After spending time in Wuhan, Hubei Province, she returned home to Victoria January 25 and became unwell two days later.

She was seen by doctors in a Melbourne hospital on January 30 in accordance with infection control procedures and was assessed as well enough to stay at home.

The woman is not considered to have been infectious on her flight to Melbourne…

February 5, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “Hundreds of millions of chickens at risk of being wiped out with much of China locked down due to virus”. It was written by Weizhen Tan. From the article:

Following its pork crisis, China’s poultry farmers are now in dire straits because of the coronavirus outbreak. Millions of chickens may soon perish in the coming days as much-needed feed is not getting to them in time.

The shutdowns in China’s provinces have hit supply chains, with transport restrictions preventing much needed animal feed such as soybean meal from getting delivered to poultry farms, according to analysts and Chinese state media.

As the outbreak spread, Chinese authorities have shut roads and highways, and even halted long-distance buses.

The supply of soybean meal is hort to begin with, said financial services company INTL FCStone in a note on Monday, adding that the extension of business shutdowns will exacerbate the shortage…

…The China Animal Agriculture Association asked feed producers to send 18,000 tons of corn and 12,000 tons of soybean meal to Hubei…

…The outlook for China’s poultry might be further affected, considering that authorities reported on Saturday an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Hunan, according to Reuters. Over 17,000 poultry had to be culled following the outbreak, the news service reported….

February 5, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) released a Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) for the new coronavirus. It focuses on rapidly establishing international coordination and operational support, scaling up country readiness and response operations, and accelerating priority research and innovation.

The WHO stated that 25 countries have reported confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, including China, where 24,363 people had contracted the virus, or over 99% of all cases. In all other countries, 191 cases have contracted the virus.

February 5, 2020: Billboard reported that the Philharmonic Society of Orange County in Southern California cancelled its February 5, 2020, Chinese New Year Celebration concert by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra in light of the coronavirus epidemic citing “concerns expressed by community members.”

February 5, 2020: LG Electronics posted a “Statement Regarding LG Electronics’ Participation in Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020”. From the statement:

LG Electronics is closely monitoring the situation related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization as the virus continues to spread outside China.

With the safety of its employees, partners and customers foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain.

This decision removes the risk of exposing hundreds of LG employees to international travel which has already become more restrictive as the virus continues to spread across boarders.

In lieu of its participation in MWC, LG will be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 mobile products.

LG Electronics thanks its supporters and the public for their understanding during these difficult and challenging times.

February 5, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “Princess Cruises quarantines 3,700 for two weeks on ship after 10 aboard test positive for coronavirus”. It was written by William Feuer. From the article:

Carnival’s Princess Cruises said it has placed 3,700 passengers and crew under mandatory quarantine for two weeks after 10 people aboard a cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The company said a previous guest, who didn’t have any symptoms while aboard the ship, tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday – six days after leaving the Diamond Princess. The ship was being held in Japan for 24 hours while Japanese health authorities assessed the 3,700 passengers and crew on board.

“These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals,” the company said.

The ship will be quarantined for at least 14 days, the company said, as is required by the Japanese Ministry of Health…

…The company confirmed to CNBC that one of the passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus is from the United States. The others are two passengers from Australia, three from Japan and three from Hong Kong and one Filipino crew member.

The company said it will continue to provide guests with complementary internet and phone service. The ship will go out to sea to “perform normal marine operations,” the company said, such as “the production of fresh water and ballast operations before proceeding alongside in Yokohama where food, provisions, and other supplies will be brought on board.”

Princess Cruises said it will cancel its next two cruises leaving from Yokahama, which had been scheduled to depart on Feb. 4 and Feb. 12…

February 5, 2020: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation posted a press release titled: “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Dedicates Additional Funding to the Novel Coronavirus Response”. From the press release:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced that it will immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The funding will help strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. The new funding is inclusive of $10 million the foundation committed to the outbreak in late January…

…The Gates Foundation is contributing more resources – in close coordination with other donors – to assist the World Health Organization (WHO), Chinese frontline responders and others at the global and national levels. WHO declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, citing the risks of the virus globally and the need for a worldwide coordinated effort to enhance preparedness, especially in fragile settings. The Government of China has also declared a national public health emergency and mobilized a nationwide effort to contain the virus and treat those who are infected.

The foundation will immediately commit up to $20 million to accelerate the detection, isolation and treatment of people diagnosed with the virus with the goal of interrupting transmission and containing the disease. This funding will be diverted to multilateral organizations such as WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Support will also be directed to national public health authorities in China and other countries that have reported confirmed cases. Current national-level partners include the National Health Commission of China and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The release of fast and flexible funding is intended to help multinational organizations and national public health authorities rapidly scale up their virus detection capabilities and implement disease modeling analytics so that they can target resources where they can have the greatest impact in arresting disease spread. This funding is intended to help public health authorities cover the initial cost of labor and supplies while international agencies and national governments appropriate the resources necessary to fund ongoing operations…

February 5, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “UPS pilot union reaches agreement with company to make China flying ‘voluntary’ amid coronavirus”. It was written by Leslie Josephs. From the article:

The union that represents United Parcel Service pilots said Wednesday it has reached an agreement with the delivery giant to make flying to mainland China “voluntary” as the coronavirus spreads.

“This joint effort addresses crewmember concerns over safety during the coronavirus health crisis,” the union said in a statement.

Pilots who tell the company that they aren’t comfortable flying China routes because of coronavirus will be “temporarily replaced on those flights,” UPS said in a statement.

If pilots opt out of trips to mainland China they will have to take an unpaid leave of absence, but they can also use paid sick leave if they aren’t rescheduled on another route, the union said.

UPS said it is prioritizing health care and aid shipments for companies that send China supplies…

…More than a dozen airlines, including Delta, United, and American have suspended services to mainland China and to Hong Kong, citing a sharp drop in demand because of the outbreak. Others have significantly scaled back service. The cuts mean fewer passenger-plane bellies to fill with cargo, which would normally be a boon to cargo carriers, but concerns about the virus have led to more uncertainty for these air freight companies…

February 5, 2020: New York State Department of Health posted a press release titled: “Statement from New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Coronavirus Testing”. From the press release:

“As of today, samples from 21 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing for the novel coronavirus. Of these, 12 have come back negative. Four samples from New York City and five samples from New York State outside of New York City are pending, for nine total pending samples. There are still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York State. While the risk to the general public is still low, we continue to urge New Yorkers to remain vigilant and take proper precautions to protect themselves and their families.”…

February 5, 2020: Japan Airlines posted information titled: “(Between February 6 and March 28) Flight suspension, reduction of flight frequency and schedule change due to the impact of the Novel Coronavirus”. From the information:

Thank you for your continuous support for JAL Group.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, each country updates its restrictions of entry to its country or quarantine measures from day to day and there has been a decrease in travel demand.

For affected customers, we will contact you to offer an alternative flight option. However, we may not be able to offer alternative JL flight. For details, please follow the information below titled “Ticket Refund/Change”.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

February 5, 2020: ANA Group posted information titled “ANA to Temporarily Suspend Service on Select Routes Due to the Coronavirus as of Feb. 6, 2020”. From the information:

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will temporarily decrease or suspend operations to and from selected cities starting on Feb. 10. Fights to the following will be affected: (Non affected flights are also inside the chart):

February 5, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “China may delay annual meeting of parliament due to virus outbreak – sources”. From the article:

China is considering delaying the annual meeting of its top legislative body, five people familiar with the matter said, as it grapples with a virus epidemic that has forced drastic curtailment of travel and other activity to curb its spread.

The National People’s Congress (NPC), made up of about 3,000 delegates, typically gathers for a session lasting at least 10 days in Beijing, beginning on March 5, to pass legislation and unveil key economic targets for the year.

A postponement would be the first since China adopted the current March schedule in 1995 for the meeting of parliament.

“The focus remains on taking steps forward towards meeting on schedule, but we are discussing a range of options as the (virus) situation doesn’t look likely to be contained by March,” a senior government official told Reuters, declining to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.

“A delay is one of those options,” the official said. “It should come as no surprise given that we are in a very difficult time.”…

…The virus is also inflicting a growing toll on businesses and consumers in the world’s second-largest economy. Strict transport curbs have been imposed in many parts of the country and some cities are in virtual lockdown.

To minimize job losses, China’s stability-obsessed leaders are likely to sign-off on more spending, tax relief and subsidies for virus-hit sectors, alongside further monetary easing to spur bank lending and lower borrowing costs for business, policy insiders have told Reuters…

…China has already postponed a high-level business event, the China Development Forum, which is usually held in late March, and the venue for the Caton Fair, a trade fair in the southern city of Guangzhou, has been suspended until further notice. The spring session of the trade fair was due to begin on April 15.

The NPC gathering is crucial this year, as it is set to ratify China’ first-ever civil code, a key milestone in President Xi Jinping’s legal reform effort.

The NPC is also widely expected to discuss the months-long protests in Hong Kong, and to announce the annual economic growth target along with China’s defense budget.

Under China’s constitution, a full plenary session of the NPC must be held every year…

February 5, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Taiwan bans international cruise ships from docking”. From the article:

Taiwan’s health authority banned all international cruise ships from docking at the island from Thursday amid increasing threat of the coronavirus outbreak, after more than 10 people were tested positive for the virus on a quarantined cruise liner in Japan.

Many tourists aboard the Japanese cruise ship entered Taiwan for a day-trip when the boat anchored at its northern port of Keelung on January 31, according to immigration authority, with local media saying they probably visited several popular tourist sites in Taipei.

February 5, 2020: Bloomberg posted an article titled: “Philippines Central Bank Chief Says Better to Cut Rates Soon”. It was written by Benjamin Diokno. From the article:

Philippine central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said it would be better to cut interest rates sooner rather than later, a signal that policy makers will likely lower borrowing costs Thursday.

Since monetary policy works with a lag and the central bank is mindful of risks to global growth from the coronavirus outbreak, it’s preferable to act the “sooner the better,” Diokno said in an interview Wednesday in Manila.

Dioko chairs Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’s seven-member rate-setting board, which is expected to lower its key interest rate Thursday by 25 basis points to 3.75%, according to 17 of 25 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The others expect no change…

February 5, 2020: Amnesty International posted news titled: “Explainer: Seven ways the coronavirus affects human rights”. From the news:

The outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that started in the Chinese city of Wuhan (Hubei province) in late 2019 has been declared a global human health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO)…

…The response to an epidemic has the potential to affect the human rights of millions of people. First and foremost is the right to health, but there are several other rights at stake too.

“Censorship, discrimination and arbitrary detention have no place in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic,” said Nicholas Bequelin, Regional Director at Amnesty International. “Human rights violations hinder, rather than facilitate, responses to public health emergencies, and undercut their efficiency”.

Early Censorship

The Chinese government has engaged in wide-ranging efforts to suppress information about the coronavirus and the dangers it posed to public health. In late December 2019, doctors in Wuhan shared with colleagues their fears about patients with symptoms similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that began in China in 2002. They were immediately silenced and punished by the local authorities for “spreading rumours”….

…In an online post made a month later, the Supreme People’s Court questioned the decision made by Wuhan authorities. It was widely seen as vindication for the doctors.

Yet the efforts to minimize the severity of the outbreak were shared at the highest level of the Chinese government, as evidenced by China’s aggressive lobbying of the World Health Organization not to declare a global health emergency.

The right to health

The Wuhan medical system is now overwhelmed, and medical facilities and health profesionals are struggling to cope with the scale of the outbreak.

Many patients are being turned away from hospitals after hours of queueing. Facilities do not have access to the necessary diagnostic tests…

…Local media reported that people are unable to quickly get to hospitals because of a public transportation shutdown, and, in some cases, unable to remove bodies of the deceased from their homes.

The right to health, as guaranteed under the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights, provides for the right to access healthcare, the right to access information, the prohibition of discrimination in the provision of medical services, the freedom from non-consentual medical treatment and other important guarantees.

The censorship continues today

The Chinese authorities’ insistence on controlling the news narrative and stuifling negative coverage has continued to drive censorship of sometimes legitimate information about the virus.

Numerous articles have been censored since the beginning of the crisis, including those by mainstream media organizations such as a subsidiary of Beijing Youth Daily and Caijing…

Activists harassed and intimidated

People attempting to share information about the coronavirus on social media have also been targeted by the Chinese government. For example, an outspoken lawyer and citizen journalist Chen Quishi reported being harassed by the authorities after posting footage from hospitals in Wuhan.

Wuhan resident Fang Bin was also briefly taken away by authorities after posting a video proporting to show corpses of coronavirus victims.

“While refuting false claims about the virus is crucial, shutting down legitimate journalistic and social media content on the issue serves no public health purpose,” said Nicholas Bequelin [Regional Director at Amnesty International]…

Regional crackdown on “fake news”

As the virus has spread from China to neighbouring countries in South-East Asia, so has the trend of states seeking to control coverage of the story.

People have been arrested or fined in Malaysia, Thailand, and Viet Nam for posting “fake news” about the outbreak.

“Governments must prevent disinformation and provide timely and accurate health guidance. However, any restrictions on freedom of expression must be proportionate, legitimate and necessary.” said Nicholas Bequelin…

Discrimination and xenophobia

People from Wuhan – even those without symptoms – have been rejected from hotels, barricaded in their own flats and had their personal information leaked online in China, according to media reports.

There also has been widespread reports of anti-Chinese or anti-Asian xenophobia in other countries. Some restaurants in South Korea, Japan, and Viet Nam have refused to accept Chinese customers, while Chinese guests were told by a group of protesters to leave a hotel in Indonesia. French and Australian newspapers have also been accused of racism in their reporting of the crisis.

Asian communities around the world have pushed back, and the Twitter hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (I am not a virus) has trended in France…

Border controls and quarantines must be proportionate

In response to the virus, many countries have closed their doors to those travelling from China or other Asian countries, while others have imposted strict quarantine measures.

The Australian government has sent hundreds of Australians to an immigration detention centre on Christmas Island, where treatment conditions were previously described as “inhumane” by the Australian Medical Association because of the mental and physical suffering that occured when refugees were detained there.

Papua New Guinea has closed its borders to people from all other Asian countries, not limited to those with cases of the coronavirus. This has left some Papua New Guinean students stranded in the Philippines after they were blocked from boarding a flight home on the instruction of the Papua New Guinea authorities.

Quarantines, which restrict the right to freedom of movement, may be justified under international law only if they are proportionate, time bound, undertaken for legitimate aims, strictly necessary, voluntary whenever possible, and applies in a non-discriminatory way. Quarantines must be imposed in a safe and respectful manner. The right of those under quarantine must be respected and protected, including ensuring access to health care, food and other necessities…


February 6, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 11

February 6. 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 17 – ERRATUM”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.

WHO is working with partners to strenghten global diagnostic capacity for 2019-nCoV detection to improve surveillance and track the spread of disease. WHO and partners have activated a network of specialized referral laboratories with demonstrated expertise in the molecular detection of coronavirues. These international labs can support national labs to confirm new cases and troubleshoot their molecular assays.

WHO is convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus, covering a broad spectrum of research areas including epidemiology, clinical care, vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, animal health, social sciences, and other topics….

Establishing global/regional coordination and technical guidance:

…Currently, there are 15 laboratories that have been identified to provide reference testing support for 2019-nCoV. These laboratories include:

  • 1. Armed Forces Research of Medical Sciences, Thailand
  • 2. Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • 3. Hong Kong University, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • 4. Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Japan
  • 5. Institute of Virology, Charité, Robert Koch Institute, Germany
  • 6. National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa
  • 7. National Institute of Health, Thailand
  • 8. National Institute of Virology, India
  • 9. National Public Health Laboratory, Singapore
  • 10. National Pasteur Dakar, Senagal
  • 11. Institut Pasteur, Paris
  • 12. Public Health England, UK
  • 13. State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology, Vector Institute, Russia
  • 14. United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
  • 15. Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Australia

WHO is working to ensure 2019-nCoV test availability, including: a) screening of 2019-nCoV PCR protocals from academic laboratories for validation data, b) evaluation of the potential to use existing commercial coronavirus assays (e.g. SARS-CoV) to detect 2019-nCoV with high sensitivity, and c) working with commercial and non-commercial agencies with capacity to manufacture and distribute newly-developed 2019-nCoV PCR assays. To increase regional testing capacity, efforts to increase national capacity and provdie regional reference laboratory support is ongoing. WHO has made 250,000 tests available to WHO Regional Offices and national laboratories. These tests are being shipped to 159 laboratories across all WHO regions.

WHO will also utilize the Shipping Fund Programme established by the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System as a mechanism to send clinical samples from patients meeting the case definition of suspected 2019-nCoV infection to international referral laboratories

National capacity for detection of 2019-nCoV must be strengthened so that diagnostic testing can be performed rapidly without the need for oversees shipping. One way this will be achieved is by working with existing global networks for detection of respiratory pathogens, such as National Influenza Centres.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions, and cities in China, 6 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 19,665
  • Zhejiang: 954
  • Guangdong: 944
  • Henan: 851
  • Hunan: 711
  • Anhui: 591
  • Jiangxi: 600
  • Chongqing: 389
  • Jiangxi: 600
  • Chongqing: 389
  • Jiangsu: 373
  • Sichuan: 321
  • Shandong: 343
  • Beijing: 274
  • Shanghai: 254
  • Fujian: 215
  • Heilongjiang: 227
  • Shaanxi: 173
  • Guangxi: 168
  • Hebei: 157
  • Yunnan: 128
  • Hainan: 100
  • Liaoning: 89
  • Shanxi: 90
  • Tianjin: 70
  • Gansu: 62
  • Guizhou: 69
  • Jilin: 59
  • Inner Mongolia: 46
  • Ningxia: 40
  • Xinjiang: 36
  • Hong Kong SAR: 18
  • Qinghai: 18
  • Taipei and environs: 11
  • Macao SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 28,060

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 6 February 2020:

  • China – including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (21 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macau SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and evirons (11 confirmed cases): 28,060 cases (3,697 new)/ 564 deaths (73 new)
  • Singapore: 28 cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 25 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 23 cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 14 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 12 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (0 new)/ 1 death
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 25 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 12 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 5 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 12 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 6 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 5 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 20 cases (10 new)/ 0 deaths

February 6, 2020: California Department of Public Health posted a news release titled: “The California Department of Public health and a Network of Labs Prepare to Begin Novel Coronavirus Testing in California”. From the news release:

The California Department of Public Health announced today that 16 laboratories, including the state’s Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory in Richmond, California, will soon be able to perform testing for the novel coronavirus. This service will provide more rapid results than currently available and help to inform public health action and medical care for people who may have been exposed to novel coronavirus. Results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently take between two and seven days. The Public Health Department lab anticipates it will be able to conduct testing beginning Wednesday, February 12, and report results within two days of specimen recipt. Meanwhile, our local partners are also expected to be able to conduct tests within a couple of weeks…

…To date, based on testing carried out by CDC, the California Department of Public Health confirms six individuals have tested positive for novel coronavirus 2019 in California: two people in Santa Clara County, two people in San Benito County, one person in Los Angeles County and one person in Orange County…

February 6, 2020: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers posted a press release titled: “Gov. Evers’ Statement on 2019 Novel Coronavirus”. From the press release:

In response to the first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Wisconsin, Governor Evers issued the following statement:

“This morning I was briefed by the team handling the response at the Department of Health Services. While we now have a confirmed case of coronavirus in Wisconsin, the risk to the general public remains low. We are working together to prevent disease transmission by evaluating close contacts of the patient and health care personnel who care for the patient with the confirmed case.

“Individuals who have been potentially exposed to the patient with the confirmed case are being contacted and advised on symptoms to watch for and steps to take if they experience symptoms. When someone is being evaluated for the virus or has been in close contact with a confirmed case, they are placed in isolation. I want to be very clear: ethnic background has no influence on risk of coronavirus. Only travel history or direct close contact with a case would put someone at risk of transmission. Our public health officials are responding with extreme caution.

“I want to thank the Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and health departments who have been working around the clock to protect Wisconsonites. Any time we are faced with a new disease threat, it can be an anxious time, because there are many unknowns. I want to reinforce that Wisconsin has incredible health professionals who are up to this task, and that the risk to the general public remains low.”

February 6, 2020: BBC posted an article titled: “The Chinese doctor who tried to warn others about coronavirus”. It was written by Stephanie Hegarty. From the article:

Dr. Li Wenliang, who was hailed a hero for raising the alarm about the coronavirus in the early days of the outbreak, has died of the infection.

His death was confirmed by the Wuhan hospital where he worked and was being treated, following conflicting reports on state media.

Dr. Li, 34, tried to send a message to fellow medics about the outbreak at the end of December. Three days later, police paid him a visit and told him to stop. He returned to work and caught the virus from a patient. He had been in hospital for at least three weeks.

He posted his story from his hospital bed last month on social media site Weibo…

…It was a stunning insight into the botched response by local authorities in Wuhan in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Li was working at the centre of the outbreak in December when he noticed seven cases of a virus that he thought looked like Sars – the virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003. The cases were through to come from the Huanan Seafood market in Wuhan and the patients were in quarantine in his hospital.

On 30 December, he sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group to avoid warnning them about the outbreak and advising they wear protective clothing to avoid infection.

What Dr. Li didn’t know then was that the disease that had been discovered was an entirely new coronavirus.

Four days later he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter. In the letter he was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order.”…

…He was one of eight people who police said were being investigated for “spreading rumours.”

At the end of January, Dr. Li published a copy of the letter on Weibo and explained what happened. In the meantime, local authorities had apologized to him but that apology came too late…

…But just a week after his visit by police, Dr Li was treatimg a woman with glaucoma. He didn’t know that she had been infected with the new coronavirus.

In his Weibo post he describes how on 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in hospital. His parents also fell ill and were taken to hospital.

It was 10 days later – on 20 January – that China declared the outbreak an emergency…

…On 30 January he posted again: “Today nucleic acid testing came back with a positive result, the dust has settled, finally diagnosed.”…

February 6, 2020: Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare posted news titled: “2 more imported cases confirmed in Taiwan; 13 cases are in stable condition”. From the news:

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced two more cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection on February 6, 2020. The two cases reside in northern Taiwan. One of the cases is a male in his 40s while the other is a female in her 20s. The male patient went to Wuhan, China for work in December of 2019 and left from Wuhan for Liaoning, China on January 17, 2020. He returned to Taiwan from Dalian city, Liaoning province, China on February 2. He developed symptoms, including fever, cough and headache, on February 3 and was hospitalized on February 4. The female patient lived in Wuhan. On January 21, she left Wuhan, transferred in Shenzhen and returned to Taiwan. The female patient developed a productive cough and chest pain on February 1 and was hospitalized on February 4. The two cases were diagnosed with having pneumonia and tested positive for 2019 n-CoV after being reported. The patients are currently being treated in isolation wards and in a stable condition. The hospital and local health agencies have proceeded with prevention measures, including the investigation of the cases and contact tracing, according to relevant procedures. The cumulative total of confirmed cases in Taiwan is 13 as of writing. All confirmed cases are in stable condition, and one of the patients is recovering from the illness and expected to be discharged from the hospital soon. CECC continues to contain the coronavirus. As of now, there is no signs of community-acquired infection in Taiwan.

According to the statistics collected by CECC, 55 additional cases of 2019-nCoV infection were reported in Taiwan on February 5, 2020. As of writing, a cumulative total of 1,290 cases have been reported, including 13 confirmed cases, 1,135 individuals removed from the follow-up list, and the remaining ones under quarantine for lab tests of who preliminary tests were negative in 98 and the others are awaiting tests. 13 confirmed cases are in a stable condition and being treated in isolation in the hospital. The contacts of the first confirmed cases have been removed from the tracing list, except that one contact tested positive for the coronavirus. The contacts of the two additional cases confirmed today (February 6) are being traced. The total number of the contacts of the other 10 confirmed cases is 493. Of 493, 12 contacts developed symptoms and were reported. Of 12 reported cases, 2019-nCoV has been ruled out in 10, and 2 are being tested. With respect to the Taiwanese businesspeople returning to Taiwan from Wuhan in the evening on February 3, as of now, five individuals are being treated in negative pressure isolation wards while 242 are under group quarantine and their health conditions are being monitored. The other five displayed symptoms, and two of five will be sent to the hospital for tests.

February 6, 2020: South China Morning Post posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: Hongkongers in panic buying of rice, toilet paper and essentials as government stays mum on impending quarantine measures”. It was written by Zoe Low, Gary Gheung and Elizabeth Cheung. From the article:

Anxious Hongkongers scrambled on Thursday to stock up on essentials over fears that border restrictions to contain the coronavirus would choke off supplies, while the government provided scant details on the manditory quarentine taking effect in less than 36 hours on arrivals from mainland China.

As long queues formed at shops all over the city for the second straight day and people jostled to grab toilet and tissue paper, as well as rice and perishables, food suppliers sought to assure the public there was no need for hoarding…

…The fears, led by online rumours, mounted when the government announced on Wednesday it would impose a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering from mainland China, sparking concerns that supplies would also be held up…

…Even as they age assurances, representatives of rice, pork, egg, seafood, poultry and fruit-and-vegetable merchants urged the government to exempt cross-border truck drivers from the 14-day quarantine set to kick in on Saturday, to avert any delays in supplies reaching the city.

Separately, amid a week-long strike by public hospital workers now in its fourth day, the Hospital Authority said about 5,000 employees, including some 220 doctors and 3,000 nurses, had not reported for duty…

…While the virus threat had triggered panic across much of Hong Kong for surgical masks, the anxiety extended midweek to other items being cleared from supermarket shelves.

But Kenneth Chan Kin-nin, chairman of the Rice Merchants’ Association of Hong Kong, said rice was in ample supply, adding that 90 percent of it came from Thailand and Vietnam.

“The supply of rice is regulated by the government and we still have 13,000 tonnes in storage, which are yet to be used,” he said…

…President of the Pork Traders General Association of Hong Kong Hui Wai-kin similarly vowed to ensure a stable supply of the meat..

February 6, 2020: The Sydney Morning Herald posted an article titled: “PM warns Australians they are running out of time to get out of China”. It was written by Eryk Bagshaw. From the article:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged Australians in China to get on the last commercial Quantas flights out of the country and warned the government may not be able to rescue them if they become stranded during a growing coronavirus lockdown.

Two evacuation flights out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic in Hubei province, have now left the country, but Quantas is still running commercial flights out of Shanghai and Beijing until Sunday. Shanghai is more than 800 kilometers east of Wuhan, where the disease began in December; Beijing is 1500 kilometers north of Wuhan.

“Australians who are in mainland China should not assume that Australia will be in a position to put flights as we have into Wuhan,” Mr Morrison said in Canberra on Wednesday.

“I would simply say that Quantas are running flights until 9 February and they should avail themselves of those opportunities.”…

…In Wuhan, an exhibition centre, a convention centre and an indoor stadium have been converted into quarantine facilities to deal with the influx of patients, adding 3400 beds on top of two new hospitals built in a week.

The health and economic contagion have also hit the major centers of Beijing and Shanghai. Following the lead of Ikea, Nike has closed half of its stores and mask shortages have been reported across the country as residents shelter in their apartments…

…Mr Morrison said those Australians who left China now would still be forced to self-isolate for the 14-day quarantine period. The government is aiming for a third flight to leave Wuhan over the weekend, but only the 350 Australians estimated to be trapped in Hubei are eligible for the evacuation to Christmas Island…

February 6, 2020: Art Basel (Asia’s largest annual art fair) tweeted: A message from Art Basel regarding the cancellation of #ArtBaselHongKong 2020.” The tweet included an image with the following mesage:

We regret to inform you tha Art Basel Hong Kong 2020 has been canceled due to the severe outbreak and spread of the new coronavirus, which has recently been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected around the world.

We remain committed to Hong Kong and look forward to welcoming you to the next edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, which will take place March 25 to March 27, 2021.

February 6, 2020: Bangkock Post posted an article titled: “K-pop queen Taeyeon cancels Bangkok shows”. From the article:

K-pop superstar Taeyeon has cancelled two concerts in Bangkok over health concerns as the world is battling the spread of the lethal coronavirus.

SM True, which promoted her concerts in Bangkok, announced the decision to defer the concerts planned for Feb 22-23 to later dates due to concerns over the virus.

“The safety and health of artists, audiences, and staff is our top priority and concern,” the organizers posted a Facebook message.

Taeyeon, the former member of girl group Girls’ Generation, planned The Unseen concerts at Thunder Dome Muang Thong Thani…

February 6, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Virgin Atlantic extends suspension of London-Shanghai flights until March 28.” From the article:

Virgin Atlantic has extended its suspension of daily operations to Shanghai until March 28 due to the outbreak of coronavirus and increased travel restrictions to mainland China.

It had previously suspended the flights from London Heathrow to Shanghai for two weeks from Feb 2. On Tuesday, Britain advised that its citizens in China should leave the country if they could.

“Given this new FCO advice, the increasing entry restrictions on recent visitors to mainland China, and our rigorous focus on safety, Virgin Atlantic has opted to extend the suspension of Heathrow-Shanghai operations until March 28,” the airline said in a statement.

February 6, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “Tesla temporarily closes China stores amid coronavirus fears”. It was written by Lora Kolodny and Evelyn Cheng. From the article:

Tesla has temporarily closed its stores in Mainland China as of Sunday, Feb. 2, according to an online post from a company sales employee on that date.

The move comes as more than half of China has shut down in an effort to control the spread of a new coronavirus that has killed more than 500 people in the country. Apple said over the weekend it has closed stores in the mainland, through Feb. 9. Many other foreign brands operating in China have also temporarily suspended or limited their local business operations…

February 6, 2020: UK Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty posted a statement titled: “CMO confirms third case of coronavirus in England”. From the statement:

A further patient has tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to the UK to 3. The individual did not acquire this in the UK.

The patient is being transferred to a specialist NHS centre, and we are using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus. The NHS is well prepared to manage these cases and we are now working quickly to identify any contacts the patient has had.

February 6, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a press release titled: “Shipping of CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diagnostic Test Kits Begins”. From the press release:

A CDC-developed laboratory test kit to detect 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) began shipping yesterday to select qualified U.S. international laboratories. Distribution of the tests will help improve the global capacity to detect and respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

The test kit, called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panel (CDC 2019-nCoV Real Time RT-PCR), is designed for use with an existing RT-PCR Testing instrument that is commonly used to test for seasonal influenza.

The CDC 2019 novel coronavirus test is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from people who meet CDC criteria for 2019-nCoV testing. The test uses a technology that can provide results in four hours from initial sample processing to result…

…The test kit has not been FDA cleared or approved, however distribution and use of the test kits follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) February 4, 2020, issuance of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The tests are being shipped through the International Reagent Resource (IRR), a CDC-established mechanism that distributes laboratory reagents domestically and globally.

Initially, about 200 test kits will be distributed to U.S. domestic laboratories and a similar amount will be distributed to select international laboratories. Each test kit can test approximately 700 to 800 patient specimens. Additional test kits will be made available for ordering in the future from the IRR. At this time, each laboratory that places an order will recieve one 2019-nCoV test kits.

The IRR is accepting orders for 2019-nCoV tests from qualified laboratories. This includes 115 qualified U.S. laboratories, as well as 191 qualified international laboraties and Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories, as well as 191 qualified international laboratories, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance Response System (GISRS) laboratories…

February 6, 2020: Holand America Line posted a news (at 10 AM Pacific Time) titled: “Update 2/6/2020 10 AM Pacific Time”. From the news:

Holland America Line has been notified that the Japanese Government will not permit Westerdam to call in Japanese ports. The ship had been scheduled to call to Ishigaki Island, Naha, Okinawa, Nagasaki and Fukuoka (Hakata), before its scheduled turn in Yokohama on Feb. 15, where the next cruise was scheduled to embark. The ship is not in quarantine and there are no known cases of coronavirus on board.

We are quickly working to develop alternate plans and are keeping guests updated on board as information becomes available. As well, the latest updates will be posted under the Travel Advisory section on our website as soon as they are known. The next cruise that was scheduled to embark in Yokohama on Feb. 15 has been cancelled. Booked guests and their travel advisors will be notified.

We are closely monitoring the evolving situation with respect to coronavirus that originated in mainland China and our medical experts are coordinating closely with global health authorities to implement enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for our ships globally.

Measures we are implementing include:

• Guests who have traveled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau, or had contact with a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or a person who is under monitoring for coronavirus in the last 14 days prior to sailing will not be permitted to board the ship.
• Pre-Boarding medical evaluations, including temperature checks, for persons whom, for any reason, appear or identify as symptomatic (respiratory or fever symptoms); and
• For all guests, our standard pre-boarding health reporting advising of their reporting obligations for any illness or symptoms of an illness.
• Medical screening for Coronavirus on all guests who visit our onboard Medical Center with symptoms of any respiratory illness.
• Reporting to local and national health authorities of all cases of fever and respiratory illness, and any patients with suspected Coronavirus infection.
• Crew members from mainland China will be delayed from joining any ship until further notice. Crew members from other regions of the world who may have been scheduled to connect on flights through China have been rerouted.
• Additional environmental disinfection onboard will be performed in addition to our regular stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols.

The above is subject to change at any time based on the interests of health and safety of our guests and crew as well as any other requirements that may be imposed by local authorities.

Westerdam is on a 14-day Taiwan & Japan cruise that departed Hong Kong on Feb. 1. There are 1,455 guests and 802 crew on board, of which 687 guests were continuing on the Feb. 1 sailing from the previous voyage.

February 6, 2020: Holand America Line posted a news (at 10 PM Pacific Time) titled: “Updated Statement Regarding Westerdam”. From the news:

Holand America Line has been notified that the Japanese Government will not permit Westerdam to call in Japanese ports. This ship had been scheduled to call to Ishigaki Island, Naha, Okinawa, Nagasaki and Fukuoka (Hakata), before its scheduled turn in Yokohama on Feb. 15, where the next cruise was scheduled to embark. The ship is not in quarantine and there are no known cases of coronavirus on board.

We want to thank everyone on board Westerdam for their patience and understanding during this extraordinary situation.

We also announced earlier today the cancellation of the Feb. 15 Westerdam cruise. Guests and theri travel advisors have been notified. We truly regret having to disappoint our guests.

No additional cancellations of cruises beyond Feb. 15 have been announced at this time. However, we are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on Westerdam cruises departing Feb. 29 or later. We know booked guests are anxious to understand how theri booked cruise may be impacted and we will communicate as soon as new details become finalized…


February 7, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 11

February 7, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 18”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.

To date, a total of 72 States Parties were identified to be implementing travel restrictions through official reports, official statements and the media. Of these 72 States Parties, WHO received 23 (32%) official reports from States Parties about their travel restrictions.

“The Pandemic Supply Chain Network (PSCN)” has commissioned a market assessment of the personal protective equipment market which will be distributed shortly to stakeholders of the PSCN as it continues to monitor the market. Additionally, senior management of WHO spoke with the stakeholders of the PSCN to ensure the private sector’s continued engagement to distribute supplies to those countries most in need. The PSCN will encourage manufacturers to increase production, commit supplies to frontline health emergency responders, and expand the number of stakeholders who are involved in the PSCN to gain a critical mass of suppliers to mitigate the operational risks within the market. WHO will continue to provide the technical guidance and coordination of supplies to those countries in most need.

TECHNICAL FOCUS: Monitoring travel restrictions

Since yesterday, 10 additional States Parties are implementing travel restrictions, according to the media and/or official reports to WHO. To date, a total of 72 States Parties were identified to be implementing travel restirctions through official reports, official statements, Of these 72 States Parties, WHO recieved 23 (32%) official reports form States Parties about their travel restrictions. Six other States Parties published official statements but have no yet formally communicated with WHO on their measures. Of note, the situation is subject to change, and some countries are currently in the process of implementing additional resources.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions, and cities in China, 7 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 22,112
  • Zhejaing: 1,006
  • Guangdong: 1,018
  • Henan: 914
  • Hunan: 772
  • Anhui: 665
  • Jiangxi: 661
  • Chongqing: 441
  • Jiangsu: 408
  • Sichuan: 344
  • Shandong: 379
  • Beijing: 297
  • Fuijan: 224
  • Heilongjiang: 227
  • Shaanxi: 184
  • Guangxi: 172
  • Hebei: 171
  • Yunnan: 135
  • Hainan: 111
  • Shanxi: 96
  • Liaoning: 94
  • Tianjin: 79
  • Guizhou: 77
  • Gansu: 70
  • Jilin: 65
  • Inner Mongolia: 49
  • Ningxia: 43
  • Xinjaing: 39
  • Hong Kong SAR: 24
  • Qinghai: 18
  • Taipei and environs: 16
  • Macao SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 31,211

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths as of 7 February 2020:

  • China: including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (24 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (16 confirmed cases): 31,211 cases (3,151) new/ 637 deaths (73 new)
  • Singapore: 30 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 25 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 25 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 14 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 12 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 25 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 12 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 13 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 6 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 3 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 5 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International conveyance (Japan): (cases identified on a cruise ship curently in Japanese territorial waters): 61 cases (41 new)/ 0 deaths

February 7, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on 2010 novel coronavirus – 7 February 2020”. From the remarks:

…First, an update on the latest numbers.

As of 6am Geneva time today, there were 31,211 confirmed cases in China, and 637 deaths.

For the last two days there have been fewer reported new infections in China, which is good news, but at the same time, we caution reading too much into that. The numbers could go up again. As you now, epi curves can zig-zag.

Outside China, there are 270 cases in 24 countries, with 1 death.

As I mentioned on Wednesday, WHO is sending testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators and gowns to countries in every region.

However, the world is facing a severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment.

Demand is up to 100 times higher than normal and prices are up 20 times higher.

The situation has been exacerated by widespread, inappropriate use of PPE outside of patient care.

As a result, there are now depleted stockpiles and backlogs of 4 to 6 months.

Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient to meet the needs of WHO and our partners.

WHO estimates that global frontline health emergency responders will require approximately 7% to 10% of market capacity. This percentage may be higher for other critical supplies.

Frontline health workers in China require the bulk of PPE supplies.

This afternoon I spoke to the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, which includes manufacturers, distributors and logistics providers, to ensure that PPE supplies get to those who need them.

The network is focusing initially on surgical masks because of the extreme demand and market pressures.

We are appreciative of companies that have taken the decision to only supply masks to medical professionals.

There is limited stock of PPE, and we need to make sure we get it to the people who need it most, in the places who need it most.

The first priority is health workers.

The second priority is those who are sick or caring for someone who is sick.

WHO discourages stockpiling of PPE in countries and areas where transmission is low.

We call on countries and companies to work with WHO to ensure fair and rational use of supplies, and the rebalancing of the market…

February 7, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp, and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but…

February 7, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “…he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!

February 7, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Another win just in. Nervous Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress sued me, thrown out. This one unanimous, in the D.C. Circuit. Witch Hunt!”

Senator Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

February 7, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on Novel Coronavirus” From the news:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an update on the status of testing for the novel coronavirus in New York State. As of today, samples from 22 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. Of those, 16 have come back negative. Two samples from New York City and four samples from New York State outside of New York City are pending, for six total pending samples. There are still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York State.

The Governor also issued updates on the number of flu cases, which continues to rise and urged all New Yorkers to take recommended precautions as we approach the peak of flu season…

…The Department of Health is working closely with its partners at the federal, state and local level on this constantly evolving public health emergency. Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the State to use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s diagnostic test, New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center is working to implement the coronavirus testing. Wadsworth Center, which has been at the forefront of numerous public health emergencies such as vaping-associated illness, SARS and synthetic cannabinoids, must complete the proper verification protocols before testing can begin.

The latest influenza surveillance report shows seasonal flu activity continues to increase across New York State with at least one lab-confirmed case in all 62 counties. The number of laboratory-confirmed flu cases and hospitalizations continue to be widespread since the flu season began in October. Flu season occurs primarily from October through May, and the 2019-20 sesaon has yet to peak.

Last week, 1,889 New Yorkers were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza. This season, there have been 13,450 flu-related hospitalizations. In addition, last week 17,231 laboratory-confirmed flu cases were reported to the State Department of Health, a 15 percent increase in cases from the week prior. The most lab-confirmed influenza cases reported during a singel week in a flu season was 18,252 in 2017-18.

There has been a total of 89,587 lab-confirmed cases reported in New York State this seaon, with three flu-associated pediatric deaths. Influenza activity data is available on the New York State Flu Tracker…

February 7, 2020: The Business Times posted an article titled: “Toyota extends China plant closure over coronavirus”. From the article:

Japanese audio giant Toyota said on Friday it would keep its Chinese factories shut until February 16, extending its suspension by a week amid the growing coronavirus crisis.

“After considering various factors including guidelines from local and regional governments… we’ve decided to continue our suspension of production at all Toyota plants in China until February 16,” spokesman Aaron Fowles told AFP.

The Japanese firm had previously said the plants would be mothballed until February 9…

February 7, 2020: Amnesty International posted news titled: “China: Doctor’s death highlights human rights failings in coronavirus outbreak”. From the news:

Responding to the death of Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who was reprimanded by Wuhan police after he tried to issue the first warnings about the novel coronavirus and was then diagnosed with the virus himself, Amnesty International’s Regional Director Nicholas Bequelin said:

“The case of Li Wenliang is a tragic reminder of how the Chinese authorities’ preoccupation with maintaining ‘stability’ drives it to suppress vital information about matters of public interest.

“China must learn the lesson from Li’s case and adopt a rights-respecting approach to combating the epidemic. Nobody should face harassment or sanctions for speaking out about public dangers, just because it may cause embarassment to the government.”

Background

Li Wenliang contracted the novel coronavirus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital. He sent out a warning to fellow medics in late December 2019 about patients with symptoms simimar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that began in southern China in 2002. He was immediately silenced and punished by the local authorities for “spreading rumours.”…

February 7, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Hong Kong Airlines to cut 400 jobs, ask employees to take unpaid leave – SCMP” From the article:

Hong Kong Airlines will slash 400 jobs as the coronavirus outbreak adds to financial troubles for the carrier, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday, citing two sources familiar with the plan.

The airline, controlled by cash-strapped Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, will also ask its remaining staff to take at least two months of unpaid leave, SCMP said.

The newspaper reported the majority of job cuts were set to fall on pilots and cabin crew and staff have also been warned of the possibility of more roles being cut as it shrinks operations.

Hong Kong Airlines plans to cut its daily operations from 82 flights to just 30 from February 11 into March, SCMP reported…

…Earlier this week, Hong Kong Airlines’ larger rival, Cathay Pacific Airways asked its employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave, saying preserving cash was key and that conditions were grave as during the 2009 financial crisus due to the virus outbreak.

Both Cathay and Hong Kong Airlines have already been grappling with a sharp fall in demand since the middle of last year due to widespread, sometimes violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong…

February 7, 2020: Burberry Group posted news titled: “Update on the impact of coronavirus”. From the update:

“The outbreak of the coronavirus in Mainland China is having a material negative effect on luxury demand. While we cannot currently predict how long this situation will last, we remain confident in our strategy. In the meantime, we are taking mitigaing actions and every precaution for the incredible effort of our teams and our immediate thoughts are with the people directly impacted by this global health emergency” – Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer

Our most recent guidance for the year ended March 2020 predates the impact of the coronavirus and we wanted to update the market.

Currently 24 out of our 64 stores in Mainland China are closed with the remaining stores operating with reduced hours and seeking significant footfall declines. This is impacting retail sales in both mainland China and Hong Kong S.A.R. The spending patterns of Chinese customers in Europe and other tourist destinations have been less impacted to date but given widening travel restictions, we anticipate these to worsen over the coming weeks.

We are taking mitigating actions but the benefit in the current year will be limited given the proximity to our March year end. We also intend to continue our key growth initiatives in preparation for a recovery in luxury demand. We will provide a retail trading update following our financial year end.

We remain confident in our strategy and are very pleased with the positive response to our brand repositioning and new product. We will continue to focus on newness and fashion, and on inspiring and engaging our customers globally.

We fully support the efforts the Chinese government is taking to contain the virus and we are working in close conjunction with local authorities and partners.

February 7, 2020: Belfast Live posted an article titled: “Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Baby and mother test results come back”. It was written by Jilly Beattie. From the article:

A baby and mother tested for Coronavirus while being cared for at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry have tested negative, Belfast Live understands.

The littel boy is believed to be no more than 13 weeks old.

The baby and his mother arrived in Derry after flying into Hong Kong with his older sibling last Sunday.

The new mum had contacted her GP on Thursday when her baby showed some symptoms and was told to attend A&E services at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The hospital’s emergency protocol was triggered and the A&E was sealed off by police along with an area in the south wing of the hospital.

It is understood that both mother and child were tested for the deadly Coronavirus because of their transition from Hong Kong.

Staff at the Derry hospital dressed in protective hazmat gear and masks to escort the pair to an isolation area.

The tests were carried out in Derry and sent to England for assessment and the results were returned this evening, it is understood.

On Friday, the Department of Health said the public will be told when a patient tests positive for Coronavirus in Northern Ireland…

February 7, 2020: Ericsson posted a press release titled: “Ericsson withdraws from MWC Barcelona 2020”. From the press release:

Following the outbreak and continued spreading of the novel corona virus, Ericsson … has closely monitored the development and adhered to recommendations from relevant national authorities and international bodies, such as the WHO. The company has already taken a number of precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of employees and to minimize the impact on the company’s operations.

After an extensive internal risk assessment, Ericsson has decided to take further precautionary measures by withdrawing from MWC Barcelona 2020, the largest event in the telecom industry.

Ericsson appreciates that GSMA have done everything they can to control the risk. However, as one of the largest exhibitors, Ericsson has thousands of visitors in its hall each day and even if the risk is low, the company cannot guarantee the health and safety of its employees and visitors.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event.”

To showcase the company’s portfolio and innovations, Ericsson will take the demos and content created for MWC Barcelona to customers in their home markets with local events called “Ericsson Unboxed”.

February 7, 2020: Northern Ireland Department of Health posted a statement titled: “Department of Health statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19)”. From the statement:

We would like to again assure the public that plans are in place to deal with a positive test for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland when it occurs.

It is also inevitable that a number of people will continue to be tested on a precautionary basis in the weeks ahead and it is important to keep these tests in perspective. A test does not mean that a positive result is expected or likely.

As of 6 February, a total of 566 tests were concluded across the UK, of which 563 were confirmed negative and 3 positive.

Different precautionary measures are taken as part of the testing protocols. This can include protective clothing for health and social care staff — for their protection and protection of the wider public.

Again, the use of protective clothing should not be taken as an indication that a positive test is expected.

Northern Ireland health authorities do not intend to comment publicly on each case where a person is being tested. There are patient confidentiality issues to consider, particularly when small numbers of people are involved. There is also a need to avoid undue alarm or speculation. This situation will be kept under review.

When a positive test for Covid-19 occurs in Northern Ireland, the Chief Medical Officer will make a statement confirming the result and reiterating advice to the general public.

While there can be no room of complacency, it is important to stress that NIs health service is well-prepared and used to managing infections. We are working and liaising closely with colleagues in Great Britian and the Republic of Ireland and that co-operation will continue…

February 7, 2020: Royal Caribbean tweeted: “(1/3) You may have seen news about Anthem today and may be wondering about our guests and upcoming cruise. None of the four guests being tested by CDC showed any clinical signs and symptoms of coronavirus. One tested positive for Influenza A.”

February 7, 2020: Royal Caribbean tweeted: “(2/3) We’ve confirmed these guests had not been in China since January 26th. All other guests were permitted to disembark, and we have been cleared to continue with our next sailing.”

February 7, 2020: Royal Caribbean tweeted: “(3/3) However, to reassure our guests, we have delayed our departure until tomorrow, and will be providing hourly updates here: http://royalcaribbean.com/AnthemUpdates

February 7, 2020: The Guardian reported on its live blog a post titled “Cruise operator bans Chinese nationals from its ships”. From the post:

The cruise line operator Royal Caribbean has said it will refuse any passengers with Chinese, Hong Kong or Macao passports, regardless of when they were last in China.

The remarkable statement comes after reports that about two dozen passengers aboard a cruise ship that docted in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Friday morning were screened for coronavirus and four were sent to a local hospital for further screening.

In a statement published on its website, Royal Caribbean said that none of the four passengers tested showed clinical signs or symptoms of coronavirus, although one tested positive onboard for flu. However, the company said it would be adopting a number of health screening protocols, including the following:

“Regardless of nationality, any guest or crew membe traveling from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days prior to their sailing will be unable to board any of our ships.

Any guests holding a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passport, regardless of when they were there last, will not be allowed to board our ships.

Any guest or crew member that has been in contact (which the CDC defines as 6 feet or 2 meters) with someone that has traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days.

Additionally, there will be mandatory specialized health screenings performed on:

Guests who are unsure if they have been in contact with individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days;

Guests who report feeling unwell or demonstrate any flu-like symptoms;

Any guest presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screening will be denied boarding.”

February 7, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Coronavirus brings China’s surveillance state out of the shadows”. From the article:

…Chinese have long been aware that they are tracked by the world’s most sophisticated system of electronic surveillance. The coronavirus emergency has brought some of that technology out of the shadows, providing the authorities with a justification for sweeping methods of high tech social control.

Artificial intelligence and security camera companies boast that their systems can scan the streets for people with even low-grade fevers, recognize their faces even if they are wearing masks and report them to the authorities.

If a coronavirus patient boards a train, the railway’s “real name” system can provide a list of people sitting nearby.

Mobile apps can tell users if they have been on a flight or a train with a known coronavirus carrier, and maps can show them locations of building where infected patients live…

February 7, 2020: Al Jazerra posted an article titled: “Mass wedding in South Korea despite coronavirus fear”. From the article:

There has been a mass wedding in South Korea despite coronavirus fear. Many of the 6,000 couples wore face masks.

Festivals, concerts and graduation ceremonies have been cancelled because of the risk.

But the church says it went ahead with the weddings as it was the 100th anniversary of its leader’s birth.

Followers from China were asked not to attend.

Mass weddings with tens of thousands of couples have been a signature feature of the church since the 1960s.

February 7, 2020: International Business Times posted an article titled: “China Coronavirus Update: Tesla Shuts Down Mainland Stores Over NCoV Outbreak”. It was written by Arthur Villasanta. From the article:

Tesla’s production and physical sales presence in China is close to zero with the company closing its Gigafactory Shanghai last week and on Thursday revealing it closed all its sales outlets starting February 2. The sole reason for both drastic moves: prevent the raging Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak from sweeping mainland China from spreading among Tesla employees and customers.

Tesla earlier announced Giga Shanghai will re-open for business on February 10, but there are rumors this date might be reset to a later one due to the mounting toll being inflicted by the Wuhan coronavirus…

…The temporary closure of Gigafactory Shanghai a month after it began ramping-up production of Model 3s is a big hit to Tesla, which is counting on sales in China to keep its growth going. Tesla only began delivering its first MIC Model 3s to Chinese customers in early January.

The delay in deliveries immediately ended Tesla’s fantastic two-day run on Wall Street Monday and Tuesday when its stock skyrocketed an amazing 34 percent. Tesla shares leapt nearly 20 percent on Monday and by 13.7 percent on Tuesday. The Monday boost was the stock’s biggest one-day jump since May, 2013…

…”The proposed delivery (of cars) in early February will be delayed,” said Tao Lin, vice president of Tesla Global, in a statement posted on Chinese microblogging service Weibo. “We will catch up the production line once the outbreak situation gets better.”…

February 7, 2020: Ozy posted an article titled: “The Coronavirus’ next victim: China’s olympic dreams”. It was written by Ben Halder. From the article:

…Less than six months out from the world’s most awaited sporting event, premier athletes are typically fine-tuning their traning routines. But many of China’s Olympic teams are instead grappling with the impact of the coronavirus that has already killed more than 600 people and brought disruption and uncertainty to a sporting machine renowned for its efficiency and ruthlessness. The virus, which has already hit China’s economy and crippled public life, now threatens to torpedo its dreams of reversing in Tokyo the ignominy of the 2016 Rio Games, where the second-most successful Olympic nation this mellennium fell third in the medals tally behind the much smaller Great Britain.

Global worries over Chinese visitors spreading the virus are leading to restrictions on the country’s teams traning overseas. The Chinese rugby team was due to return to China from a scheduled winter training camp in New Zealand on Jan 27, but is still at its hotel in Tauranga. They now plan to stay in New Zealand until at least mid-March, before traveling to South Africa for another qualifying event – if they’re permitted there. China’s Olympic badmitton team, a factory of gold medals for the nation, were in Bangkok playing a qualifying event when measures to contain the virus were first announced. They’e been allowed back into China but have had to enter a period of quarantine.

Teams within the country are also affected. The Chinese Olympic archery team has been sent to train in isolation at an academy in Sichuan. Members of the rifle shooting team seeking Olympic qualifications began an unplanned, isolated training camp in Beijing on Jan. 27, with some who recently returned from Germany sent into a separate quantine. A sports psychologist was brought in to work with the team and help them deal with the disruption.

Several qualifying events have been cancelled. The Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifying event, which was planned for March 27-29 in Xi’anm is set to be rescheduled for later this year. Olympic boxing qualifiers, scheduled for early February in Wuhan, have been postponed by a month and moved to Jordan. Women’s basketball qualification will now take place in Belgrade rather than Foshan in southern China…

…But as more countries restrict arrivals from China, and fears of a pandemic spread, this focus on the games will be further tested. Between February and April, Chinese athletes are scheduled to take part in over 100 Olympic qualifying events in foreign countries. This is in addition to countless training camps for Chinese athletes across Asia and beyond. It’s unclear ho these host nations – and ultimately Japan, come the Olmpics – will manage Chinese arrivals, and whether some athletes or entire teams might be barred from participating…

February 7, 2020: Public Health England posted a news story titled: “PHE novel coronavirus diagnostic test rolled out across UK”. From the news:

The novel coronavirus diagnostic test developed by Public Health England (PHE) is being rolled out to laboratories across the UK starting Monday 10 February 2020. The increase in diagnostic capacity from one laboratory in London to 12 labs over the coming weeks, will accelerate the country’s testing capabilities.

The UK was one of the first countries outside China to have assured testing capability for the novel coronavirus. At PHE’s laboratories in London, it has the capacity to process samples from more than 100 people a day.

Now, to ensure that the country is prepared for further cases and to speed up the time from a sample being taken to a result in the lab, the test will be carried out by trained scientists across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This increases testing capacity to more than 1,000 people a day for England…

…In addition to processing samples from suspected cases in this country, PHE is now working as a rference laboratory for WHO, testing samples from countries that do not have assured testing capabilities.

The laboratories are in the following locations:

  • Scotland (2 laboratories)
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales
  • London
  • Cambridge
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Manchester
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle
  • Southampton

February 7, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Shanghai to help Tesla resume production amid coronavirus spread”. It was written by Brenda Goh and Samuel Shen. From the article:

U.S. electric carmaker Tesla’s … factory in China’s financial hub of Shanghai will resume production on Feb. 10 with assistance to help it cope with a spreading epidemic of coronavirus, a Shanghai government official said on Saturday…

…Tesla warned on Jan. 30 that it would see a 1-1.5 week delay in the ramp-up of Shanghai-built Model 3 cars as a result of the epidemic, which has severely disrupted communications and supply chains across China.

Tesla Vice President Tao Lin said this week that production would restart on Feb. 10 and that car deliveries from the plant would be temporarily delayed.

“In view of the practical difficulties key manufacturing firms including Tesla have faced in resuming production, we will coordinate to make all efforts to help companies resume production as soon as possible,” Shanghai municipal government spokesman Xu Wei said…

…The Shanghai government also said on Saturday it would ask banks to extend loans with preferential rates to small companies and exempt firms in hard-hit sectors like hospitality from value-added tax, among other measures to prop up businesses during the epidemic.

Such assistance would also apply to foreign companies.

February 7, 2020: Toyota posted an announcement titled: “Toyota Provides Additional Aid For Coronavirus-impacted China”. From the announcement:

Previously, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) President Akio Toyoda made clear the policy to “mindful of the feelings on those in the midst of this outbreak, reach conclusions more swiftly, make prompt decisions, and take immediate action faster than ever focusing on the safety and security as the highest priority.” Based on this policy, Toyota today announces that it will join Toyota and JVs with GAC and FAW. to provide additional aid for those in areas most impacted by the new coronavirus in China.

The in-kind donation will include medical masks, protective medical clothing, and medical-use hats for health care providers, as well as other medical supplies, such as disinfectant, purchased through the companies’ global network. The procurement of these supplies will be done in a way to limit supply strains on local resources, and it is our combined hope that the items will be found helpful for the local population, especially the healthcare professionals who are on the front lines caring for and administering to the Chinese people.

We offer these and the hope of all Toyota-related companies and our joint venture partners as well as the efforts of our team members, their families and our other stakeholders for the soonest possible recovery of those people in the affected areas.

February 7, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Thailand Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 7, 2020

Thailand – Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Global Health Adivisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Exercise normal precautions in Thailand. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Yala, Pattanni, Narathiwaf, and Songkhla provinces due to civil unrest.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Thailand:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Thailand.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Yala, Pattanni, Narathiwaf, and Songkhla Provinces – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Periodic violence directed mostly at Thai government interests by a domestic insurgency continues to affect security in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla. U.S. citizens are at risk of death or injury due to the possibility of indiscriminate attacks in public places. Martial law is in force in this region.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these provinces as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these provinces.

February 7, 2020: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a press release titled: “Remarks at Briefing by Members of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force”. From the press release:

The remarks were given by HHS Secretary Alex Azar. He was surrounded by other members of the Coronavirus Task Force. The website has a video.

…This briefing from President Trump’s coronavirus task force aims to do two things: provide an update on the novel coronavirus, and provide the latest on the extensive, aggressive actions that the President has taken to keep Americans safe and respond to the outbreak.

Following my remarks, you will hear from Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC; Dr. Tony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun; Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli; and Assistant Secretary of Transportation Joel Szabat.

We’re also joined by HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Dr. Robert Kadlec…

…As I said last week, we are working as quickly as possible on the many unanswered questions about the virus.

That includes exactly how rapidly it spreads, how deadly it is, whether it is commonly transmitted by patients who are not yet displaying symptoms, and other issues.

There have now been 12 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, including two cases of transmission to people who had not recently been to China.

Right now, our scientists and public health experts are trying to learn more about the virus using the data we have from China and the cases we have here. In the very near future, we hope, they will be able to work with their Chinese counterparts and other international experts on the ground in China.

Even as we endeavor to answer these important questions, our assessment of the immediate risk to the American public from this virus remains the same as last week.

Although the virus represents a potentially very serious public health threat, and we expect to continue seeing more cases here, the immediate risk to the American public at this time is low…

…Since last week, we’ve notified healthcare providers that those billing Medicare and Medicaid are expected to follow CDC guidelines for infection control related to the novel coronavirus. Our Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, has expanded its work with a pharmaceutical company and found a candidate therapeutic for the coronavirus, while research on such countermeasures continues at NIH and elsewhere in the private sector.

Our longstanding offer to send world-class experts to China to assist remains on the table, and this week the State Department helped deliver 17.8 tons of relief supplies to Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak…

February 7, 2020: Holand America Line posted “Update: 2/7/2020 1:00pm Pacific Time”. From the update:

Westerdam is currently sailing on a southwesterly course off the coast of Taiwan to best position the ship to access potential port locations where we can disembark our guests. We are evaluating several options and working with different governments for a swift resolution.

Guests on board continue to be safe and well cared for. The ship is not in quarantine and we have no reason to believe there are any cases of coronavirus on board despite media reports. The ship has sufficient fuel and food provisions to last until the end of the voyage. We are providing free internet and phone access for guests and crew to stay in contact with their loved ones. Guests have been provided a full refund and a future cruise credit.

This is a very dynamic situation as we continue to manage around evolving and changing restrictions in the region. We sincerely thank our guests and crew on Westerdam — and their loved ones — for their patience during this extraordinary time.

The latest information will continue to be posted under the News & Travel Advisory section of our website at hollandamerica.com.

The Westerdam’s Feb. 15 cruise has been cancelled and guests have been notified. No cancellations beyond Feb. 15 have been announced at this time. However, we are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing Feb. 29 or later. We will communicate details as they become finalized.

For all of our cruises, we continue to monitor the evolving situation with respect to the coronavirus that originated in mainland China, and our medical experts are coordinating closely with global health authorities to implement enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for our ships globally.

Measures we are implementing include:

  • Guests who have traveled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau, or had contact with a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or a person who is under monitoring for coronavirus in the last 14 days prior to sailing, will not be permitted to board the ship.
  • Pre-boarding medical evaluations, including temperature checks, for persons who, for any reason, appear or identify as symptomatic (respiratory or fever symptoms).
  • For all guests, our standard pre-boarding health form advising of their obligation to report any illness or symptoms of an illness.
  • Medical screening for coronavirus of all guests who visit our onboard Medical Center with symptoms of any respiratory illness.
  • Reporting to local and national health authorities of all cases of fever or respiratory illness, and any patients with suspected coronavirus infection.
  • Crew members from mainland China will be delayed from joining any ship until further notice. Crew members from other regions of the world who may have been scheduled to connect on flights through China have been rerouted.
  • Additional environmental disinfection on board will be performed in addition to our regular stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols.

The above is subject to change at any time based on the interests of health and safety of our guests and crew as well as any other requirements that may be imposed by local authorities.

Westerdam is on a 14-day Taiwan & Japan cruise that departed Hong Kong Feb.1. and was scheduled to end at Yokohama Feb. 15. There are 1,455 guests and 802 crew onboard, of which 687 guests continued on the Feb. 1 sailing from the previous voyage.


February 8, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 11

February 8, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 18”. From the report:

TECHNICAL FOCUS: Monitoring travel restrictions:

Since yesterday, 10 additional States Parties are implementing travel restrictions, according to the media and/or official reports to the WHO. To date, a total of 72 States Parties were identified to be implementing travel restrictions through official reports, official statements and the media. Of these 72 States Parties, WHO recieved 23 (32%) official reports from states about their travel restrictions. Six other States Parties published official statements but have not yet formally communicated with WHO on their measures. Of note, the situation is subject to change, and some countries are currently in the process of implementing additional restrictions.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions in cities in China, 7 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 22,112
  • Zhejaing: 1,006
  • Guangdong: 1018
  • Henan: 914
  • Hunan: 772
  • Anhui: 665
  • Jiangxi: 661
  • Chongqing: 411
  • Jiangsu: 408
  • Sichuan: 344
  • Shangong: 379
  • Beijing: 297
  • Shanghai: 269
  • Fujian: 224
  • Heilongjiang: 227
  • Shaanxi: 184
  • Guangxi: 172
  • Hebei: 171
  • Yunnan: 135
  • Shanxi: 96
  • Liaoning: 94
  • Tianjin: 79
  • Guizhou: 77
  • Gansu: 70
  • Jilin: 65
  • Inner Mongolia: 49
  • Ningxia: 43
  • Xinjang: 39
  • Hong Kong SAR: 24
  • Qinghai: 18
  • Taipei and environs: 16
  • Macao SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 31,211

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 7 February 2020:

  • China: including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (24 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (16 confirmed cases): 32,211 cases (3,151 new)/ 637 deaths (73 new)
  • Singapore: 30 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 25 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 24 cases (1 new)/0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 14 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 12 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 25 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 12 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 13 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 6 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 3 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 5 cases/ 0 deaths
  • International conveyance (Japan): cases identified on a cruise ship curently in Japanese territorial waters: 61 cases (41 new)/ 0 deaths

February 8, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “We will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget. Only the Democrats will destroy them by destroying our country’s greatest economy Economy!”

February 8, 2020: Government of Canada posted a news release titled: “Government of Canada Repatriates Canadians and their families from the Epicentre of the 2019-nCoV Outbreak in China”. From the news release:

Yesterday, we welcomed home 174 Canadians and their family members travelling on a Government of Canada-chartered plane, as well as 39 who travelled on a second flight led by the United States from Wuhan, China.

The repatriated Canadians and their family members were met at Canadian Forces Base Trenton by Canada Border Services Agency officers, and were thoroughly assessed by quarantine officers from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

They will stay in isolation at CFB Trenton for 14 days, out of an abundance of caution, to reduce the risk of spread of the virus. Of the 213 returning Canadians and their family members, none have exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

A second and final chartered flight is planned to transport Canadians from Wuhan to Canada.

We welcome the leadership of the World Health Organization and continue to work with our international partners to support the global initiatives that are helping to strenghten health systems and to improve early detection of viruses such as the novel coronavirus. We will also continue working with provinces and territories in the days and weeks to come, as well as continuing to liaise with Canadian consular officials to assist other Canadians who may be affected.

We would like to remind Canadians that the risk of the virus within Canada remains low at this time. We have measures in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians here at home and those who are returning.

February 8. 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Volkswagen says restart of some China plants postponed until February 17”. From the article:

Volkswagen … has postponed restarting production at most China plants in its joint venture with SAIC Motor… and the Tainjin plant in its JV with FAW Group until Feb. 17 amid the coronavirus epidemic.

One car-manufacturing plant Volkswagen operates with SAIC in Shanghai and most of the plants in the FAW joint venture will restart on Feb. 10, the German automaker said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

Volkswagen said it was facing supply chain challenges as China goes back to work after the extended Lunar New Year holiday, as well as limited travel options for its employees.

February 8, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “China’s Tencent asks employees to keep working from home until Feb. 21”. From the article:

Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd has asked its employees to continue working from home until Feb. 21, extending the period from Feb. 14 announced previously, to protect employees from the spread of coronavirus, the company said on its official WeChat account on Sunday…

February 8, 2020: BBC posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: Five Britons in French ski chalet catch virus” From the article:

Five Britons have tested positive for coronavirus in eastern France, the French health minister has confirmed.

Four adults and a child were diagnosed with the virus after coming into contact with a British national who recently returned from Singapore.

The man returned to the UK on 28 January before being diagnosed with the virus himself on Thursday…

…In France, the five Britons with the coronavirus – who were staying in the same ski chalet – are not in a serious condition, French officials said.

But the authorities are closing two schools next week, both of which are attended by the child with the virus, a nine-year-old boy who lives in the ski resort of Contamines-Montjoie with his family…

…The Briton had stayed in Singapore on a business trip from 20 to 23 January, the French health ministry said.

He arrived at Contamines-Montjoie in Haute-Savoie, on 24 January for a four-day stay, before returning to England on 28 January.

On his return to the UK, he is thought to have isolated himself at his Brighton home and called the NHS 111 number. After a positive test, he was taken to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London where he is being treated…

February 8, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “‘Enemy of mankind’: Corinavirus deaths top SARS as China returns to work”. It was written by Winni Zhou and Dominique Patton. From the article:

China raised the death toll from its coronavirus outbreak to 811 on Sunday, passing the number killed globally by the SARS epidemic, as authorities made plans for millions of people returning to work after an extended Lunar New Year break.

Many of China’s usually teeming cities have almost become ghost towns during the past two weeks as Communist Party rulers ordered virtual lockdowns, cancelled flights, closed factories and shut schools.

Even on Monday, a large number of workplaces and schools will remain closed and many white-collar employees will work from home.

The scale of the potential hit to an economy that has been the engine of global growth in recent years has taken a toll on financial markets, as shares slumped and investors switched to safe-havens such as gold, bonds and the Japanese yen.

China’s ambassador to Britian described the newly identified virus as “the enemy of mankind” in a BBC interview on Sunday, but added, “it is controllable, is preventable, is curable.”…

…China’s cabinet said it would coordinate with transport authorities to ensure the smooth return of work of employees in key industries such as food and medicines.

The State Council’s special coronavirus group also said workers should return in “batches”, rather than all at once, to reduce infection risks…

…As millions of Chinese prepared to go back to work, the public dismay and mistrust of official numbers was evident on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter…

…Authorities had told businesses to tack up to 10 extra days on to holidays that has been due to finish at the end of January and some restrictions continued…

…Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, will keep schools shut until March 1, the People’s Daily newspaper said. Several provinces have shut schools until the end of February…


February 9, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 11

February 9, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 20” From the report:

No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.

Update on the Cruise Ship Diamond Princess:

On 9 February, Japanese National Health Authorities provided WHO with a detailed update on the situation of the Cruise Ship Diamond Princess, currently harboured in Yokohama, Japan. Following confirmation of a case of 2019-nCoV, all crew and passengers are being quarantines for a 14-day period on board the vessel, asked to stay in their cabins and to wear a mask when leaving their cabin. All crew and passengers are closely followed-up and are medically examined and tested for 2019-nCoV when displaying any signs or symptoms suggestive of 2019-nCoV disease. The quarantine period wil lcome to an end on 19 February. Epidemilogical and environmental investigations are ongoing.

As of 8 February, 64 individuals were found to have been infected with 2019-nCoV among passengers and crew members. All individuals testing positive were disembarked and admitted for medical care in infectious disease hospitals in the Yokohama area. Close contacts of the infected passengers are asked to remain in quarantine for 14 days from last contact with a confirmed case. Thus, the quarantine period will be extended beyond the 19 Febrary as appropriate only for close contacts of newly confirmed cases.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 9 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 27,100
  • Guangdong: 1,120
  • Zhejiang: 1,075
  • Henan: 1,033
  • Hunan: 838
  • Anhui: 779
  • Jiangxi: 740
  • Jiangsu: 468
  • Chongqing: 446
  • Shandong: 435
  • Sichuan: 386
  • Beijing: 326
  • Heilongjiang: 307
  • Shanghai: 292
  • Fujian: 250
  • Shaanxi: 208
  • Hebei: 206
  • Guangxi: 195
  • Yunnan: 140
  • Hainan: 128
  • Shanxi: 115
  • Liaoning: 105
  • Guizhou: 96
  • Tianjin: 88
  • Gansu: 81
  • Jilin: 78
  • Inner Mongolia: 54
  • Ningxia: 45
  • Xinjiang: 45
  • Hong Kong SAR: 26
  • Qinghai: 18
  • Taipei and environs: 17
  • Macau SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 37,251

Counties, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 9 February 2020:

  • China: including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (26 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (17 confirmed cases): 37,251 cases (2657 new)/ 812 deaths (89 new)
  • Singapore: 40 cases (7 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 27 cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 26 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 17 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 14 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 32 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 12 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 14 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 11 cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 3 cases (0 new)/0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 7 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International conveyance (Japan): cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanes territorial waters: 64 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “I’ve just been at the airport seeing off members of an advance team for the @WHO-led #2019nCoV international expert mission to #China, led by Dr. Bruce Aylward, veteran of past public health emergencies”. This was the start of a thread.

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “As I told media yesterday, #2019nCoV spread outside #China appears to be slow now, but could accelerate. Containment remains our objective, but all countries must use the window of opportunity created by the containment strategy to prepare for the virus’s possible arrival.”

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “There’ve been some concerning instances of onward #2019nCoV spread from people with no travel history to [Chinese flag emoji]. The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “In an evolving public health emergency, all countries must step up efforts to prepare #2019nCoV’s possible arrival and do their utmost to contain it should it arrive. This means lab capacity for rapid diagnosis, contact tracing and other tools in the public arsenal.”

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “I reiterate my call on all countries to share what they know about #2019nCoV in real time with @WHO. I reiterate my call for calm. I reiterate my call for solidarity – human, financial, and scientific solidarity. Any breach in solidarity is a victory for the virus.”

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “In the spirit of solidarity, donors have been stepping up, but we have not reached our goal of US$675 million for @WHO and vulnerable countries. #2019nCoV”.

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “In the spirit of scientific solidarity, 400 of the world’s leading experts will gather this week @WHO HQ Geneva to prioritize work on all the tools we need, including rapid diagnostics, a vaccine & effective treatments.” This tweet included a link to a WHO article.

February 9, 2020: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, tweeted: “In the spirit of human solidarity, I salute the doctors, nurses, caregivers and public #healthworkers on the front lines who, at personal risk, are doing their utmost to stem the #2019nCoV outbreak. They are the true heroes of this outbreak.”

February 9, 2020: Government of Canada posted a news release titled: “Canada supports China’s ongoing response to novel coronavirus outbreak”. From the news release:

Canada is working with its partners and international organizations to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. This is vital to helping those affected and protecting the health and safety of people around the world.

To support China’s ongoing response to the outbreak, Canada has deployed approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves to the country since February 4, 2020.

This equipment has been provided in collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross and the Red Cross Society of China…

February 9, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “DRAIN THE SWAMP!”

February 9, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN and then, KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”

February 9, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Hyundai, Kia to gradually resume South Korea output”. It was written by Joyce Lee. From the article:

Hyundai Motor… and sister firm Kia Motors… will gradually increase production in South Korea from Feb. 11, the companies said in a statement.

Hyundai last week became the first global automaker to suspend production outside China due to the coronavirus outbreak disrupting supply from China.

Earlier on Monday, Hyundai Motor’s union spokesman said that suppliers had resumed production in China on Monday and most of the automaker’s plants in South Korea were expected to resume production between Feb 11 and Feb 17…

…A Kia official said earlier that the automaker had suspended most production at its three car plants in South Korea Monday due to a shortage of parts.

Most of the production at Kia’s Gwangju and Sohari factories will be suspended on Monday and Tuesday, the official said, adding the company will monitor availability of auto parts in order to determine whether to resume production after that.

Kia’s Hwaseong factory halted output on Monday and is expected to resume production on Tuesday, he said.

February 9, 2020: HellokPop posted an article titled: “SEVENTEEN Cancels Upcoming “Ode To You” Stops Due to Ongoing Health Concerns”. It was written by Khriz Virgilo. From the article:

Pledis Entertainment has issued a precautionary measure for the safety of Seventeen and their beloved carats!

With the current health conditions worldwide, SEVENTEEN has decided not to push through with the upcoming stops of their ongoing world tour Ode to You.

In an official statement recently released by Pledis Entertainment, the agency announced that their thirteen-member group will no longer perform oveseas for the rest of February and March.

“Due to the on-going coronavirus outbreak, we have decided to cencel SEVENTEEN’s February and March world tour in consideration of the health and safety of both artist and fans,” the agency said.

Making the health and safety of the artist, audience, and staff as their top priority, the company then added, “We made this dicision to prevent any potential harm. Thereby, we regret to announce the following tour dates will be cancelled.”

  • February 22, 2020: Kuala Lumpur
  • February 29, 2020: Taipei
  • March 3, 2020: Madrid
  • March 5, 2020: Paris
  • March 8, 2020: London
  • March 10, 2020: Berlin

February 9, 2020: Government of Canada posted a statement titled: “Statement from the Chief Public Officer of Canada on the release of selected individuals from quarantine for 2019 novel coronavirus”. From the statement:

On February 7, 2020, the Government of Canada repatriated Canadians and their families from Wuhan, China, which is the epicentre of the outbreak of novel coronavirus (referred to as 2019-nCoV).

Repatriated Canadians and their family members are at Canadian Forces Base Trenton for 14 days for further health assessment and observation. This action is being taken to reduce the risk of spread of 2019-nCoV, based on our knowledge of the incubation period for the virus.

Pursuant to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, as the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO), I have the discretion to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether the quarantine can be for a shorter period based on an assessment of the risk of harm to public health. In exercising this discretion, I consider the risk of exposure – taking into account relevant factors such as the time spent in the epicentre of the outbreak, the use of personal protective equipment, and any contact with a person showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

I have assessed each member of the Canadian Armed Forces medical staff who accompanied the returning travellers, and dtermined that they do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health, and consequently their continued quarantine is not required.

These individuals are not at risk of exposure to 2019-nCoV as they did not spend time in the epicentre of the outbreak, followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and did not have unprotected contact with passengers or persons at risk of having the virus. All passengers were asymptomatic during the flight, and to date, none of the returning Canadians or their family members have exhibited symptoms of 2019-nCoV.

I will work closely with my provincial and territorial colleagues, as well as the World Health Organization and other international partners, to take the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to mitigate the risk of spread of the virus in Canada.

February 9, 2020: TechCrunch posted an article titled: “Amazon withdraws from MWC over coronavirus-related concerns”. Ot was written by Catherine Shu. From the article:

…In a statement emailed to TechCrunch, an Amazon spokesperson said “due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.”…

February 9, 2020: UK Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty posted a statement titled: “CMO confirms fourth case of coronavirus in England”. From the statement:

A further patient has tested positive for novel coronavirus in England, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 4.

The new case is a known contact of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France.

Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. They successfully identified this individual and ensured the appropriate support was provded.

The patient has been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus. The NHS is extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them, and we are working quickly to identify any further contacts the patient has had. This patient followed NHS advice by self-isolating rather than going to A&E.

February 9, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “China’s producer prices break deflation spell but coronavirus risks grow”. From the article:

China’s factory-gate prices snapped six months of year-on-year declines in January, although prolonged business closures from the coronavirus outbreak mean positive momentum is unlikely to persist.

The virus has killed more than 900 in China and has also added to price pressures with consumer inflation hitting a more than eight-year high as government restrictions on movement drove residents to stock up on essentials…

…Analysts attributed the rise to improving activity in the industrial sector at the end of last year, buoyed by a trade truce with the United States and government stimuus, which finally appeared to gain traction.

However, those gains are not expected to be sustained amid growing economic headwinds from the coronavirus…

February 9, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: Airbnbsuspends bookings in Beijing for rest of February”. From the article:

Airbnb said on Monday it has suspended bookings in Beijing until Feb. 29 as death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China exceeded 900.

“In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak and guidance from local authorities for the short-term rental industry during this public health emergency, bookings of all listings in Beijing with check-in from 7 February 2020 to 29 February 2020 have been suspended,” the short-term home rental company said in an email…


February 10, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 11

February 10, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 21”. From the report:

No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.

The WHO R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness plan that allows the rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics. On 11-12 February, WHO is convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action and enable identification of key knowledge gaps and research priorities to contribute to the control of 2019n-CoV. The forum will include members of the scientific community, researchers from Member States’ public health agencies, regulatory experts, bioethicists with expertise in research in emergencies, and major funder of research related to 2019-nCoV.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 10 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 29,631
  • Guangdong: 1,151
  • Zhejiang: 1,104
  • Henan: 1,073
  • Hunan: 897
  • Anhui: 830
  • Jiangxi: 771
  • Jiangsu: 492
  • Chongqing: 468
  • Shangong: 459
  • Sichuan: 405
  • Beijing: 337
  • Heilongjiang: 331
  • Shanghai: 295
  • Fuijan: 261
  • Hebei: 218
  • Shaanxi: 213
  • Guangxi: 210
  • Yunnan: 141
  • Hainan: 136
  • Shanxi: 119
  • Guizhou: 109
  • Liaoning: 107
  • Tianjin: 91
  • Gansu: 85
  • Jilin: 80
  • Inner Mongolia: 58
  • Ningxia: 49
  • Xinjiang: 49
  • Hong Kong SAR: 36
  • Qinghai: 18
  • Taipei and environs: 18
  • Macao SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 40,235

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 10 February 2020:

  • China: including confirmed cases in Hong Kong SAR (36 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (18 confirmed cases): 40,235 cases (3,073 new)/ 909 deaths (97 new)
  • Singapore: 43 cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 27 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 26 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 18 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 14 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 32 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 12 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 14 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 11 cases (0 new) / 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 4 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 7 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): (Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territory waters) 70 cases (6 new)/ 0 deaths

February 10: 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Will be in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight for a Big Rally. Want to shake up the Dems a little bit – they have a really boring deal going on. Still waiting for the Iowa results, votes were fried. Big crowds in Manchester!

February 10, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Hope the Fake News, which never discusses it, is talking about the big crowds forming for my New Hampshire Rally tonight. They won’t!”

February 10, 2020: The White House posted news titled: “Remarks by President Trump at the White House Business Session with our Nation’s Governors”. There is a small portion of it that is relevant to this blog post:

President Donald Trump: “… Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do – you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat – as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape, though. We have 12 cases – 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now. So – but a very good question.”

This response was part of a long answer to a question from Governor Ricketts, who asked: “Mr. President, you’ve had a lot of successes on trade – USMCA, China and Japan. What’s next on your agenda for trade?”

February 10, 2020: C-SPAN posted a video titled: “President Trump Rally in Manchester, New Hampshire”. There is a small portion that is relevent to this blog post:

President Donald Trump: “…and by the way… the virus!… They’re working hard. Looks like by April, you know in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away – I hope that’s true. But we’re doing great in our country. China, I spoke with President Xi, and they’re working very, very hard. And I think it’s gonna all work out fine. Rough stuff, I tell ya, rough rough stuff. But I think it’s gonna work out good. We only have 11 cases, and they’re all getting better.

February 10, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on Novel Coronavirus”. From the news:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced additional negative results for the novel coronavirus in New York State. The New York State Department of Health just learned of another negative test result, which brings the statewide total of samples that have come back negative up to 22. As of today, samples from 23 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. Of those, 22 have come back negative. One sample from New York City is still pending; there are no pending samples from New York State outside of New York City. There are still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York State.

“We are continuing to take every precaution to protect New Yorkers from this virus,” Governor Cuomo said. “While there are still no confirmed cases of the virus in New York State, I urge everyone to continue to take commonsense precautions, such as regular hand washing and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.”…

February 10, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “Factories in China remain shuttered as some regions extend shutdowns amid coronavirus quarantine efforts”. It was written by Weizhen Tan. From the article:

Uncertainty about work resuming at factories in China is setting in with provinces or cities posting different dates for an extended shutdown as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.

Authorities had initially said operations could pick up again on Monday, but the already-extended delay in reopening could be dragged out even further for many factories – including Apple’s largest manufacturer Foxconn.

Even if businesses were up and running again, their workers would still have to fulfill quarantine requirements of around two weeks.

With the further delay, analysts warned of a big hit not just to the Chinese economy, but globally.

Last week, more than 30 provinces and other regions told businesses to not resume work before Feb. 10 at the earliest. In 2019, those parts of China accounted for more then 80% of national GDP, and 90% of exports, according to CNBC calculations of data accessed through Wind Information.

Some provinces and districts have now told companies to not return to work until March 1, according to officials…

February 10, 2020: CNN posted an article titled: “Kia Motors suspends production lines at all three of its factories in South Korea”. It was written by Sophie Jeong. From the article:

Kia Motors suspended nearly all production lines at its three South Korea factories today, a Kia Motors spokesperson told CNN.

The three plants, located in the cities of Gwangmyeong, Hwaesong and Gwangju, are suspended due to “the problem of wiring harness supplies from China,” said the spokesperson.

Production lines at the Hwaseong factory will resume Tuesday, and the lines at the other two plants will resume Wednesday, Kia Motors said…

February 10: 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Xi Jinping appears in public as China returns to work after holiday”. It was written by Lily Kuo. From the article:

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has made his first public appearance in weeks, as some people began to return to work following the lunar new year holiday, which was extended as authorities grappled with the coronavirus outbreak.

Xi, who has been absent from public view as the crisis worsened, visited a neighborhood in Beijing’s Chaoyang district. The president had his temperature taken and greeted residents and workers, according to a brief video posted by the state broadcaster CCTV…

…Around China, workers began trickling back to offices and factories as the government eased restrictions on work and travel. In Beijing, roads were busier than in recent weeks but normally packed trains remained virtually empty. The few commuters on the street or using public transport were wearing face masks. Many companies have asked their staff to work from home…

…The southern city of Guangzhou said it would resume public transport from Monday. Hubei province, hardest hit by the crisis, remained in lockdown, with train stations and airports shut and roads sealed off…

…Schools in provinces across the country will be shut until the end of February…

February 10, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “China’s Xi Jinping has not been to Wuhan since the coronavirus outbreak. Why he may be keeping his distance”. It was written by Huileng Tan. From the article:

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been visibly missing in action in Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, spurring talk about his control from a distance in Beijing.

Instead, Xi dispatched his second-in-command, premier Li Keqiang to Wuhan on Jan. 27, in a shot of confidence for the city which has been under lockdown.

Since then, Xi has not been out much in front of the cameras, although he has been reported in state media as commanding efforts to contain the outbreak.

Most recently, Xi emerged from the shadows on Feb. 5 to meet with Cambodian leader Hun Sen who was on a state visit to China. Before this, the Chinese president had been absent from the limelight for over a week since Jan. 28 when he met with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyseus, the director-general at the World Health Organization.

As the inner workings of the Chinese Communist Party are opaque, observers are weighing why Xi hasn’t been to ground zero or playing up his role in managing the crisis…

February 10, 2020: Government of Canada posted: “Update: Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of selected individuals from quarantine for the 2019 novel coronavirus”. From the update:

Further to my statement on February 9, 2020, as Chief Public Health Officer, I have assessed additional individuals in quarantine at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton pursuant to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act and determined that they do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.

I have authorized the release of 5 flight crew members who accompanied the returning travellers from Vancouver to CFB Trenton. I have also authorized the release of a Government of Canada employee who boarded the first repatriation flight in Hanoi to provide support on the flight from Wuhan to Trenton.

In my assessment, I took into account the fact that they did not spend time in the epicenter of the outbreak, that they followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and that they did not have unprotected contact with the passengers or persons at risk of having the novel coronavirus. As a result of this assessment, I have determined that their continued quarantine is not required.

February 10, 2020: Government of Canada posted “Update #2: Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of selected individuals from quarantine for the 2019 novel coronavirus”. From the statement:

Further to my previous statements, as Chief Public Health Officer, I have assessed additional individuals in quarantine at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton pursuant to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act and determined that they do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.

I have authorized the release of 25 flight crew members who accompanied the returning travellers on the flight from Wuhan to Vancouver to CFB Trenton. In my assessment, I took into account the fact that they did not spend time in the epicentre of the outbreak, that they followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and that they did not have unprotected contact with passengers or persons at risk of having the novel coronavirus. As a result of this assessment, I have determined that their continued quarantine is not required.

February 10, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: journalist missing in Wuhan as anger towards Chinese authorities grows”. It was written by Lily Kuo. From the article:

A citizen journalist who has been reporting from the centre of the coronavirus outbreak has gone missing, promptimg claims that the Chinese authorities are silencing another whistleblower.

Chen Qiushi, a human rights advocate, has been missing since Thursday – the same day Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist who was punished by authorities for trying to warn colleagues and friends about a new Sars-like virus, was first reported to have died from the coronavirus.

Chen went to visit a hospital on Thursday and friends and family have not been able to reach him since Thursday evening. According to Chen’s mother, he has been forcibly quarantined…

…Chen’s disappearance comes as the Chinese government struggles to contain public anger over its handling of the virus. That public anger has reached a new level in the wake of Li’s death.

Chen, who has more than 200,000 followers on Twitter and more than 400,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, had been posting regular updates from Wuhan, where he visited hospitals and spoke to patients and doctors. Like Li, he is seen by the public as a regular citizen trying to help others.

Internet users rallying for Chen accused the government of trying to muzzle citizens attempting to tell the public the true conditions on the ground in Wuhan. Many of the comments about Chen appear to have been wiped from Weibo…

February 10, 2020: UK Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty posted a statement titled: “Chief Medical Officer for England announces 4 further coronavirus cases”. From the statement:

Four further patients in England have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases on the UK to 8.

The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France.

Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. They successfully identified these individuals and ensured the appropriate support was provided.

The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centres at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and The Royal Free hospitals, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent the further spread of the virus. The NHS is extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them, and we are working quickly to identify any further contacts these patients have had.

February 10, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care posted a press release titled: “Health Secretary announces strengthened legal powers to bolster public health protections against coronavirus.” From the press release:

The The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 have been put in place with immediate effect to impose restrictions on any individual considered by health professionals to be at risk of spreading the virus.

The regulations apply to any individuals seeking to leave supported isolation before the current quarantine period of 14 days is complete. It will also apply to future cases during the current coronavirus incident where an individual who may be infected or contaminated could present a risk to public health.

Today’s announcement is not a result of a change in risk to the UK public, which remains moderate…

…The regulations have been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country.

The strengthened powers, effective immediately, will ensure that NHS staff dealing with possible cases can be confident the necessary powers are in place to keep individuals in isolation where the public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus. This is in line with measures taken in other countries.

Over the weekend, the latest government-chartered flight brought a further 100 individuals from the centre of the outbreak in Hubei province to stay in supported isolation in the UK.

The individuals have been taken to the Kents Hill Park conference centre in Milton Keynes where they will remain for 14 days until the end of the inclubation period. This follows the same approach for those currently being housed in Arrowe Park NHS accommodation in Wirral.

All passengers were asked to sign a consent form agreeing to stay in supported isolation for at least 14 days until the incubation period is over. In all cases so far, supported isolation has been effective in controlling the spread of the virus.

These powers will give the public further confidence that the repatriation of British citizens back to the UK from Hubei does not increase the risk of further cases in this country…

February 10, 2020: The Guardian posted a statement from an Easy Jet spokeswoman. From the statement:

“EasyJet has been notified by the public health authority that a customer who had recently travelled on one of its flights has since been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Public Health England is contacting all passengers who were seated in the vicinity of the customer on flight EZ8481 from Geneva to London Gatwick on 28 January to provide guidance in line with procedures.

As the customer was not experiencing any symptoms, the risk to others onboard the flight is very low. We remain in contact with the public health authorities and are following their guidance. The health and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is the airline’s highest priority.

All of the crew who operated have been advised to monitor themselves for a 18-day period since the flight in line with Public Health England advice. Note this happened 12 days ago and none are displaying any symptoms.”

February 10, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Factbox: Countries evacuating nationals from China coronavirus areas”. From the article:

  • Canada, after evacuating 215 last week, flew back 185 Canadians from Wuhan on Feb. 11. All evacuees will be quarantined on the Trenton, Ontario base for two weeks.
  • A second evacuation flight is bringing back another 174 Singaporeans and their family members from Wuhan to the city-state on Feb. 9, Singapore’s foreign ministry said.
  • Thirty Filipinos returned to the Philippines on Feb. 9 from Wuhan, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. The returning passengers and a 10-member government team will be quarantined for 14-days.
  • Britain’s final evacuation flight from Wuhan, carrying more than 200 people, landed at a Royal Air Force base in central England on Feb. 9. A plane carrying 83 British and 27 European Union nationals from Wuhan landed in Britian last week.
  • Two planes with about 300 passengers, mostly U.S. citizens, took off from Wuhan on Feb. 6 bound for the United States – the third group of evacuees from the heart of the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. State Department said.
  • Uzbekistan has evacuated 251 people from China and quarantined them on arrival in Tashkent, the Central Asian nation’s state airline said on Feb. 6.
  • A plane load of New Zealanders, Australians and Pacific Islanders evacuated from Wuhan arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on Feb. 5, officials said.
  • Taiwan has evacuated the first batch of an estimated 500 Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan.
  • The 34 Brazilians evacuated from Wuhan landed in Brazil on Feb. 9, where they will begin 18 days of quarantine.
  • Italy flew back 56 nationals from Wuhan to Rome on Feb. 3. The group will spend two weeks in quarantine in a military hospital, the government said.
  • Saudi Arabia has evacuated 10 students from Wuhan, Saudi state television reported on Feb 2.
  • Indonesia’s government flew 234 Indonesians from Hubei on Feb. 2 and placed them under quarantine at a military base on an island northwest of Borneo.
  • South Korea flew 368 people home on a charter flight that arrived on Jan. 31. A second chartered flight departed Seoul for Wuhan on Jan. 31. with plans to evacuate around 350 more South Korean citizens.
  • Japan chartered a third flight to repatriate Japanes people, which arrived from Wuhan on Jan. 31, bringing the number of repatriated nationals to 565.
  • France has evacuated some nationals from Wuhan and said it would place the passengers in quarantine. It said it would first evacuate nationals without symptoms and then those showing symptoms at a later, unspecified date.
  • A plane brough 138 Thai nationals home from Wuhan last week. They will spend two weeks in quarantine.

February 10, 2020: Daily Echo posted an article titled: “Southampton school closed over coronavirus fears”. From the article:

A Southampton school is being evacuated after pupils were put in isolation over coronavirus fears.

St Mary’s Independent School in Bitterne Park is currently on lockdown following the discovery.

It comes after students at the school were struck down with symptoms similar to the virus.

The students at the Midanbury Lane school have been put in isolation after being checked by medical professionals at Southampton General Hospital.

The school will be closed…for deep cleaning to remove any potential traces of the virus.

St Mary’s is in contact with Public Health England and monitoring the situation…

February 10, 2020: Evening Standard posted an article titled: “British Airways cancels all flights to Beijing and Shanghai until April 1 amid coronavirus outbreak”. It was written by Rebecca Speare-Cole. From the article:

British Airways has cancelled all of its flights to Beijing and Shanghai until April due to the coronavirus outbreak…

…In a statement on Monday, British Airways said: “Following the Foreign Office’s continued advice against all but essential travel to mainland China, we have cancelled all our flights to Beijing and Shanghai until 31 March 2020. All our flights travelling from Beijing and Shanghai have been cancelled until April 1, 2020.

“Flights to and from Hong Kong remain unaffected.”

“This situation will remain under review and we will continue to provide regular updates. If you have a booking with us, please make sure we have your contact details. We’ll do everything we can to help customers affected.”…

February 10, 2020: Boarding Schools’ Association posted news titled: “Novel Coronavirus guidance update February 10, 2020”. From the news:

This advice is a further update to that issued on February 3, and is on behalf of BSA and our partners, AEGIS and BAISIS.

Once again, BSA and our partners remind members that we are NOT a medical authority, nor is this guidence intended as legal advice, and any decisions by a school in this area should involve its own medical staff in conjunction with local GPs. This is important if schools choose to quote the advice verbatum, as the BSA is not a statutory authority.

Is there any change to BSA advice?

Essentially our advice remains the same, with the following key elements:

  • Schools must ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to accommodate any pupils who need it over the forthcoming half-term break, either with guardians or by keeping school facilities open. Our advice, which most schools have followed, is to put this in place for all pupils from South-East Asia, as there is no way of knowing which countries will have travel restrictions in place in two weeks’ time.
  • Schools must assess the risk of any visits by parents and carers taking any appropriate action and breifing relevant staff as fully as possible. Similar measures must be in place for any proposed visits by prospective parents, pupils and agents. Schools must consider the impact on those affected when deciding on postponing or canceling visits, but the safety of the school community must always be the primary concern.
  • Whereas schools can put in place reasonable measures to protect the school community, they do not have the right to stop parents and carers taking their child out of school.
  • Any restrictions imposed by schools must be clearly planned and communicated, and mut relate to the travel and risk profile of those concerned. Schools must avoid placing unnecesary restrictions on people who are clearly beyond the incubation period, which is currently 14 days.
  • Schools must proactively plan ahead for Easter. It is highly likely that matters will be very different then. The risk from the virus might have completely abated, or the list of countries where travel is not advised might have increased considerably. Schools must expect that pupils living in South-East Asia might not be able to travel and must also consider that some other countries might also be affected. Anyone choosing to travel should be advised that restrictions could well be in place before they return.
  • Schools must actively support all those whose plans have been compromised by the current situation, and be particularly aware of the impact of enforced separation on boarders and their families. Schools need to have appropriate conversations with parents and pupils about their plans so that the best advice can be given to each individual family.
  • Schools must ensure that all boarders are protected both in school and outside school. There have been isolated reports of children being targeted outside school on the basis of their ethnicity, and a prcieved link to the virus. AEGIS advises that reasonable steps should be put in place to ensure that boarders are protected when outside school, which includes expecting them not to leave school on their own. Robust measures must also be taken to respond to any associated bullying within school.

How has the situation developed?

The Health Secretary has now put powers into place which would allow for individuals to be kept in “supported isolation” if necessary, and has described teh virus as a “serious and imminent threat” to the UK. However, the UK risk level remains moderate, and it has become clear that these powers are specifically designed to respond to a situation with those who have been repatriated. The powers will, however, also allow a speedy response should the virus spread more widely within the UK…

…How has travel been affected?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against all travel to Hubei Province and all but essential travel to mainland China. This advice does not yet extend to Hong Kong, Macao, and other countries in the region, but several countries have put additional screening measures and restrictions in place….The advice makes it clear that anyone travelling to certain countries in South-East Asia must be prepared for additional control measures and for the fact that travel is being curtailed or disrupted because of airline cancellations, particularly to and from Hong Kong. The picture is changing dynamically, so schools are advised to check FCO advice for any relevant information…

…What about pupils who travel oversees and then return to school?

If a parent or carer still decides to require their child to travel, schools must make it clear that anyone returning from China will be required to spend a period of 14 days in the UK before returning to school, and should self-isolate during this time. BSA continues to advise similar action for Hong Kong, and it is very possible that this will need to be extended to other countries in the South-East Asia region. AEGIS has made it clear that their guardians are highly unlikely to be able to offer guardianship under such circumstances.

Although this continues to exceed current FCO advice, schools must plan for what could happen, rather than what has happened.

Schools have a right to take reasonable measures to protect their staff and pupils and can advise pupils not to leave and advise those from overseas not to visit, but schools do not have the right to prevent any parent from collecting theri child if they wish to do so. Any measures put in place must also be reasonable. If a parent visits their child for the whole Easter holiday and has displayed no symptoms before teh end of the holiday, current health protection guidance indicates that such a person is beyond the incubation period and does not represent a risk. It would not be reasonable, therefore, to impose additional restrictions at that point without good cause…

February 10, 2020: Sony posted an announcement titled: “Sony’s Participation at MWC Barcelona 2020”. From the announcement:

Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020.

As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

The Sony press conference will now instead take place at the scheduled time of 8:30am (CET) on February 24, 2020 as a video via our official Xperia YouTube channel to share our exciting product news…

…Sony would like to thank everyone for their understanding and ongoing support during these challenging times.

February 10, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “Automakers resume or prepare to restart car production in China amid coronavirus outbreak.” It was written by Michael Wayland. From the article:

Several automakers on Monday reopened or are preparing to restart factories in China after an extended holiday shutdown due to the coronavirus, which is now responsible for more than 900 deaths in the country.

Ford Motor resumed vehicle production at its plants in Chongqing and Hangzhou, according to Anderson Chan, a company spokesperson. It’s unclear when the facilities will fully reopen to their capacity before the shutdown, which started lat last month. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker operates six assembly plants in the country.

“We are taking a gradual approach in ramping up production operations, based on market demands and without compromising the safety of our employees,” Chan said in an emailed statement to CNBC. “We are carefully monitoring the situation and working closely with relevant government authorities and stakeholders in planning and acting accordingly.”…

February 10, 2020: National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China posted news titled: “China introduces novel coronavirus close contact detection app”. From the news:

China has rolled out a mobile app “close contact detector,” enabling people to check whether they were at risk of catching the novel coronavirus.

Following its release on the evening of Feb 8, users can scan a QR code via mobile aps like Alipay, WeChat or QQ to make an inquiry.

After registering with a phone number, users need to enter their name and ID number to know whether they were in close contact with someone infected. Every registered phone number can be used to inquire for three ID numbers.

Those who have been in close contact are advised to stay at home and get in touch with local health authorities.

The app was developed by the General Office of the State Council, the National Health Commission and China Electronics Technology Group Corporations (CETC).

The CETC said the app recieved support from several government agencies including the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Transport, China Railway and the Civil Aviation Administration of China to ensure accurate, reliable and authoritative data.

According to the National Health Commissioner, close contact refers to someone who has come in close distance, with no effective protection, with confirmed cases, suspected cases or mild cases while the person was ill or showed asymptomatic cases in the following conditions:

It includes people who work close together, share the same classroom or live in the same house; medical staff, family members or other people who have been in close contact with patients in a closed environment and other patients in the same room as their caregivers; as well as passengers and crew members who have been in the same transportation facility with patients (confirmed and suspected cases) and infected cases (mild cases and asymptomatic cases).

On a flight, for instance, all passengers in the same row and three rows in front and back of the case seat, as well as the flight attendants who provide cabin services in the area, are regarded as being in close contact, while other passengers would be referred to as having general contact

In a fully enclosed air-conditioned train, all the passengers and crew members who are in the same compartment are regarded as being in close contact.

February 10, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruses posted a press release titled: “Travel Restriction Update”. From the press release:

Royal Caribbean has ended its temporary general restriction on holders of passports from China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The general restriction was adopted last week in response to numerous ports and governments around the world restricting travel for Chinese passport holders, often with little advanced notice. Now that these governmental restrictions have been clarified, we are able to clarify our own policies. Our 15-day restriction on all individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau remains in effect, and so do restrictions on individuals who have been in close contact with persons who have traveled from, through or to China, Hong Kong, and Macau in the past 15 days. We maintain a list of our current boarding policies for all travelers, together with a list of current local travel restrictions at https://presscenter.rclcorporate.com/pressrelease/48/coronavius-updat. We encourage holders of China, Hong Kong and Macau passports to be aware of the potential disrupted vacation, and to contact us with any questions.

February 10, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Russia Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 10, 2020

Russia – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Exercise extreme caution in Russia due to terrorism, harassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and risk of civil unrest.
  • Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukranian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.

Terrorist groups, transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extreme ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets / shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and public areas.

U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel, who are visiting or residing in Russia have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained by Russian officials and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment and extortion. For this rason, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has advised all U.S. government and Department of Defense personnel to consider carefully travel to Russia. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce the law against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.

Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Russia nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from Russia.

Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government may have delayed ability to provide service to U.S. citizens, especially in the Saint Petersburg area.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on news information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Russia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contigency plan for emergency situations and a plan to contact family to let them know you are safe. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

North Caucuses (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus) – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.

Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volitale and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region…

Crimea – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. The Russian Federation is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occumation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the pennisula.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea…

February 10, 2020: Holand America Line posted: “Update: 2/10/2020 12:45am Pacific Time”. From the update:

Westerdam is sailing for Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand, where the current cruise that departed Feb. 1 will end on Thursday, February 13. Guests will be disembarking in Laem Chabang and transfer to Bangkok for their forward travel home. This new schedule has been communicated to guests on board. The cruise was previously scheduled to disembark Feb. 15 in Yokohama, Japan.

All guests will receive a 100% refund for the 14-day sailing, as well as a 100% Future Cruise Credit.

Following the disembarkation of guests, Westerdam will depart Laem Chabang. The Feb. 15 cruise scheduled to embark in Yokohama has been cancelled. No cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond February 15 have been announced at this time. However, we are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing Feb. 29 or later. We will communicate details as they become finalized in the next few days. The latest information will continue to be posted under the News & Travel Advisory section of hollandamerica.com. Again, we sincerely thank our guests and the crew on Westerdam — and their loved ones — for their patience during this extraordinary time.

February 10, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Residents of evacuated Hong Kong apartments test negative for coronavirus”. From the article:

Five Hong Kongers evacuated from a residential building where a man and woman confirmed with coronavirus live tested negative for the virus, health authorities said on Tuesday, easing concerns of a cluster of the outbreak in the Chinese-ruled city.

The five people were exhibiting flu-like symptoms earlier. They remain in quarantine together with 200-plus residents who were evacuated from the building in Tsing Yi district in the New Territories in the early hours.

The evacuation occurred after a 62-year-old woman became the second confirmed case in the building on Monday, after a 75-year-old man tested positive on Jan. 30. The two patients, currenty recieving treatment, live on different floors.

Initial investigations into the drainage system in the building further reduced concerns that the virus may have spread through the pipes, the authoraties said.

The flat where the latest infection was discovered had had an alteration to its drainage system, but the pipe network in the public building was in good condition, they said…


February 11, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Quantum of the Seas Update”. From the press release:

In light of current regional travel conditions, we have made the difficult decision to cancel two sailings on Quantum of the Seas, due to depart from Singapore on 2/15/20 and 2/24/20. We are sharing the news with our guests and are sorry for the disruption to their vacation. Guests will revieve full refunds.

Royal Caribbean’s number one priority is ensuring the health and welfare of our guests and crew while delivering great vacations. We will continue to monitor conditions and will share other itinerary adjustments should they become necessary. The Singapore market remains of great importance to us and we look forward to returning there very soon.

February 11, 2020: Holand American Line posted: “Update: 2/11/2020 12:03am Pacific Time”. From the update:

We are aware of the reports regarding the status of Westerdam’s call to Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand. We are actively working this matter and will provide an update when we are able. We know this is confusing for our guests and their families and we greatly appreciate their patience. We have no reason to believe there are any cases of coronavirus on board the ship despite media reports.

February 11, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: 12

February 11, 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report – 22”. From the report:

No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.

An advanced team is currently in Beijing to prepare an international mission and to determine the questions the international team will want to learn more about: from characteristics of the virus to public health response China put in place to try and contain the virus. The group of international experts, with a range of specializations, will work with Chinese counterparts on increaseing understanding of the outbreak to guide global response efforts. Since being notified of the outbreak on 31 December, the WHO Country Office in China, supported by the regional and international offices, has worked to support China, and indeed the world, to scale up the response. A small mission was sent to Wuhan mid-January, and the Director-General visited in January.

Following WHO best practices for naming new human infectious diseases, which were developed in consultation with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), WHO has named the disease COVID-19, short for “coronavirus disease 2019”.

Technical Focus: Zoonotic component of 2019-nCoV and human-animal interface:

Increasing evidences demonstrate the link between the 2019-nCoV and other similar known coronaviruses (CoV) circulating in bats, and more specifically those of the Rhinolophus bat sub-species. These sub-species are abundant and widely present in Southern China, and across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Recent studies indicate that more than 500 CoVs have been identified in bats in China. To be noted tha serological studies conducted in rural population living close to bats natural habitat in caves revealed a 2.9% bat-CoV seroprevalence, demonstrating that humans exposure to bat-CoV’s might be common.

However, the route of transmission to humans at the start of this event remains unclear. Bats are rare in markets in China but hunted and sold directly to restaurants for food. The current most likely hypothesis is that an intermediary host animal has played a role in the transmission.

Both Chinese and external expert groups are working in trying to identify the animal source of this new virus. Identifying the animal source of the 2019-CoV would help to ensure that there will be no furrther future similar outbreaks with the same virus and will also help understanding the initial spread of the disease in the Wuhan area. It would also increase our understanding of the virus and help us understand how these viruses jump from animals to humans. Thus, providing critical market hygiene activities in live food market will be essential to protect people from similar and other zoonotic diseases.

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 11 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 31,728
  • Guangdong: 1,177
  • Zhejiang: 1,117
  • Henan: 1,105
  • Hunan: 912
  • Anhui: 860
  • Jiangxi: 804
  • Jiangsu: 515
  • Chongqing: 486
  • Shandong: 486
  • Sichuan: 417
  • Heilongjiang: 360
  • Beijing: 342
  • Shanghai: 302
  • Fuijan: 267
  • Hebei: 239
  • Shaanxi: 219
  • Guangxi: 215
  • Yunnan: 149
  • Hainan: 142
  • Shanxi: 122
  • Guizhou: 118
  • Liaoning: 108
  • Tianjin: 96
  • Gansu: 86
  • Jilin: 81
  • Inner Mongolia: 58
  • Xinjaing: 55
  • Ningxia: 53
  • Hong Kong SAR: 42
  • Qinghai: 18
  • Taipei and environs: 18
  • Macao SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 42,708

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 11 February 2020:

  • China: including cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (42 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (18 confirmed cases) 42,708 cases (2,484) new/ 1,017 deaths (108 new)
  • Singapore: 45 cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 28 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 26 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 18 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 15 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (0 new)/ 1 deaths
  • Cambodia: 1 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 33 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 13 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 14 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 11 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 8 cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): (Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territory waters) 135 cases (65)/ 0 deaths

February 11, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Great being in New Hampshire last night. I would say that was the biggest political Rally in New Hampshire history. Incredible evening!”

February 11, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “New Stock Market RECORD. Congratulations, spend your money wisely. KEEP AMERICA GREAT !!!!!”

February 11, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “The Fake News Media is looking hard for the Big Democrat Story, but there is nothing too fabulous. Wouldn’t a big story be that I got more New Hampshire Primary Votes than any incumbent president, in either party, in the history of the Great State? Not an insignificant fact!

February 11, 2020: Bloomberg posted an article titled: “Chinese Firm Makes Gilead Drug in Virus Fight, Raising IP Fears”. From the article:

A Chinese drugmaker said it has started mass-producing an experimental treatment from Gilead Sciences Inc. that has show potential to fight the novel coronavirus, adding to concerns that the U.S. pharma company is losing patent control in China’s accelerating effort to fight the outbreak.

Suzhou-based BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology Co. said it has developed technology to synthesize the active pharmaceutical ingredients of Gilead’s remdesivir. A leading candidate to treat the virus that’s killed more than 1,000 people, the drug isn’t licensed or approved anywhere in the world. BrightGene rose 20% Wednesday in Shanghai.

While BrightGene said it intends to license the drug from Gilead, its move to start manufacturing at this early stage is highly unusual and a potential challenge to the U.S. company’s intellectual property. Last week, Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology filed an application in China to patent the drug, which was developed for Ebola, to treat the new coronavirus.

The aggressive moves to make and assume control of Gilead’s drug could revive concerns about the protection of intellectual property rights in China, long an area of concern for U.S. and European pharma companies, tech giants and others…

…Gilead said it’s aware of BrighGene’s announcement and that it remains “focused on rapidly determining the potential for remdesivir to treat COVID-19,” the name given by the World Health Organization to the new syndrome. The company has said that any discussion of licensing the investigational drug is “premature.”…

…Chinese researchers are now testing the drug on 761 patients in clinical trials in Wuhan…

February 11, 2020: Government of Canada posted a news release titled: “Government of Canada repatriates more Canadians and their families from Wuhan”. From the news release:

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and the Honorable Harjit Saijan, Minister of National Defense, today announced that Canada’s second chartered plane has arrived safely from Wuhan, in China.

At 6:17 AM today, 130 Canadians and 56 accompanying family members travelling on the Government of Canada’s second chartered plane from Wuhan, China, arrived today at CFB Trenton. They join the 213 Canadians who returned from Wuhan on the first Canadian chartered flight and a U.S. flight that landed in Canada last week.

Pasengers were met in Trenton by Canada Border Services Agency officers, and were thoroughly assessed upon arrival by quarantine officers from the Public Health Agency of Canada. None of the passengers have exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus upon arrival.

They will stay in isolation for 14 days and undergo the same medical assessment and observation as those who were repatriated on the previous flights. The Government of Canada continues to work with provincial, territorial, and local health authorities to ensure that the returning Canadians and their family members receive all the medical and ongoing support necessary to protect their health and the health and safety of all Canadians.

Canada has also provided approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves to China since February 4, 2020.

Consular officials remain in contact with Canadians in China who have requested assistance. This was the last planned flight from Wuhan…

…Furthermore, to support global efforts to combat the 2019 novel coronavirus, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today confirmed that Canada is providing $1 million to the World Health Organization to help vulnerable countries prepare and, if necessary, respond to coronavirus events. Canada continues to support other global initiatives that are helping to strengthen health systems and improve early detection of viruses such as the novel coronavirus.

February 11, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care posted news titled: “Government to monitor impact of coronavirus on UK medicine supply”. From the news:

The Chinese government continues to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including on flight and rail travel.

To relieve potential pressures on global supply chains, suppliers have been asked to carry out a risk assessment on the impact of coronavirus on their business.

As an extra precaution, companies have also been asked to retain existing stockpiles of medical supplies, compiled as a contingency measure ahead of our exit from the EU, where possible.

There are no current medicine shortages in the UK linked to the situation in China but the UK government is taking precautionary measures to help continue the uninterrupted supply of medicines to patients in the UK…

…The goverment will work closely with industry and partners to continually monitor the impact of coronavirus on the UK supply chain and put in place measures to protect UK patients.

There is no need for the public or NHS to stockpile. This could aggrivate problems elsewhere in the supply chain if they emerge.

The Department of Health and Social Care is also working with NHS Supply Chain to retain centralised stock of medical products…

February 11, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care tweeted: “UPDATE on #coronavirus testing in the UK: As of 2 pm on Tuesday 11 February 2020, a total of 1,358 tests have concluded. 1,350 were confirmed negative 8 positive. Updates will be published at 2pm daily until further notice”

February 11, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Macau Travel Advisory”. From the Advisory:

Travel Advisory February 11, 2020

Macau – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

A novel (new) coronavirus is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness that begain in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Macau government has reported cases of the novel coronavirus in its special administrative region. In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Macau government has placed restrictions on entry to its special administration region on individuals who have been to Hubei Province, China within the previous 14 days and may quarantine those they believe could have been exposed to the coronavirus.

As of February 4, ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau have been suspended and flights from Macau International Airport have been reduced. Also, bus drivers may refuse passengers who do not wear face masks.

On February 10, 2020 the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employers and their family members due to the novel coronavirus and the impact to Mission personnel as schools and some public facilities have been closed until further notice.

The Department of State has raised the Travel Advisory for China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Warning: Avoid all nonessential travel to China.

If you must travel to Macau, you should:

  • Monitor the Macau government’s website for further updates on the coronavirus infection.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Discuss travel to Macau with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Maintain drainage pipes properly and add water to U-traps regularly.
  • Put the toilet lid down before you flush to prevent the spread of germs.

If you have traveled to Macau in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your moth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask and seek medical advice promptly if unwell.

February 11, 2020: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a press release titled: “HHS, Janssen Join Forces On Coronavirus Vaccine”. From the press release:

To expedite development of vaccines that protect against the 2019 coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will expand an existing partnership with New Jersey-based Janssen Research & Development, part of Johnson & Johnson.

Jannsen and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of ASPR, will share research and development costs and expertise to help accelerate Janssen’s investigational novel coronavirus vaccine into clinical evaluation…

…Janssen also will work on the scale-up of production and manufacturing capacities required to manufacture the candidate vaccine. This same approach was used to develop and manufacture Janssen’s investigational Ebola vaccine with BARDA support; that vaccine is being used in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of the current Ebola outbreak response…

…There is currently no approved vaccine, treatment, or diagnostic for novel coronavirus infections; however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to enable emergency use of a diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to expanded collaboration with Janssen, BARDA is working with counterparts across the government, including within HHS and with the Department of Defense. The team is reviewing potential vaccines, treatments and diagnostics from across the public and private sectors, particularly products in development for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), to identify promising candidates for development to detect, protect against or treat people with novel coronavirus infections.

To obtain information about any potential products in development in the private sector that could be used in responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak, this task force launched a single point-of-entry website for innovators and product developers to submit brief descriptions of their relevant diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other products or technologies. The task force is particularly interested in identifying products and technologies that have progressed into or beyond non-clinical studies, have established large-scale commercial Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) manufacturing capability, or utilize an FDA-cleared diagnostic platform…

February 11, 2020: The Argus posted an article titled: “Coronavirus fears for person at Varndean School, Brighton”. It was written by Aidan Barlow. From the article:

Another person has been told to go into isolation over fears of coronavirus at a city secondary school.

The person from the “school community” at Varndean School has been advised to self-isolate by health chiefs.

School headteacher William Deighan sent an email to parents about the possible case.

It is the fifth school to report a possible case of coronavirus in Brighton and Hove.

There were four more confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city yesterday…

February 11, 2020: The Argus posted an article titled: “Coronavirus fears at two Eastbourne schools”. It was written by Charlotte Ikonen. From the article:

Two more Sussex schools have been told staff are in “self-isolation” over coronavirus fears.

Parents of children at Ocklynge School, in Victoria Drive, Eastbourne have been told a staff member had contact with an infected person and has been told to stay at home for 14 days.

This comes after Ratton School, also in Eastbourne, released an almost identical statement today…

…The Argus previously reported several schools in Brighton have been told to place themselvs in quarantine…

…Varndeen School, which has around 1,300 pupils, told parents a “member of its community” was in quarantine becaue of suspected coronavirus contact.

Varndean School, which has around 1,300 pupils, was one of the schools in the city to announce that somebody connected to it had been told to “self-isolate” for 14 days by Public Health England.

Parents at Cottesmore St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Hove told of their shock after learning two pupils… were in quarantine.

Hangleton Primary School, PACA and Bevendean parents were also told members of staff were in quarantine.

Five people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Brighton…

February 11, 2020: CBS 46 posted an article titled: “200 people in Georgia self-monitoring for coronavirus”. It was written by Mea Watkins. From the article:

The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday that approximately 200 people in Georgia are self-monitoring for symptoms of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

These individuals recently returned from China and are self-monitoring for symptoms of the virus from home. The DPH said they are showing no symptoms and there are no Georgia travelers who have returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province requiring quarantine.

DPH epidemiologists contacted the individuals by phone to establish a plan for self-monitoring and gave them instructions on how to contact the agency before they seek health care if they develop fever, cough or shortness of breath.

President Trump issued a federal proclamation in January that included a travel ban for non-U.S. citizens entering the country from China and funneling flights from China to one of 11 airports in the U.S., including Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

In addition, the proclamation requires mandatory 14=day quarantine for returning travelers who have been in the Hubei Province and 14 days of supervised self-monitoring for returning travelers from anywhere else in China…


February 11, 2020: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper posted news titled: “Governor Cooper Directs Creation of Novel Coronavirus Task Force to Continue Protective Efforts.” From the news:

Today, Governor Roy Cooper formalized the state’s ongoing effort to monitor, prepare for and respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus (CoVID-19) with a state Novel Coronavirus Task Force. The task force will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and coordinate across state agencies to protect the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians.

The task force will be chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, North Carolina State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Mike Sprayberry, Director of North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM), for the Department of Public Safety.

“Though currently the risk to North Carolinians is low, we are taking a proactive approach and are prepared for potential scenarios,” said Governor Cooper. “This task force will continue coordination between our agencies and federal partners so we can keep the public informed and safe.”

Currently, DHHS is working with local health departments and clinicians to evaluate any potential cases and coordinate care and testing as needed. Working closely with the CDC, the department is coordinating health information sharing as this situation continues to evolve. North Carolina has not had any confirmed cases of the virus.

The task force agencies will continue coordinating communications with local entities through the Department of Public Safety and its NCEM division’s traditional channels as needed.

The risk to the general public in North Carolina, especially without history of travel to China, is still considered very low at this time. Remember that the steps to take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold could also help prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses like 2019-nCoV:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are ill.

February 12, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 12

February 12, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a transcript titled: “Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: CDC Update on Novel Coronavirus”. From the transcript:

…Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: …First, I want to extend my condolences to the family of the American who died in China over the weekend. As far as we know, this is the first American to die from this new coronavirus. Though more than a thousand people in China have died. My sympathy and my thanks go to the people of China, for those who have lost loved ones and those who are on the front lines battling this virus. In China, they are taking aggressive measures just as we are in the United States.

Since we briefed you last, there has been one new confirmed novel coronavirus infection detected in the United States. The new confirmed infection is an individual who returned from Wuhan and was quarantined at Marine Corps Air Station Miamar. This individual was given one of the last Department of State flights out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in China. Given the spread of the virus in Wuhan, it is not surprising to see a positive case among people who recently returned from there. That is in fact the reason they are being quarantined. Currently the person has mild illness but is hospitalized. This brings the total number of confirmed positives in the United States to 13.

I want to clarify some of the reports about this case. Last Thursday when one of the planes from Wuhan landed at Miramar, a few people were sick and transported to local hospitals for further evaluation. These people were placed in isolation and samples were taken for testing. When running laboratory diagnostics for any disease, anywhere in the world, the ability to match the individual to the specimen is key, and is part of normal procedures put in place to ensure that that matching is done correctly.

But in this situation with this patient, it didn’t work correctly, and the patient was misidentified as negative. The issue was identified within 24 hours. The CDC tested the sample, the positive result was conveyed quickly to the local public health and CDC teams. The mishap was unfortunate, but we have corrected this from happening again in the future by adding addiitonal quality control. And its really important to emphasize that during this time appropriate infection control precautions were taken around everyone, including around this patient who, again, is doing well…

…Before I take questions, I want to give you a couple more updates. Since the airport screening began in mid-January, CDC and its partners have screened more than 30,000 passengers from China. With the temporary restrictions on travel, we are seeing fewer and fewer travelers from China, especially from Hubei provence. Passengers are being funneled through 11 airports, most of these people are coming from parts of mainland China outside of Hubei, show no symptoms, and have not been assessed as high risk. Those who passed the screening continue on to their final desitnation where they self-monitor their health for 14 days in cooperation with their state and local health departments. We’re asking these people to limit their daily activities and stay home during that 14-day period. Our gial is to be as least restrictive as possible while ensuring the safety and health of all Americans….

…The goal of the measures we have taken to date are to slow the introduction and impact of this disease in the United States but at some point, we are likely to see community spread in the U.S. or other countries and this will trigger a change in our response strategy. This will require the effort of all levels of government, the public health system, and our communities as we face these challenges together. We are now focusing on preparing in other areas, including development of guidance for our health care practitioners and planning for increased demand on our health care system.

One important aspect of this is taking steps to make sure there are enough supplies and appropriate guidance to prevent the spread of the disease, especially among health care personnel caring for patients. We understand the importance of providing guideance that health care facilities can implement given the availability of personal protective equipment or PPE supplies. CDC talks regularly with health care industry partners as well as PPE manufacturers and distributors to assess availability of PPE.

At this time, some partners are reporting higher than usual demand for select N95 respirators and face masks. CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks for the general public. The virus is not spreading in the community. If you are sick or a patient under investigation and not hospitalized, CDC recommends wearing a face mask when around other people and before entering a health care provider’s office, but when you are alone, in your home, you do not need to wear a mask….

…Some good news this week is that yesterday, the first group of 195 people who returned from Wuhan on a State Department flight completed their 14-day quarantine. None of those people have this new virus, and all left March Air Reserve Bass successfully and happily returned along the way to their families and their communities. It’s imporant that people understand that these people being released from quarantine pose no threat to the surrounding communities or the community they will be returning to…

…I also want to say that CDC is working in close collaboration with Japanese health authorities to ensure precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of disease on the Diamond Princess cruise ship as well as making sure the American citizens on that cruise ship are safe. We recognize the uncertainty of the current situation. As always CDC public health experts strive to make the best recommendations based on the most up-to-date data…

February 12, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 23”. From the report:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

WHO has published key considerations for repatriation and quarantine of travellers in relation to COVID-19. More information can be found here.

The UN activated a Crisis Management Team (CMT) on the COVID-19 outbreak, to be led by WHO. The WHO Director-General nominated Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme as the Crisis Manager. The CMT brings together WHO, OCHA, IMO (International Maritime Organization), UNICEF, ICAO, WFP, FAO, the World Bank and several departments of the UN Secretariat. It held its first meeting yesterday via teleconferences. This mechanism will help WHO focus on the health response while other agencies will bring their expertise to bear on the wider social, economic and developmental implications of the outbreak. Additional members will be included depending on the evolution of the outbreak and its impact globally.

WHO has prepared a list of Q&A on infection prevention and control for health care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV.

Technical Focus: Internationally exported COVID-19 cases

Excluding China, there are 24 countries reporting cases of COVID-19. Among these 24 countries, 23 report cases with an exposure in China. In addition, 11 of these 23 countries report cases attributed to local transmission inside the reporting country. Four of the 24 countries report cases where likely exposure occured outside the reporting country and outside China. Among these four reporting countries the most likely countries wehre exposure occured were France, Germany, Japan and Singapore… All transmissions occured within known defined clusters.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 12 February 2020

  • Hubei: 33,336 confirmed cases/ 1,068 total deaths
  • Guangdong: 1,219 confirmed cases/ 1 total death
  • Zhejiang: 1,131 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Henan: 1,135 confirmed cases/ 8 deaths
  • Hunan: 946 confirmed cases/ 135 deaths
  • Anhui: 889 confirmed cases/ 4 deaths
  • Jiangxi: 884 confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Jiangsu: 543 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Chongqing: 505 confirmed cases/ 3 deaths
  • Shandong: 497 confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Sichuan: 436 confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Heilongjiang: confirmed cases/ 8 deaths
  • Beijing: 352 confirmed cases/ 3 deaths
  • Shanghai: 306 confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Fujian: 272 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Hebei: 251 confirmed cases/ 2 deaths
  • Shaanxi: 225 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Guangxi: 222 confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Yunnan: 154 confirmed cases/ 0 death
  • Hainan: 145 confirmed cases/ 3 deaths
  • Shanxi: 124 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Guizhou: 131 confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Liaoning: 111 confirmed cases/ 0 death
  • Tianjin: 106 confirmed cases/ 2 deaths
  • Gansu: 86 confirmed cases/ 2 deaths
  • Jilin: 83 confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Inner Mongolia: 11 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Xinjiang: 31 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Ningxia: 31 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: confirmed cases/ 1 death
  • Qinghai: 18 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 18 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Macao SAR: 10 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Xizang: 1 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • TOTAL: 44,730 confirmed cases/ 1,114 deaths

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 12 February 2020:

  • China: including confirmed cases confirmed in Hong Kong SAR (49 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (18 confirmed cases) 44,730 cases (2,022 new)/ 1,114 deaths (97 new)
  • Singapore: 47 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 28 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Republic of Korea: 28 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 18 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 33 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/0 deaths
  • Nepal: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 11 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 9 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): (cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters): 175 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths

February 12, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Fake News @CNN and MSDNC have not surprisingly refused to talk about my record setting number of voters in New Hampshire (and in Iowa). That’s why they are poorly rated Fake News! I will win both states in November.”

February 12, 2020: GSMA posted news titled: “GSMA Statement on MWC Barcelona 2020 from John Hoffman, CEO GSMA Limited”. From the news:

…Since the first edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA has convened the industry, governments, ministers, policymakers, operators, and industry leaders across the broader ecosystem.

With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.

The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision.

The GSMA and the Host City parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.

Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and around the world…

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.

February 12, 2020: Yahoo! News posted an article titled: “COVID-19 Six-month-old infant ‘doing well’, too early to predict peak of virus here, says senior MOH official”. It was written by Wong Cassandra and Amir Hussain. From the article:

The youngest confirmed case of the coronavirus here, a six-month-old Singaporean male infant, is doing well but is not among the six newly discharged cases on Wednesday (12 February), said a senior Ministry of Health (MOH) official.

During a press conference led by the multi-ministry taskforce on the COVID-19 virus, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, the ministry’s director of medical services, said the six cases who have fully recovered and discharged on Wednesday are adults.

Among them are two Chinese nationals from Wuhan – a 36-year-old man and a 37-year-old-woman – and four Singaporeans.

The locals are a 41-year-old man with no links to previous cases as well as the 40-year-old husband of a tour guide who brought Chinese tourists to health products shop Yong Thai Hang and the shop’s two workers, a 40-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man.

This brings the number of fully-recovered cases in Singapore to 15 out of a total of 50 confirmed cases. Of the total, three new cases were announced at the conference on Wednesday – two Grace Assembly of God church workers and a DBS employee at Marina Bay Financial Centre.

Most of the remaining 35 hospitalized cases are stable or improving, said Prof. Mak.

Eight remain in critical condition in the intensive care unit, with no “clear pattern” among the critically ill, he added…

February 12, 2020: CNN posted in their live blog an article titled: “Dalai Lama cancels all public engagements due to the coronavirus”. From the post:

The Dalai Lama has cancelled all of his public engagements until further notice due to the “deteiorating outbreak” of the coronavirus, according to a statement from his office.

“His Holiness will not be doing any public engagements for now until further notice due to coronavirus,” the Dalai Lama’s secretary, Tenzing Taklha, told CNN.

Read the full statement from the Dalai Lama’s office:

“An announcement was made recently regarding the ordination ceremony for monks. However due to the deteriorating outbreak of the viral disease (Coronavirus-2019 nCoV) that originated in China, His Holiness’ personal physician as well as consultants have advised a postponement of all public engagement for the time being, and His Holiness has duly agreed to further postpone his public schedule. Hence the ordination ceremony for the monks will be rescheduled and the announcement will be made shortly afterwards. We hope for your understanding in the matter…”

February 12, 2020: Government of Canada posted an update titled: “Update #3: Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of selected individuals from quarantine for the 2019 novel coronavirus”. From the update:

Further to my previous statements, as Chief Public Health Officer, I have assessed additional individuals in quarantine at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton pursuant to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act and determined that they do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.

I have authorized the release of 6 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) medical staff who accompanied the returning travellers on the second Canada-chartered flight from Wuhan to Vancouver to CFB Trenton. In my assessment, I took into account the fact that they did not spend time in the epicentre of the outbreak, that they followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and that they did not have unprotected contact with passengers or persons at risk of having the novel coronavirus. As a result of this assessment, I have determined that their continued quarantine is not required.

February 12, 2020: UK Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty posted a statement titled: “CMO for England announces ninth case of novel coronavius”. From the statement:

One further patient in England has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 9.

This virus was passed on in China and the patient has now been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London.

February 12, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Celebrity Millennium and Constellation Update”. From the press release:

In light of current regional travel conditions, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the Celebrity Millennium’s season in Asia and reposition her to the West Coast of the United States earlier than planned. Guests will recieve a full refund. We are also adjusting our March 2nd and 17th itineraries for Celebrity Constellation, replacing both debarkation and embarkation in Singapore on March 17th with Dubei, UAE. We are working directly with our guests to assist with reaccommodation of flights and hotels. The Asia market remains of great importance to us, and we look forward to returning there very soon.

February 12, 2020: Holand America Line posted: “Update: 2/12/2020 3:30am Pacific Time”. From the update:

Westerdam is now sailing for Sihanoukville, Cambodia, where the current cruise will end. We will arrive at 7:00 a.m. local time on Thursday, Feb. 13 and will remain in port for several days for disembarkation. Guests will be able to go ashore. All approvals have been received and we are extremely grateful to the Cambodian authorities for their support.

Guests will disembark in Sihanoukville over the next few days and transfer via charter flights to Phnom Penh for forward travel home. Holland America Line will arrange and pay for all flights home, in addition to the full cruise refund and 100% future cruise credit already communicated.

Future Westerdam voyage plans are still being finalized. The Feb. 15 cruise scheduled to embark in Yokohama has been cancelled. No cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond Feb. 15 have been announced at this time. However, we are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing Feb. 29 or later. We will communicate details as they become finalized in the next few days.

Westerdam was on a 14-day cruise that departed Hong Kong Feb.1. There are 1,455 guests and 802 crew on board. The cruise was previously scheduled to disembark Feb. 15 in Yokohama, Japan.

All guests on board are healthy and despite erroneous reports there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus on board, nor have their ever been…

February 12, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: parents of Australian toddler stranded in Hubei province plead for her evacuation”. It was written by Naaman Zhou. From the article:

The parents of an 18-month old Australian toddler stranded in the Hubei province of China have pleaded with the federal government to evacuate her from centre of the new coronavirus outbreak…

…But Chloe Luo, an Australian citizen, remains in the neighboring city of Suizhou – which has the world’s fourth-highest number of coronavirus cases, and has been under lockdown since 25 January.

The toddler from Canberra was being looked after by her grandmother, but last week her grandmother was hospitalized with a cold, unrelated to coronavirus, leaving Chloe with her great-aunt.

Her parents, Yufei Luo and Yi Zhao, who live in the Canberra suburb of Ngunnawal, said they were willing to fly into Suizhou, which is three hours drive from Wuhan, to be with Chloe and bring her back home. But the Australian government has said it is not planning on organising a third evacuation flight for citizens remaining in Wuhan and Hubei.

Yufei told Guardian Australia they decided in early January that Chloe should visit China becaue they were worried that bushfire smoke in Canberra was damaging her health…

…On 1 January, Canberra’s air quality reached 1296 micrograms of PM2.5 particles per cubic metre, compared with 41 micrograms in Beijing…

…Yufei said the Australian government told him that they could not evacuate Chloe on any of the earlier flights…

February 12, 2020: South China Morning Post posted an article titled: “Singapore bank DBS evacuates 300 staff after coronavirus case surfaces”. From the article:

Singapore’s biggest bank DBS evacuated 300 staff from its head office at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 on Wednesday after one of its workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I regret to inform you that there is one confirmed case of coronavirus at DBS Asia Central on level 43 today,” Singapore country head Tse Koon Shee said in an internal memo.

“As a precautionary measure, all 300 colleagues on Level 43 at the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) have been evacuated and will work from home for the time being.”

When contacted for comment, DBS said one of its employees who had been tested on Tuesday for the virus was confirmed as having the infection on Wednesday morning.

“During this difficult time, the bank will be providing this employee and his family with all every support and guidance,” it said in a statement.

“[In addition to the quarantine] we are also currently conducting detailed contact tracing with all employees and other parties that the infected employee may have come into contact with.”…

…DBS said it has activated business continuity plans, with employees working from home or from split sites. It said staff will also recieve a care pack which includes face masks, a thermometer, hand sanitizer and vitamin C…

February 12, 2020: Formula 1 posted an article titled: “Chinese Grand Prix postponed due to coronavirus outbreak”. From the article:

The 2020 Chinese Grand Prix, which had been scheduled for April 17-19, has been postponed as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese Grand Prix Promoter, Juss Sports Group, officially requested the postponement after ongoing discussions with the Federation of Automobile and Motorcycle Sports of People’s Republic of China (CAMF) and Shanghai Administration of Sports.

Amid continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, Formula 1, together with governing body the FIA, jointly decided to accept the postponement request in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans.

Formula 1 and the FIA will continue to work closely with the teams, race promoter, CAMF and the local authorities to monitor the situation as it develops, with all parties studying the viability of potential alternative dates for the Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.

“The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible,” Formula 1 said in a statement. “We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time.”

February 12, 2020: South China Morning Post posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: Li Wenliang’s death prompts academics to challenge Beijing on freedom of speech”. It was written by Mimi Lau, Echo Xie, and Guo Rui. From the article:

Hundreds of Chinese, led by academics, have signed an online petition calling on the national legislature to protect citizens’ right to freedom of speech, amid growing public discontent over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The petition on the highly sensitive issue in China comes as the ruling Communist Party has tightened its control over society in recent years. It also follows a massive outpouring of grief and anger over the death of Li Wenliang, a young doctor who was repremanded by police for “spreading rumours” when he tried to warn people about the virus outbreak when it began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December. Li’s death from the pneumonia-like illness on Friday has prompted calls for those who sought to silence him to be punished, and for greater freedom of expression in China.

The new virus strain has so far infected more than 44,000 people and killed more than 1,000 in mainland China, with cases reported in more than 20 other countries.

The petition, addressed to the National People’s Congress, lists five demands for Beijing: to protect people’s right to freedom of expression; to discuss the issue at NPC meetings; to make February 6, the day Li died, a national day for free speech; to ensure no one is punished, threatened, interrogated, censored or locked up for their speech, civil assembly, letters, or communications; and to give equitable treatment, such as medical care, to people from Wuhan and Hubei province. Many people from the outbreak epicentre have reported experiencing discrimination elsewhere in the country as the virus has spread,

The petition is gaining momentum online, but some of the signatories have already come under pressure…

February 12, 2020: BT posted a statement titled: “BT Group statement on Mobile World Congress attendance”. From the statement:

After careful discussions and planning, BT has decided that we will not attend GSMA Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2020: We value our participation in important industry groups like GSMA and deeply respect the steps they have already taken to protect attendees. unfortunately, the most responsible decision is to withdraw our participation from the event to safeguard our employees and customers.

February 12, 2020: Nokia posted a press release titled: “Nokia cancels participation at MWC 2020 in Barcelona”. From the press release:

Press release

  • Nokia has taken the decision to withdraw from MWC 2020 after a full assessment of the risks related to a fast-moving situation.
  • Primary focus has been to safeguard the health and well-being of employees and others while also recognizing responsibility to the industry and customers.
  • Nokia wants to thank the GSMA as well as the governments of China and Spain and Catalonia’s Generalitat.

Espoo, Finland – Nokia has been carefully monitoring the situation following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus with the goal of making a fact-based decision related to our attendance at Mobile World Congress in 2020.

While the health and safety of our employees is our absolute priority, we also recognize that we have a responsibility to the industry and our customers. In view of this, we have taken the necessary time to evaluate a fast-moving situation, engage with the GSMA and other stakeholders, regularly consult external experts and authorities, and plan to manage risks based on a wide range of scenarios.

The conclusion of that process is that we believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress. We want to express our thanks to the GSMA, the governments of China and Spain as well as Catalonia’s Generalitat, and many others who have worked tirelessly to address the challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus, and they have our full support as they move forward.

Rather than meeting customers and stakeholders in Barcelona, Nokia plans to go directly to customers with a series of “Nokia Live” events aimed at showcasing the industry-leading demos and launches scheduled for MWC.


February 13, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: 13

February 13, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “CDC Confirms 15th Case of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-2019)”. From the media statement:

CDC today confirmed another infection with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-2019) in the United States. The patient is among a group of people under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland in Texas because of their recent return to the U.S. on a State Department-chartered flight that arrived on February 7, 2020.

All people who lived or travelled in Hubei Province, China, are considered at high risk of having been exposed to this virus and are subject to a temporary 14-day quarantine upon the entry into the United States. This is the first person under quarantine at JBSA-Lackland who had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby.

This brings the tital number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15. There will likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan. While 195 people were discharged from quarantine on Tuesday, more than 600 people who returned on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under federal quarantine and are closely being monitored to contain the spread of the virus..,

February 13, 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 24”. From the report:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

WHO has developed a database to collect the latest scientific findings and knowledge on Coronavirus disease. For more information, please see here.

The two-day global research and innovation forum regarding COVID-19 was convened in line with the WHO R&D Bluepring this week. Leading health experts from around the world met at WHO to asses the current level of knowledge about the new COVID-19 disease, identify gaps and work together to accelerate and fund priority research needed to help stop this outbreak and prepare for any future outbreaks. For more details, please see here.

Technical Focus: Investigation of COVID-19 cases outside of China:

As of 10am CET 13 Feb 2020, a total of 170 cases of COVID-19 who had a travel history to China had been reported outside of China. The vast majority of these (151, 89%) do not appear to lead to further transmission of the virus, while the remaining 19 have been associated with onward transmission within 12 distinct groups of epidemiologically linked cases… …Among these, four groups have involved at least nine individuals. The largest involves 20 individuals in six countries thus far – United Kingdom (6), France (5), Malaysia (3), Singapore (3), Republic of Korea (2), Spain (1) – and has been linked to a conference in Singapore between 20 and 22 January 2020 and a subsequent ski trip to the French Alps… The next largest involves 15 cases and was linked to a conference in Bavaria, Germany. Among the attendees was an individual with an epidemiological link to confirmed cases in Wuhan, China. Additionally, one of the 15 cases was detected in, but did not involve transmission within, Spain.

Sixteen cases have been reported in four countries for which there are no clearly established epidemiological links. For all these individuals, investigations are ongoing to establish the mechanism by which they were infected

Summary of four events with linked cases and transmission out of China with number of confirmed cases larger than seven, as of 10 am 13 Feb 2020:

Event Number 1 

  • Countries reporting: France (5), Malaysia (3), Republic of Korea (2), Singapore (3), Spain (1), The United Kingdom (6)
  • Number of confirmed cases: 20
  • Date of report to WHO of last case: 10 Feb 2020

Event Number 2:

  • Countries reporting: Germany (14), Spain (1)
  • Number of confirmed cases: 15
  • Date of report to WHO of last case: 11 Feb 2020

Event Number 3:

  • Countries reporting: Viet Nam (9)
  • Number of confirmed cases: 9
  • Date of report to WHO of last case: 11 Feb 2020

Event Number 4:

  • Countries reporting: Singapore (9)
  • Number of confirmed cases: 9
  • Date of report to WHO of last case: 8 Feb 2020

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 13 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 34,874
  • Guangdong: 1,241
  • Zhejiang: 1,145
  • Henan: 1,169
  • Hunan: 968
  • Anhui: 910
  • Jiangxi: 872
  • Jiangsu: 570
  • Chongqing: 518
  • Shandong: 506
  • Sichuan: 451
  • Heilongjiang: 395
  • Beijing: 366
  • Shanghai: 313
  • Fujan: 279
  • Hebei: 265
  • Shaanxi: 229
  • Guangxi: 222
  • Yunnan: 155
  • Hainan: 157
  • Shanxi: 126
  • Guizhou: 135
  • Liaoning: 116
  • Tianjin: 112
  • Gansu: 87
  • Jilin: 84
  • Inner Mongolia: 61
  • Xinjiang: 63
  • Ningxia: 64
  • Hong Kong SAR: 50
  • Qinghai: 18
  • Taipei and environs: 18
  • Macao SAR: 10
  • Xizang: 1
  • TOTAL: 46,550

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 13 Febrary 2020:

  • China: including confirmed cases in Hong Kong SAR (50 confirmed cases, 1 death), Macao SAR (10 confirmed cases) and Taipei and environs (18 confirmed cases) 46,550 confirmed cases (1820 new)
  • Singapore: 50 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 29 cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanes territorial waters (0 new)/ 0 deats
  • Republic of Korea: 28 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 18 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 33 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 14 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 11 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): (cases identifed on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters): 174 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths. One case originally includes in the international conveyance cases was reclassified as reported by Japan.

February 13, 2020: President Trump tweeted: “DRAIN THE SWAMP! We want bad people out of our government!”

February 13, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted “Press Conference – Australian Parliament House ACT”. From the transcript:

Prime Minister: Thank you. I’m joined of course, by the Minister for Health and the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Murphy. I thank you again, Brendan and all the senior medical officers, chief medical officers, of our states and territories, who have also met today and are providing very important advice to the government in relation to the coronavirus.

The advice that we received this afternoon at the National Security Committee from that panel of the chief medical officers is that Australia’s arrangements to protect Australians from coronavirus here in Australia are working, they’re effective, they’re doing the job. And its important that we ensure that that continues to be the case. And that’s why this afternoon we’ve agreed to accept the recommendations that have been provided to us to maintain the ban and entry restriction on foreign nationals who have recently been in mainland China for a further week to protect Australians from the risk of coronavirus. So this is something we will continue to review on a weekly basis and consider all the medical evidence that has come forth. There’s an enormous amount of work that is taking place between Australia and many other nations who are working together to ensure we have the best information available to use to make the best possible decisions.

The decision was made following the receipt of the medical advice and we did not take this decision lightly. We are very mindful also of the disruption and economic impacts of these arrangements. But I note Australia is one of 58 countries that has introduced some form of travel restrictions. And I jsut want to assure all Australians that we are doing everything we can to keep Australians safe at this time and ensure that we are mitigating everything that is possible to address any of the threats….

…I’m very grateful for the constructive approach that the Chinese authorities have been participating with Australia. I’m very appreciative of the role of their embassy here also in Canberra and I’d like to thank the Chinese Australian community for the way they’ve been engaging, and respecting the quarantine arrangements and the self isolation. The Chinese Australian community has been absolutely fantastic.

And I think its very important that all Australians reach out and support them at this time in particular, as we go into the weekend, I’d encourage you to go and support businesses. Particularly those Chinese Australian businesses, and to provide that support because they really have been doing a tremendous job under what have been very stressful and trying circumstances for that community. They are such an integral part of Australian life and it’s important at this difficult time, especially for the Chinese Australian community, that all Australians are putting their arms around them and supporting them in every way they can…

…But the key thing is, is that the decisions the government has taken, the way we’ve gone about that, how we’ve gathered the advice, made decisions, is keeping Australian safe when it comes to coronavirus…

February 13, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Governor Cuomo Reminds New Yorkers That Flu Cases Continue to Increase, as Flu Season Expected to Set Record-High Levels”. From the news:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today reminded all New Yorkers to take recommended precautions to protect themselves from the flu as new numbers released today show flu activity still has not reached its peak this flu season. Flu cases in New York this season are expected to set record-high level since the New York State Department of Health began tracking flu cases during the 1998-99 season.

“As flu season has not peaked yet across New York, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and take simple precautions to protect themselves and their families,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage all New Yorkers older than six months to get their flu shot – it’s not too late.”

The latest influenza surveilance report for the week ending February 8th show seasonal flu activity continues to be widespread across New York State for the eleventh consecutive week. As indicated in the report, there were 17,233 laboratory-confirmed flu cases reported to the State Department of Health, the second highest weekly total since the 1998-1999 flu season. The most lab-confirmed cases reported during a single week in a flu season was 18,252 in 2017-18. There have been a total of 106,824 lab-confirmed cases reported in New York State this season, with three flu-associated pediatric deaths. Last week, 1,993 New Yorkers were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza. So far this season, there have been 15,541 flu-related hospitalizations…

I put this news into this blog post because it shows that the State of New York was dealing with influenza and coronavirus at the same time.

February 13, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted a Media Release titled: “Extension of Travel Ban to Protect Australians From the Coronavirus”. Here are some key points from the Media Release:

  • The National Security Committee of Cabinet today has today agreed to extend the entry restrictions on foreign nationals who have recently been in mainland China for a further week from 15 February 2020 to protect Australians from the risk of coronavirus.
  • This decision is underpinned by medical advice and recommendations from the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and chief medical officers from each state and territory, on the steps necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus
  • The Chief Medical Officer confirmed that our arrangements to protect Australians from coronavirus are working – there are no confirmed cases among Australian citizens and residents who have returned to Australia since the introduction of the border measures on 1 February 2020.
  • The restrictions will be reviewed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) in one week.
  • The continuation of the travel restrictions means that fora further week, foreign nationals – excluding permanent residents – who have been in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they left.
  • As before, Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians and dependents only.)
  • We will continue to require Australian citizens, permanent residents and their families who have been in mainland China from 1 February 2020, and who return Australia, to self-isolate for 14 days from the time they left mainland China.
  • The AHPPC has advised that the situation with Coronavirus in mainland China has not improved in the past two weeks.
  • With help from Quantas and the cooperation of the Chinese authorities, we have assisted the departure of 532 Australians from Wuhan.
  • On the advice of AHPPC, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trad will maintain its travel advice for mainland China at “do not travel” until there is a material change in the global situation.
  • Border measures to screen passengers on flights and vessels from mainland China and for people who have been in, or transited through, mainland China in the past 14 days will also continue.

February 13, 2020: NYC, the Official Website of New York City posted news titled: “Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson and Queens Chamber of Commerce Encourage New Yorkers to Visit Asian-American Owned Small Businesses”. From the news:

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Flushing Chinese Business Association, Administration officials and community leaders joined together today to declare Flushing, Queens open for business. Together, they encouraged New Yorkers to visit an Asian-American owned small business in their neighborhood.

“In hard times, New Yorkers know to stand by their neighbors,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re in Flushing today to embrace Asian-American owned small businesses and say to all New Yorkers: New York City’s Chinatowns are open for business!”

“It is important to support the Chinese community in New York City. Unfortunately, many businesses and restaurants in Chinatown, Flushing and Sunset Park are suffering because some customers are afraid of the coronavirus. But those fears are not based on facts and science. The risk of infection to New Yorkers is low. There is no need to avoid public spaces. I urge everyone to dine and shop as usual,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

The Mayor also met with business owners to hear about how fear of the Coronavirus has impacted them. The Flushing Chinese Business Association estimates that business is down up to 40 percent in the neighborhood, despite there being no known cases in New York City…

…”As one of the leading healthcare providers and doctors who serve a majority of New York’s immigrant Chinese and Chinese American population, SOMOS is working in coordination with the city’s health department and elected officials to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Dr. Henry Chen, President of SOMOS. “Risks of infection in New York remains low, but I am gravely concerned by the increased xenophobia against the Asian American population in our city, specifically the Chinese community. When people play off stereotypes, it distracts from the real risks and can lead to misperception and misinformation about the source of the virus. We are grateful to stand with the Mayor, city elected officials and community leaders to ensure we eliminate any stigma with the virus, continue public outreach efforts, and educate the public of the real risks..

February 13, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Stormzy postpones Asian tour due to coronavirus”. It was written by Ben Beaumont-Thomas. From the article:

Stormzy has postponed the Asian leg of his Heavy Is the Head world tour due to coronavirus.

The south London rap star wrote on Twitter: “I was seriously looking forward to bringing the #HITH world tour to Asia and playing some epic sold-out shows but due to the ongoing health and travel concerns surrounding the coronavirus, I’m regrettably having to reschedule this leg of the tour.”…

February 13. 2020: Sony posted a statment on the PlayStation Blog about PAX East:

Update: Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to cancel its participation at PAX East in Boston this year due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”). We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.

February 13, 2020: AEG posted information on Instagram about the Khalid Free Spirit World Tour:

Khalid Free Spirit World Tour Asia 2020 Tour Postponed

Due to the recent advisories and travel restrictions in several Asian countries, Khalid will be postponing his upcoming tour of Asia. Our highest priority remains the safety of Khalid’s fans, his team and everyone who has been working on these concerts.

We are activly working on rescheduled concert dates, with more information to be announced soon on https://www.khalidofficial.com/.

Customers who have purchased tickets will recieve refunds. Detailed refund methods, please stay tuned to ticketing websites.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and thank everyone for their understanding.

February 13, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Guinea Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 13, 2020

Guinea – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Exercise increased caution in Guinea due to civil unrest.

Country Summary: Demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country and are often sporatic and unplanned, making it difficult to predict the size, route, or level of violence or congestion that may occur. Recent demonstrations throughout Middle Guinea, which includes Labe, Mamou, Pita, and Dalaba, have been particulary violent.

Any demonstration may turn violent, resulting in injuries and even fatalities. Demonstrators may attack vehicles that attempt to pass through or around the protests, resulting in serious injuries and vehicular damage. Criminals are known to take advantae of the resulting traffic congestion to rob drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Uniformed security forces may also extort drivers and passengers during these incidents.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Guinea:

  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Guinea.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

February 13, 2020: U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted a news release titled: “Remdesivir prevents MERS coronavirus disease in monkeys”. From the news release:

…The experimental antiviral remdesivir successfully prevented disease in rhesus macaques infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to a new study from National Institutes of Health scientists. Remdesivr prevented disease when administered before infection and improved the condition of macaques when given after the animals were already infected.

The new report from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

MERS-Cov is closely related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has grown to be a global public health emergency since cases were first detected in Wuhan, China, in December.

Remdesivir has previously protected animals against a variety of viruses in lab experiments. The drug has been shown experimentally to effectively treat monkeys infected with Ebola and Nipah viruses. Remdesivir also has been investigated as a treatment for Ebola virus disease in people.

The current study was conducted at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana. The work involved three groups of animals: those treated with remdesivir 24 hours before infection with MERS-CoV; those treated 12 hours after infection (close to the peak time for MERS-CoV replication in these animals); and untreated control animals.

The scientists observed the animals for six days. All control animals showed signs of respiratory disease. Animals treated before infection fared well: no signs of respiratory disease, significantly lower levels of virus replication in the lungs compared to control animals, and no lung damage. Animals treated after infection fared significantly better than the control animals: disease was less severe than in control animals, their lungs had lower levels of virus than the control animals, and the damage to the lungs was less severe.

The scientists indicate that the promising study results support additional clinical trials of remdesivir for MERS-CoV and 2019-nCoV. At least two clinical trials of remdesivir for 2019-nCoV are under way in China, and other patients with 2019-nCoV infection have received the drug under a compassionate use protocol.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also provided support for this study. Gilead Sciences, Inc., developed remdesivir, also known as GS-5734, and collaborated in the research.

MERS-CoV emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Through December 2019, the World Health Organization had confirmed 2,499 MERS-CoV cases and 861 deaths (or about 1 in 3). Because about one-third of MERS-CoV cases spread from infected people being treated in healthcare settings, the scientists suggest that remdesivir could effectively prevent disease in other patients, contacts of patients, and healthcare workers. They also note the drug might help patients who are diagnosed with MERS or 2019-nCoV if given soon after symptoms start.

February 13, 2020: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a press release titled: “Public Health news Alert: CMS Develops New Code for Coronavirus Lab Test”. From the press release:

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took further action to ensure America’s healthcare facilities and clinical laboratories are prepared to respond to the threat of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, CMS developed a new Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code for providers and laboratories to test patients for SARS-CoV-2. This code will allow those labs conducting the tests to bill for the specific test instead of using an unspecified code, which means better tracking of the public health response for this particular strain of the coronavirus and to help protect people from the spread of this infectious disease.

Healthcare providers who need to test patients for Coronavirus using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019 Novel Coronavirus Real Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Test Panel may bill for that test using the newly created HCPCS code (U0001). The Medicare claims processing system will be able to accept this code on April 1, 2020 for dates of service on or after February 4, 2020. HCPCS is a standardized coding system that Medicare and other health insurers use to submit claims for services provided to patients…

February 13, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “Tesla asknowledges ‘health epidemics’ as new risk in financial filing amid coronavirus outbreak”. It was written by Lora Koldony. From the article:

On Thursday, Tesla acknowledged in an annual financial filing that the COVID-19, or coronavirus outbreak may have a material adverse impact on its business.

In the Risk Factors section of the 2019 10-K filing, Tesla included – for the first time ever – a mention of “health epidemics.”

The filing also stated:

“Beginning in late 2019, the media has reported a public health epidemic originating in China, prompting precautionary government-imposed closures of certain travel and business. Gigafactory Shanghai was closed for a brief time as a result, before it repoened in February 2020 and rejoined U.S. factories, which had continued to operate. It is unknown whether and how global supply chains, particularly for automotive parts, may be affected if such an epidemic persists for an extended period of time. We may incur expenses or delays relating to such events outside of our control, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition.”..

February 13, 2020: Holand America Line posted: “Update: 2/13/2020 11:15 am Pacific Time.” From the update:

The Cambodian Health Ministry has announced that the 20 samples taken onboard Westerdam have all been confirmed as negative for coronavirus by the Pasteur Laboratory in Phnom Penh. As stated in previous communications, there were never any suspected cases of coronavirus on board.

We sincerely thank all those in Cambodia who have demonstrated a willingness to welcome us with an open mind and make decisions based on facts.

“We also extend our deepest gratitude to President Trump, Cambodia’s Honorable Prime Minister Hun Sen, Canadian Foreign Minister Champagne, elected officials across the country and governments around the world for providing support and being effective allies in bringing our guests home,” said Stein Kruse, Group CEO, Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “We are pleased with the successful resolution of this challenging journey that was complicated by unfounded fears stemming from erroneous information with respect to the medical condition of Westerdam’s guests and crew. This has all been a terrible and unfortunate misunderstanding that has impacted 2,257 people on board and hundreds of others shoreside who have worked 24/7 to get our guests home.”

Cambodian authorities have granted clearance to Westerdam to begin disembarkation of guests the morning of Feb. 14, 2020, in Sihanoukville. Flight details are being communicated to guests as they are finalized, and it is expected that a full disembarkation will take a few days given the charter flight schedule. During this time, guests will remain comfortably on board with full service in operation.

In addition to homeward travel provided by Holland America Line, guests have received a 100% refund of their cruise fare, plus an additional 100% future cruise credit. We hope that guests on this voyage will join us again and sincerely thank them for the many compliments we have received for our crew and the acknowledgements that this situation was out of our control.

February 13, 2020: Crain’s Chicago Business posted an article titled: “Kraft Heinz and Pepsi closed Chinese plants on coronavirus.” It appears the article originated at Bloomberg. From the article:

Kraft Heinz Co. Chief Executive Officer Miguel Patricio said the ketchup maker has closed some of its China plants following the outbreak of coronavirus. PepsiCo Inc. has done the same, closing one of its six manufacturing facilities recently.

The maker of Jell-O and Planters peanuts only gets 2% of its sales from China, but buys products from suppliers that import raw materials from the country, Patricio said in an interview. He recommended companies look for alternative supplies of raw materials due to disruptions there…

…Of the Kraft Heinz’s eight manufacturing facilities in the country, some are open and others are closed, depending on the municipality, Patricio said.

Pepsi kept one of its six plants closed after Chinese New Year, which began Jan. 25, Chief Financial Officer Hugh F. Johnston said in an interview. The plant is in Wuhan, and is expected to start up again “shortly.”

Though disrupted, sales in China are a small piece of Pepsi’s overall business, Johnston said…

…One employee from Kraft Heinz’s small team in Wuhan has been diagnosed with the virus, but he is in stable condition, Patricio said. The company is closely following his status.

February 13, 2020: CNBC reported on their live blog: “NYC small business chief: Chinatown hit hard because of fears over coronavirus”. From the post:

Small businesses located in New York’s Chinatown are losing customers over unsubstantiated fears of coronavirus, the city’s small business chief told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Business owners are telling us revenues are down 40% in Chinatown.” said Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “And it’s unfounded.” The city on Wednesday confirmed that the seven people suspected of having the virus in the city tested negative.

February 13, 2020: CNBC posted an article titled: “UC San Diego health experts provide updates on coronavirus patients”. It was written by William Feuer. From the article:

UC San Diego health experts held a press conference Thursday to update the public on the status of coronavirus patients at one of its facilities.

Clinical director of infection prevention at UC San Diego Health Dr. Randy Taplitz said that UCSD Health currently has three patients, two of whom have tested positive for the new covoronavirus, now called COVID-19. The third is a person under investigation, Taplitz said.

The two patients who tested positive for the virus are under isolation, Taplitz said, adding that visitors are being limited. Both patients who tested positive for the virus are in “fair condition,” Taplitz said.

Taplitz said the hospital is communicating regularly with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where more than 200 Americans evacuated from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, are currently quarantined. She said the hospital expects to receive more patients from the base.

UC San Diego Health said it received several evacuees for testing last week. One tested positive for the virus and has remained in isolation at one of the hospital’s facilities since then. The other was returned to the Miramar base accidentally after a testing error, but has since been returned to the hospital “for observation and isolation until cleared by the CDC for release,” according to UC San Diego Health…

February 13, 2020: 27 members of the U.S. Senate sent a letter to The Honorable Robert O’Brien, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. From the letter:

Dear Mr. O’Brien,

As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that begain in December in Wuhan, China continues to accelerate, we strongly urge you to appoint a qualified, dedicated, senior global health security expert to coordinate the United States’ global health security work, including the response to, and containment of this and other global health emergencies. This action is long overdue. According to reports, in May of 2018, “the head of global health security on the White House’s National Security Council left the Trump Administration.” Almost two years later, this position on the National Security Council (NSC) remains vacant. We urge immediate action, as well as your response to questions regarding the NSC’s readiness.

In May of 2018, some of us wrote to then-National Security Advisor John Bolton regarding our concerns about this vacancy, noting “[t]he threat of a pandemic is serious, and its important families know we have a vigilant and experienced team in place and woring to protect us against such public health threats.” We asked a series of questions about how the NSC would handle global health security threats. But we recieved no answers to our questions.

These questions are even more salient today. Over 44,600 people have contracted the novel coronavirus, and it has killed more than 1,113 people; Chinese officials have placed travel restrictions on tens of millions of citizens. The virus has spread to over 20 countries. While according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low at this time,” there have been thirteen confirmed cases in the United States.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC play a critical leadership role in the current response; the NSC’s coordination can and should complement this leadership.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and on January 31, 2020, HHS Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in the United States. President Trump has also established the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, of which you are a member. But you are not a public health expert, and it is not clear if the NSC has such an expert in position to effectively advise or coordinate its global public health work on the Task Force and in other areas. Families concerned about the novel coronavirus threat need to know the NSC has a dedicated, senior official with appropriate expertise and authority to address the domestic and global health threats from the virus. It is of paramount importance that this person approaches the role through a public health lens. We, therefore, ask you to provide answers to the following questions:

1 Is NSC working to hire a dedicated, senior global health security expert?

a If so, please describe the qualifications this expert will have.

b if so, please describe the responsibilities they will have.

2 Who is the top official at the NSC responsible for global health security?

a To what extent and how often does this person meet with key leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Good and Drug Administration, and other public health agencies with regard to global health security?

b To what extent does this person coordinate efforts between public health agencies and other federal agencies involved in global health security and public health responses, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development with regard to global health security?

c To what extent does this person communicate with relevant international public health organizations and foreign agencies and officials with regard to global health security?

3 Who is the top official at the NSC responsible for managing the United States’ response to novel coronavirus?

a What role, if any, does this person play on the President’s Coronavirus Task Force?

b To what extent and how often does this person meet with key leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes ofHealth, Food and Drug Administration, and other public health agencies with regard to the response to novel coronavirus? What are the primary roles and rsponsibilities of this individual with regard to the federal government’s coordinated response to the virus?c To what extent does this person coordinate efforts between public health agencies and other federal agencies involved in global health security and public health responses, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development with regard to the response to novel coronavirus?

d To what extent does this person communicate with relevant international public health organizations and foreign agencies and officials (including members of the the Chinese government) to responde to novel coronavirus.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We ask that you provide answers to our questions no later than February 27, 2020.

The Democratic members of the U.S. Senate who signed the letter are:

  • California: Kamala Harris
  • Colorado: Michael Bennet
  • Connecticut: Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy
  • Hawai’i: Brian Schatz, Mazie K. Hirono
  • Illinois: Tammy Duckworth
  • Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren
  • Michigan: Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters
  • Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith
  • Nevada: Jacky Rosen
  • New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen
  • New Jersey: Robert Menendez, Cory Booker
  • New Mexico: Martin Heinrich, Tom Udall
  • New York: U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. Kristen Gillibrand
  • Ohio: Sherrod Brown. Jeff Merkley
  • Pennsylvania: Bob Casey
  • Rhode Island: Jack Reed
  • Washington: Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell
  • Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin

February 14, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 13

February 14, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a transcript titled: “Transcript for CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19”. From the transcript:

…Dr. Messonnier, Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: …Since we briefed you last there’s one more confirmed case of COVID-19 in a person who had been under quarantine facilitated by the State Department at Joint Base Lackland. There are more than 600 people still under quarantine in the United States because of their recent return from the epicenter of this outbreak in China.

In general our guidance is based on risk assessments and other people or groups may have different risks. And these people are going through difficult circumstances right now. Being quarantined can be disruptive, frustrating, and feel scary, especially when the reason for the quarantine is exposure to a new disease for which there may be limited information. Quarantine is an unusual situation for public health responders too. The last time we had to quarantine large groups of people was more than 50 years ago. So while we are doing the best we can, there are going to be bumps along the way…

…CDC did test all of the initial 195 people who returned from Wuhan on January 29th. But since that time, we have learned more about how the virus behaves in people and when is the optimal time to test them to best inform our public health response. CDC may do testing of all people again if the risk warrants it. But right now, CDC Staff at each base are checking temperatures twice daily and monitoring people for any new symptoms. If someone has symptoms compatible with this new virus they’re medically evaluated and they’re tested.

Another question I want to address is how this virus spreads. Based on what we know now, we believe the virus spreads mainly from person to person among close contacts. Which is defined about six feet. Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are thought to be most contageous when they’re most symptomatic. That’s when they’re the sickest. Some spread may happen by touching the contaminated surface and touching the eyes, nose, and mouth. But remember this does not last long on surfaces. Some spread may happen before people show symptoms. There have been a few reports of this coronavirus and it is compatible with what we know about other respiratory viruses including seasonal flu. But right now, we do not believe these last two forms of transmission are the main driver of spread…

…Last night, the Vice Minister of China’s National Health Commission announced there are more than 1,700 health car workers who are ill with this new virus in China. This is concerning, and we saw that transmission can be amplified in health care settings if infection control practices are not carefully followed. Health care workers are on the front line, supporting the physical and mental health of thsoe who are infected. As we learn more about how this virus is spread, keeping health care workers safe is a high priority. CDC has published guidance for health care workers on how to protect themselves as they care for patients and I’m happy to report so far no health care workers in the U.S. have become infected in the line of duty…

February 14, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 25” From the report:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

The second death has been reported outside of China, in Japan. This individual did not have known travel history to China.

In China, health care workers account for 1716 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including six deaths.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 14 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 4,823 total daily cases/ 116 total daily deaths/ 51,986 total cumulative cases/ 1,318 total cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 20 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,261 total cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 15 total daily cases/ 1 total daily death/ 1,184 total cumulative cases/ 11 total cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 10 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,155 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative daily deaths
  • Hunan: 20 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 998 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 24 total daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 934 total cumulative cases/ 6 total cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 28 total daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 900 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Jiangsu: 23 total daily cases/ o daily deaths/ 593 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative daily deaths
  • Chongqing: 11 total daily cases/ 1 daily total death/ 529 total cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative daily deaths
  • Shandong: 13 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 519 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 12 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths. 463 total cumulative daily cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Heilongjiang: 23 total daily cases/ 2 total daily deaths/ 418 total cumulative cases/ 11 total cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 6 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 372 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 5 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 318 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Hebei: 18 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 283 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 281 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 230 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 4 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 226 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 7 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 162 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 157 total cumulative cases/ 4 total cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 5 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 140 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Shanxi: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 126 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 7 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 119 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 117 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Gansu: 3 total daily cases/ 0 total deaths/ 90 total cumulative daily cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Jilin: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 86 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Ningxia: 3 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 67 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 65 total cumumative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths: 63 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong Sar: 3 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 53 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative deaths
  • Qinghai: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 18 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 18 total cumulutive cass/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Macao Sar: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 10 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 3,095 total daily cases/ 2,450 daily deaths/ 63,932 total cumulative cases/ 1,381 total cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 14 February 2020

  • Singapore: 58 confirmed cases (8 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 33 confirmed cases (4 new)/ 1 death (1 new)
  • Republic of Korea: 28 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 19 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 33 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cass (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 11 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): (cases identified on a cruise ship currently in international waters) 218 confirmed cases (44 new)/ 0 deaths

February 14, 2020: President Trump tweeted: “I look forward to attending the Daytona 500 on Sunday with lots of my great friends from Florida, including the France family and @RepMichaelWaltz from #FL6. See you there, good luck to everyone! @NASCAR @SenRickScott @marcorubio @GovRonDeSantis”.

The tweet included a screenshot of tweet from the Daytona International Speedway. The tweet said: “Statement from Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile regarding the visit of the President of the United States for DAYTONA 2020:

Statement from Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile.

The DAYTONA 500 is one of the greatest events in sports and the NASCAR Cup Series. Daytona International Speedway has been privileged to have hosted several sitting Presidents of the United States over our history. We’re honored that the President of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race’ by attending Sunday’s 62nd annual DAYTONA 500

February 14, 2020: Camera & Imaging Products Association announced that CP+ 2020 (Camera and Photo Imaging Show) was cancelled due to the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus. People come to this event to handle the newest cameras and related equipment. The event would have taken place over 4 days at PACIFICO Yokohama from February 27.

February 14, 2020: Nikon posted a press release stating that it planned to participate in CP+2020, but cannot because the event was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The company hoped their loyal customers would understand.

February 14, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Fiat Chrysler halts production in Serbia over China disruption”. From the article:

Fiat Chrysler… said on Friday it had temporarily halted production at its Serbian plant, the first such suspension by an automaker in Europe in response to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Planned downtime at the Kragujevac plant in Serbia, where FCA builds its Fiat 500L car, has been rescheduled “due to availability of certain components in China”, a spokesman for the Italian American automaker said.

He said the supply of audio system parts had been disrupted.

Chief Executive Mike Manley said last week that disruptions to auto parts production in China could threaten output at one of FCA’s European plants within two to four weeks.

The next few weeks will be critical for automakers.

Parts made in China are used in millions of vehicles assembled around the world. China’s Hubei province, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, is a major hub for vehicle parts production and shipments…

February 14, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Spectrum of the Seas Update”. From the press release:

In light of current regional travel conditions, we’ve decided to cancel Spectrum of the Seas March 5th and 13th sailings. We are sharing the news with our guests and are sorry for the disruption to their vacations. Guests will recieve full refunds.

February 14, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “RCL Deploys Ships in Support of Humanitarian Efforts”. From the press release:

At a time when it feels line there are too many disasters around the world and not enough relief, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. … announced it will dedicate two ships to humanitarian efforts in Australia and California to support some of the people affected by recent crises.

Spectrum of the Seas, Celebrity Millennium and their crews are ready to thank those who step up for others; company sends 1,000,000 masks to China efforts.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused pain and disruption around the world. It is a stark reminder of the hurt that these terrible events can bring – and now fortunate we are that such traumatic events are not more frequent. “When things go wrong, this is a company that wants to find a way to help,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “At Royal Caribbean, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to use our ships in a positive way during difficult times.”

Fain said Royal Caribbean was working with its suppliers to deliver one million N-95 protective masks into China for government distribution into affected areas. “We admire the all-out efforts of the Chinese government and people to address this crisis, and we want to bring our resources to bear to help their efforts,” Fain said.

Spectrum of the Seas will travel to Australia and be deployed on complimentary cruises sailing from Sydney in support of Australia’s first responder community, who worked tirelessly over many weeks of the bush fire crisis…

…[Michael] Bayley [president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International] noted that the ship and its crew have not been to China for more than two weeks, exceeding public health guidelines…

…In addition, Celebrity Millennium is repositioning to the west coast of the US earlier than previoysly scheduled and will offer a series of “Cruising for Heroes” sailings in support of California firefighters, other first responders, and veterans throughout March and April. A variety of three-, four-, and five-night sailings have been added to the brands’s offerings to travel the breathtaking Pacific Coast. The sailings will leave Los Angeles and details will be announced soon…

February 14, 2020: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a press announcement titled: “FDA’s Actions in Response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus at Home and Abroad.” From the press announcement:

Active Supply Chain Surveillance

We are keenly aware that the outbreak will likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S. We are not waiting for drug and device manufacturers to report shortages to us – we are proactively reaching out to manufacturers as part of our vigilant and forward-leaning approach to identifying potential disruptions or shortages. The FDA has dedicated additional resources to review and corrdinate data to better identify any potential vulnerabilities to the U.S. medical product sector, specifically from this outbreak.

We have been in contact with hundreds of manufacturers of human and animal drugs and medical devices, as well as syncing up with global regulators, like the European Medicines Agency, to assess and monitor for indications and early warning signs of potential manufacturing discontinuances or interruptions due to the outbreak…

…This remains an evolving and very dynamic situation with respect to potential shortages. We are tracking reports of increased ordering of some essential medical devices through distributors, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g. respirators and surgical gowns, gloves and masks).

If a potential shortage or disruption of medical products is identified by the FDA, we will use all available tools to react swiftly and mitigate the impact to U.S. patients and health care professionals. These tools include closely working with manufacturers and expediting review of alternate supply to prevent shortages, among other measures, with the common goal of minimizing any negative impact to public health in America.

The FDA will continue to closely monitor the domestic and global supply chain during this evolving situation. Should the Agency be alerted to a potential shortage of a critical medical product, we will be as transparent as possible in sharing updates as they develop.

FDA Inspections and Monitoring Compliance of FDA Products Manufactured Overseas

…In general, the FDA conducts approximately 500 inspections per year in China with the majority of these inspections being for drugs, foods and medical devices. The FDA is not currently conducting inspections in China due to the State Department warning advising against travel to China. For the month of February, the FDA identified all scheduled inspections in China, and they were either postponed or the agency was able to utilize other information to inform decisions allowing the products to enter our U.S. market. Of these inspections, approximately 90% were routine surveillance inspections in China and the remaining for-cause inspections scheduled for February were able to be postponed after reviewing all available information and analyzing on a case-by- case basis…

…While the outbreak is impacting our ability to conduct inspections in China, it’s important to underscore that the FDA’s risk-based process of surveillance testing of imported products, including those from China, which is based on a number of factors, continues. Fortnately, at this time, we are not seeing the impacts of this outbreak resulting in an increased risk for American consumers from imported products. Furthermore, the FDA Fraud Team monitors on-line (or coronavirus, in general). We will continue to assess the need for additional examinations or analytical testing on FDA-regulated products from China as a result of the outbreak, and we will continue to look at inspections on a case-by-case basis…

The Safety of Consumer Products…

…At this time, the FDA continues to review products imported from China using our routine process and has not determined that additional measures are needed to protect public health… Again, we want to reassure the public that at this time there is no evidence that food or food packaging have been associated with transmission and no reason to be concerned. Further, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, including food and drugs for humans and pets, and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. associated with imported goods.

We have established a cross-agency task force dedicated to closely monitoring for fraudulent products and false product claims related to COVID-19 and we have already reached out to major retailers to ask for their help in monitoring their online marketplaces for fraudulent products with coronavirus and other pathogen claims. Products sold are subject to FDA investigation and potential enforcement action if they claim to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19 and have not been evaluated by the agency for that intended use. The task force has already worked with retailers to remove more than a dozen of these types of product listings online. Several have already responded that they plan to monitor for coronavirus claims. The Agency is committed to taking action to prevent unscrupulous actors from marketing unlawful products related to this outbreak…

February 14, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Coronavirus outbreak: senior US official accuses China of lack of transparency”. It was written by Lily Kuo. From the article:

A senior White House official has called on Beijing to be more transparent over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak as Chinese authorities expanded “wartime” measures to limit its spread.

“We are a little dissapointed that we haven’t been invited in and we’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese,” said Larry Kudlow, the director of the US National Economic Council.

His comments came after Chinese authorities said they had altered how they count cases, resulting in confusion and dramatic changes to the reported figures for two days in a row, and dampening hopes that the outbreak may peak later this month.

On Thursday, Hubei officials reported a large spike in cases after including those confirmed by CT scans, not just lab tests. The revision added 254 deaths to the overall Chinese toll.

The on Friday, China added 121 new deaths – but also removed 108 fatalities from the total, due to what China’s National Health Commision said were “duplicate statistics.”

In its latest update, the commission reported 121 new deaths and 5,090 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of people infected to more than 64,000 worldwide, with 63,851 of the cases in China.

The death toll stands at 1,383 – with three of those deaths outside of mainland China, one in Hong Kong, one in Japan and one in the Philippines.

The commission did not give further explanation of the double-counted cases on Friday…


February 15, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 13

February 15, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 26”. From the report:

Egypt reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19. This is the second country in the WHO EMRO region to confirm a case, and the first reported case from the African continent. WHO was informed by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population…

…In a speech to the Munich Security Conference, the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, described aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak situation that WHO finds encouraging, and areas of concern. Details can be found here.

WHO regional offices continue to support countries with their COVID-19 readiness efforts. More information can be found about the efforts in each of the regions here: Africa; Americas; South-East Asia; Europe; Eastern Mediterranean; and Western Pacific.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 15 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 2,420 total daily cases/139 total daily deaths/ 54,406 total cumulative cases/ 1,467 cumulative total deaths
  • Guangdong: 33 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,294 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 28 total daily cases/ 2 total daily deaths/ 1,212 total cumulative cases/ 13 total cumulative deaths
  • Zhejaing: 7 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,163 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Hunan: 13 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,001 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 16 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 950 total cumulative cases/ 6 total cumulative daily deaths
  • Jiangsu: 11 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 604 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 8 total daily cases/ 1 total daily death/ 537 total cumulative cases/ 5 total cumulative deaths
  • Shandong: 11 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 530 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 7 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 470 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative daily death
  • Heilongijang: 7 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 425 total cumulative cases/ 11 total cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 3 total daily cases/ 1 total daily death/ 375 total cumulative cases/ 4 total cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 8 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 326 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Hebei: 8 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 291 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 4 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 285 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 9 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 235 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 232 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 6 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 168 total cumulative cases/ 0 total daily deaths
  • Hainan: 5 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 162 total cumulative cases/ 4 total cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 3 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 143 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative daily death
  • Shanxi: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 127 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 120 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumilative deaths
  • Liaoning: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 119 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative daily deaths
  • Gansu: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 90 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Jilin: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 88 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 3 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 70 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 5 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 70 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 5 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 68 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong Sar: 3 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 56 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Qinghai: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily tests/ 18 total cumulative cases/0 total cumulative deaths
  • Macao Sar: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 10 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1 total cumulative case/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 2,644 daily cases/ 143 total daily deaths/ 66,576 total cumulative cases/ 1,524 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 15 February 2020:

  • Singapore: 67 confirmed cases (9 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 42 confirmed cases (8 new)/1 death (0 new)
  • Republic of Korea: 28 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 21 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 deaths)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 34 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 11 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): (cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters) 218 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths

February 15, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Remember, will be at Daytona 500 tomorrow!”

February 15, 2020: Government of Canada posted an update titled: “Update #4: Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of selected individuals from quarantine for the 2019 novel coronavirus”. From the update:

Further to my previous statements, as Chief Public Health Officer, I have assessed additional individuals in quarantine at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton pursuant to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act and determined that they do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.

I have authorized the release of 23 flight crew members who accompanied the returning travellers on the second Canada-chartered flight from Wuhan to Vancouver to CFB Trenton. In my assessment, I took into account the fact that they did not spend time in the epicentre of the outbreak, that they followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and that they did not have unprotected contact with passengers or persons at risk of having the novel coronavirus. As a result of this assesment, I have determined that their continued quarantine is not required.

February 15, 2020: Government of Canada posted a news release titled: “Government of Canada evacuating Canadians on board Diamond Princess cruise ship”. From the news release:

Ensuring the health and safety of Canadians is our top priority.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Nonorable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and the Honorable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defense, today announced that the Government of Canada has chartered a plane to repatriate Canadians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan.

This decision was taken because of the extraordinary circumstances faced by passengers on the Diamond Princess and to lighten the burden on the Japanese health-care system. We are working closely with Carnival Cruise Lines and the Government of Japan to assist in this evacuation.

The aircraft will bring passengers from Japan to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, after which they will be assessed and transported to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall, Ontario, to undergo a further 14-day period of quarantine.

Before boarding in Japan, passengers will be screened for symptoms. Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to bard and will instead be transferred to the Japanese health system to recieve appropriate care.

Those who remain in Japan will continue to receive full consular services from the Government of Canada.

In addition to experts in the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel, four members of the Standing Rapid Deployment Team (SRDT) are on the ground in Tokyo to assist Canadians during this diffcult time.

We will continue to provide more information on travel plans for returning to Canada as it becomes available. In the meantime, we ask all Canadians aboard the Diamond Princess to continue to follow recommendations for protecting their health and the health of others while under Japanese quarantine…

February 15, 2020: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “Diamond Princess Repatriation”. From the Media Statement:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is supporting the Department of State-led mission to repatriate U.S. citizens who want to return to the United States from Japan, currently aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. HHS is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Americans. To fulfill our responsibilities to U.S. citizens, as well as to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system, the U.S. government recommends that U.S. citizens disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring. These measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease.

There are approximately 400 U.S. citizens onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Due to the dynamic nature of the outbreak, the U.S. government recommends that U.S. citizens disembark and return to the United States. Americans returned by flights chartered by the State Department will be subject to a 14-day, federal quarantine and be housed at two existing federal quarantine sites for repatriated travelers:

  • Travis Air Force Base in California
  • Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas

Those passengers returning from Japan will be housed separately from individuals already in quarantine from previous Wuhan repatriation flights. All travelers from Japan will be screened before boarding the State Department-chartered aircraft to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan. These planes will be met by a team of U.S. Government personnel deployed there to assess the health of the passengers. The passengers will be screened before leaving the ship and monitored and evaluated by medical and public health personnel every step of the way, including before takeoff, during the flight, and after arrival. U.S. Government staff will conduct risk assessments to ensure the health of each traveler, including temperature checks and observation for respiratory symptoms.

Travelers will be monitored during the flight to Travis Air Force Base where all travelers will be screened again. Any passengers taken onward to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland will be monitored during that flight as well and screened upon arrival in Texas…

February 15, 2020: Holland American Line posted: “Update: 2/15/2020 6 am Pacific Time”. From the update:

We are aware of flight delays and are making alternate arrangements for all impacted guests. Hotel accommodations have been provided and our team on the ground is assisting our guests getting food and services. We will continue to work with them on booking onward flights home.

Westerdam is alongside in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, with 236 guests and 747 crew on board. The remainder of guests from the voyage departed Sihanoukville via charter flights to Phnom Penh and onward yesterday and today.

Westerdam was on a 14-day cruise that departed Hong Kong Feb.1, 2020, and was scheduled to end Feb. 15 in Yokohama, Japan. There were originally 1,455 guests and 802 crew on board during the cruise.

February 15, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Chinese tourist in France becomes Europe’s first coronavirus fatality.” It was written by Kim Willsher and Simon Murphy.” From the article:

Europe has confirmed its first coronavirus fatality, a Chinese tourist in France, it has been confirmed.

The death of the 80-year-old man, who was visiting Paris with his daughter when he was taken to the hospital three weeks ago after falling ill, also marks the first coronavirus mortality outside Asia since the start of the outbreak.

His 50-year-old daughter also tested positive for the virus and is being treated in hospital, where she is said to be making a good recovery.

The pair, who are from Hubei, the province at the heart of the Chines epidemic, are among 11 confirmed coronavirus cases in France. Six of thsoe who contracted the disease in the country remain in hospital, while four have been discharged after recovering.

The man died at Bichat hospital on Friday evening of a lung infection caused by the Covid-19 virus, France’s health minister, Agnès Buzyn said on Saturday. He had arrived in France on 16 January and was taken to hospital nine days later and put into strict isolation…

…Of the 11 confirmed cases in France, six remain in hospital – including the Chinese patient’s daughter – where their conditions remain stable. French health authorities say four have recovered. Buzyn said the man’s daughter should be able to leave hospital soon…

February 15, 2020: Holand American Line posted: “Update: 2/15/2020 10:40 am Pacific Time”. From the update:

While the first results have been reported, they are preliminary at this point and we are awaiting secondary testing for confirmation.

We are working with officials in Malaysia, Cambodia and the U.S. CDC as is standard.

On Feb. 10 all 2,257 passengers and crew on board Westerdam were temperature-tested and not one person had an elevated temperature. Disembarking guests also completed a written health questionnaire and the passports of everyone on board were reviewed to ensure no one had traveled through mainland China in the prior 14 days. During the voyage there was no indication of Covid-19 on the ship.

Westerdam is alongside in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, with 236 guests and 747 crew on board. The remainder of guests from the voyage departed Sihanoukville via charter flights to Phnom Penh yesterday and today and are in various stages of transit home.


February 16, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 13

February 16, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Getting ready to go to the Daytona 500. Will be GREAT!”

February 16, 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situatuon Report – 27” From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

A third death of a COVID-19 patient has been reported outside of China. This individual was a tourist from China visiting France.

Studies to assess the epidemioloy and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 cases in different settings are therefore critical to furthering our understanding of this virus and associated disease. Several early investigation master protocols or master forms are available for countris to use…

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 16 February 2020

  • Hubei: 1,833 total daily cases/ 139 total daily deaths/ 15,249 total cumulative deaths/ 1,596 total cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 22 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,316 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 19 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,231 total cumulative cases/ 13 total cumulative deaths
  • Zhejaing: 5 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1,167 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Hunan: 3 total daily cases/ 1 total daily death/ 1,004 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 12 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 962 total cumulative cases/ 6 total cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 13 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 925 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 13 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 617 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 7 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 544 total cumulative cases/ 5 total cumulative deaths
  • Shandong: 7 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 537 total cumulative cases/ 5 total cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 11 total daily cases/ 2 total daily deaths/ 481 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 20 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 445 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 5 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 328 total cumulative deaths/ 4 total cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 328 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Hebei: 9 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 300 total cumulative cases/ 3 total cumulative deaths
  • Fuijan: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 287 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 237 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 4 total daily cases / 0 total daily deaths/ 236 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 169 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 162 total cumulative cases/ 4 total cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 144 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Shanxi: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 128 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 122 total cumulative cases/ 3 total daily deaths
  • Liaoning: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 120 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 90 total cumulative cases/ 2 total cumulative deaths
  • Jilin: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 89 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative death
  • Xinjiang: 1 total daily case/ 0 total daily deaths/ 71 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 70 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 2 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 70 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong Sar: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 56 total cumulative cases/ 1 total cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 18 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Qinghai: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 18 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Macao Sar: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 10 total cumulative cases/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 total daily cases/ 0 total daily deaths/ 1 total cumulative case/ 0 total cumulative deaths
  • TOTALS: 2,009 total daily cases/ 142 total daily deaths/ 68,584 total cumulative cases/ 1,666 total cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 16 February 2020:

  • Singapore: 72 cases (5 new)/ total deaths 0
  • Japan: 53 cases (12 new)/ total deaths 1 (0 new)
  • Republic of Korea: 29 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 34 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 cases (1 new)/ 1 death (1 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 9 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 cases (0 new): 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 8 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 case (0 new): 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 335 cases (137 new)/ 0 deaths

February 16, 2020: Holand American Line posted: “Update: 2/16/2020 5:24 am Pacific Time”. From the update:

Testing done in Malaysia on a Westerdam guest who disembarked the ship to fly home was reported positive for COVID-19, as confirmed by a statement by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at a press conference. The guest departed Westerdam February 14 and later reported feeling ill at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia airport. The guest was taken to the hospital and is reported to be in stable condition. The guest’s traveling companion tested negative for COVID-19.

Holland America Line is working closely with government and health officials in Malaysia and Cambodia and experts in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). At this time, no other guests or crew, either on board or on their way home, have reported any symptoms of the illness. Guests who have already returned home will be contacted by their local health department and be provided further information.

“We are in close coordination with some of the leading health experts from around the world,” said Dr. Grant Tarling, Chief Medical Officer for Holland America Line. “These experts are working with the appropriate national health authorities to investigate and follow-up with individuals who may have come in contact with the guest.”

On Feb. 10, 2020, all 2,257 passengers and crew on board Westerdam were screened for illness including the taking of individual temperatures. No individual was identified with an elevated temperature. Also during disembarkation in Cambodia guests underwent an additional health screening including the completion of a written health questionnaire. Furthermore, the passports of everyone on board were reviewed to ensure no one had traveled through mainland China in the 14 days prior to the cruise. During the voyage there was no indication of COVID-19 on the ship. The guest who tested positive did not visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms of illness. An additional 20 guests who reported to the medical center during the cruise were tested by health officials for COVID-19, and all results were confirmed negative.

Westerdam is alongside at Sihanoukville, Cambodia, with 747 crew and 233 guests who are awaiting their final travel arrangements. The remainder of guests from the voyage departed Sihanoukville via charter flights to Phnom Penh and are in various stages of transit home.

February 16, 2020: Holland America Line posted: “Update: 2/16/2020 2:50 pm Pacific Time”. From the update:

Out of an abundance of caution, Holland America Line has decided to cancel the Feb. 29 cruise of Westerdam. The ship was due to depart Yokohame for a 14-day round trip cruise visiting mostly Japanese ports.

Holland America Line has been closely monitoring the very fluid and evolving situation with respect to the new Covid-19 that originated in mainland China. The difficult decision to cancel this cruise comes after carefully considering the highly dynamic and unpredictable changes seen the past couple of weeks in travel restrictions and port operations that could affect the cruise.

All guests will receive a full refund. Each guest will also receive a 50% future cruise credit and reimbursement of cancellation fees.

While this decision will be disappointing for our guests, we feel they will understand the commitment to looking after the safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the places we visit.

Guests on impacted cruises or their travel advisors may call 1-800-577-1729 or 206-626-7385 Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

No cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond Feb. 29 have been announced at this time. However, we are assessing future cruise itineraries and will communicate details as soon as plans are finalized.

February 16, 2020: San Luis Obispo County (California) Public Health Department posted: a public health response titled: “Officials Prepare for Possibility of Coronavirus Isolation at Camp Roberts”. From the response:

The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Officer says there is no certainty at this time that passengers with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be arriving at Camp Roberts.

However, local health officials have been advised by state and federal authorities to prepare for the possibility of passengers who test positive for COVID-19 but no longer require hospitalization may be sent to Camp Roberts for the remainder of their isolation period. The County is actively involved in coordinating with state, federal and local partners – including the County of Monterey – to protect the health and well-being of local residents.

“We understand that a federal team will provide the staffing, food, and medical care at Camp Roberts,” said County of San Luis Obispo Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department is working to ensure that we protect the health and well-being of San Luis Obispo County residents.”

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County and the risk to residents remains low.

Camp Roberts is a military training base in central California, located in both San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties.

The County of San Luis Obispo will provide updates as more information becomes available.


February 17, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 13

February 17, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY!”

February 17, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a Special Briefing titled: “On the Repatriation of U.S. Citizens from the Princess Diamond Cruise Ship”. From the Special Briefing:

Mr. Brown: Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining today’s call with senior administration officials on the repatration of U.S. citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. I am deputy spokesperson for the United States Department of State, Cale Brown, and I will be moderating this call.

We are joined today by Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. William Walters, Executive Director and Managing Director for Operational Medicine for the Bureau of Medical Services at the U.S. Department of State; and Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Department of State…

…Assistant Secretary Kadlec: Thank you very much, everyone. I’m Dr. Bob Kadlec, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS. I want to just give you a brief overview of the joint ASPR-State operational medicine operation that was conducted to bring thsoe individuals back from the Diamond Princess.

I also want to thank the Japanese Government and the Ministry of Health for their extraordinary help in facilitating the deployment of my disaster assistance teams and infectious disease experts to work along with their national disaster medical teams at the Diamond Princess, and facilitated our ability to provide care to the Americans on the boat and also assist them, as required, once the decision for repatriation was made.

This culminates about 18 months of work we have done with the Ministry of Health in Japan. We were scheduled to do an exercise in March on this very kind of scenario: How do you repatriate Americans from Japan in the event of a disaster or an emergency? And much of that work paid off in spades with our ability to safely and effectively recover those Americans off of that ship.

I will turn now to Dr. Walters to explain some of the particulars as it relates to the air operations and State’s vital contributions to this activity.

Dr. Walters: Thank you, Dr. Kadlec. Dr. Walters from the State Department.

So the Directorate of Operational Medicine within the Bureau of Medical Services is responsible for the avaiation missions to repatriate these individuals. We work very closely with ASPR. This is our sixth flight over the past several days. We managed the flights out of Wuhan, China, and obviously, this one…

…The aircraft departed – the aircraft are on contract through Kalitta Air group. This is a standing contract that we have through Phoenix Air group out of Cartersville, Georgia, and we have exercised that contract over the past several years for the management of patients infected with highly contageous pathogens.

The aircraft departed out of Atlanta Hartsfield, routed direct to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, and then there was a hand-off of patients and process between ASPR and their personnel on the ground and the State Department personnel from the embassy, and then, of course, State Department personnel on the aircraft.

The aircraft departed Haneda. Aircraft one went to Travis Air Force Base, with close coordination amongst NORTHCOM from DOD, obviously, HHS-ASPR, HHS-CDC, and State Department all playing a critical role.

Aircraft two went direct from Haneda to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Passengers were deplaned in those two locations, and then a select number of high-risk patients were transported onward from both locations, using those same aircraft to Omaha, Nebraska, for care at the University of Nebraska.

The aircraft are currently on their way back to Atlanta for decontamination and the aircraft will be placed back in service for the vendor.

Back to Dr. Kadlec for a sort of what happens next for those passengers, once they are on the ground.

Assistant Secretary Kaldec: Thank you, Dr. Walters. And very briefly, the individuals recieved multiple screenings while they were transitioned from the ship to the bus to the plane. And then, once they arrived at the two destinations, Travis and Lackland, they went – more extensive medical assessment, as well as a questionnaire concerning their baseline health and their current symptoms.

These individuals were processed and put into quarantine at those bases. Three individuals that arrived at Travis experienced an elevation of temperature, and were taken to the hospital and being evaluated, and evaluated for what may be the causation or (inaudible) of that event.

These individuals will spend the next 14 days under the joint supervision and oversight of CDC and ASPR to monitor their health, and at which point in time, after 14 days, they’ll be cleared to return to their home of record.

With that I’ll stop and pause and just comment that, additionally, several patients – 10 passengers, excuse me – and their spouses were transported to University of Nebraska in Omaha for isolation, as well…

…Question from Jennifer Hansler from CNN: …Could you go into a little more detail about how the passengers who were infected with coronavirus were kept isolated from their fellow passengers on these flights back? And then, more broadly, how many Americans still remain on the Diamond Princess? How many remain from the Westerdam in Cambodia, and, I guess, just any message to them?

Dr. Walters: …So the way – the use of the aircraft, and the movement of patients exposed to, in this case, coronavirus is very specific, very deliberate, and is sort of the culmination of a lot of interagency work over the years.

The 747 is large, obviously, and is broken up into sections. The airflow within the aircraft is nose to tail, and so our crew aboard kind of owns the nose area of the aircraft, and we call that a safe area. Then there’s passenger seating. And then, at the tail of the aircraft we take 18 seats, and that will become an isolation area. Because it’s a cargo aircraft we’ve got tremendous latitude in the way that we set up both the seats and the ability to drop plastic on all four sides of that block of seats. That plastic is, like, 10 feet tall and has one enterance, one exit at the back of that isolation area. And so that – that both protects the rest of the passengers and the rest of the crew from any spread. Every interaction with passengers that are inside the isolation area is very deliberate, its very – it’s planned, and it’s done very carefully…

…When the bus – and it was a direct like. When the bust arrived at the aircraft, those people that were identified during that process as being coronavirus-positive but asymptomatic with no symptoms of disease were taken off the bus, were moved onto the aircraft into that dedicated isolation area, which was the safest place for them to get them away from the rest of the passengers and give us time to make some decisions…

Dr. Walters:… With regard to the rest of your question, we’re currently tracking roughly 60 American citizens, U.S. persons that are still in Japan. And we are tracking a little over 200 American citizens that remain in Cambodia pending onward travel, with 92 remaining on board the ship there in Cambodia, the Westerdam…

…Shawn Donovan: …If I could just drill down a bit more on the situation on the Westerdam in Cambodia, when you say you are tracking a little over 200 American citizens that remain in Cambodia, are they in one location? Are they spreading about?

We had the reports coming out of Asia overnight of a woman who was diagnosed with the virus when she arrived in Malaysia by plane. Are you worried at all that some of these cases may have left Cambodia? We are just trying to understand the situation a bit more there in Cambodia.

Dr. Walters: Right. So we’re tracking, again, 92 American citizens that remain on board the Westerdam, another 260 that remain in hotels in Phnom Penh. Roughly 300 American citizens have departed Cambodia, but only after testing by the Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Health.

The one couple that remains in hospital in Kuala Lumpur is the only – really, only individual that has tested positive coming off the Westerdam.

Obviously, everyone is very concerned about the safety of all the American citizens and all of the other passengers on the Westerdam, and every step is being taken on an international basis to collaborate on contact tracing and staying in very close contact with the passengers on that ship…

February 17, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 28” From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

From today, WHO will be reporting all confirmed cases, including both laboratory-confirmed as previously reported, and those reported as clinically diagnosed (currently only applicable to Hubei province, China). From 13 February through 16 February, we reported only laboratory confirmed cases for Hubei province as mentioned in the situation report published on 13 February. The change in reporting is now shown in the figures. This accounts for the large increase in cases compared to prior situation reports.

Based on the evidence currently available about COVID-19, WHO has developed guidance documents for managing public health events at Points of Entry and mass gatherings. These are posted on WHO COVID-19 Points of Entry and Mass Gatherings website. See Technical Focus for more details.

WHO Eastern Mediterranean office has updated information on COVID-19 cases. For more information please see here.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease by provinces, regions and cities in China, 17 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 1,933 daily confirmed cases/ 100 daily deaths/ 5,8182 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1,696 cumulative confirmed deaths
  • Guangdong: 6 daily cases/ 2 daily deaths/ 1,322 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 15 daily cases/ 3 daily deaths/ 1,246 cumulative cases/ 16 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 4 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,171 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hunan: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,006 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 11 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 973 cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 5 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 930 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jiangsu: 9 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 626 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 7 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 551 cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Shandong: 4 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 541 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 14 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 495 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 12 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 457 cumulative cases/ 11 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 381 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 3 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 331 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hebei: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 301 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 3 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 290 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 4 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 240 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 238 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 171 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 934 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 162 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 129 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 124 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Jilin: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 89 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Xinjiang: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 73 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Inner Mongolia: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 72 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 70 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 57 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 2 daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 20 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 2,051 daily cases/ 106 daily deaths/ 70,635 cumulative cases/ 1,772 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 17 February 2020:

  • Singapore: 73 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 59 confirmed cases (6 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Republic of Korea: 30 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Phillippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 7 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 9 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 454 confirmed cases (99 new)/ 0 deaths

February 17, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Office posted: “Update on COVID-19 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region”. From the update:

The World Health Organization announces a total of nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region as of 16 February 2020.

Eight cases were reported in the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health and Prevention between 29 January and 9 February, and one case was reported from hospital on 9 and 14 February.

The confirmed case in Egypt is asymptomatic and was identified through contact screening of an index case who travelled to Cairo between 21 January and 4 February on a business trip and tested positive for COVID-19 on 11 February in China. The confirmed case in Egypt is currently isolated in a referral hospital. Other contacts of the confirmed case are being traced, and so far, all have tested negative, but will be actively followed up on for 14 days. WHO is coordinating with national IHR focal points in China and Egypt in order to support the investigation in Egypt.

Confirmed cases in Egypt and United Arab Emirates are currently being managed as per standard protocal.

Countries in the Region have scaled up their preparedness and operational readiness measures to ensure early detection and rapid response to potential cases of COVID-19. Information about suspected and confirmed cases in the Region are shared with WHO in accordance with the International Health Regulations. Countries have developed and implemented national preparedness and response plans to activate intensified measures and actions (and related Standard Operating Procedures), in coordination with WHO…

February 17, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted a transcript titled: “Press Conference – Melbourne, VIC”. From the transcript:

Prime Minister: Good afternoon everyone. In the past two weeks it has been a terrible ordeal for those more than 200 Australians and so many other passengers who have been on the Diamond Princess in Yokohama. The National Security Committee of Cabinet has met again today, as we did over the weekend, to consider how we might be able to best support those Australians who have been caught up in this very difficult situation.

We want to thank the Japanese government for the great care and support and assistance they’ve provided to those Australians who are onboard that vessel, many of them, some quite elderly. And we want to thank them for that great care they have shown. What we have agreed to do today is to take action, by providing a direct assistance to those who are on that vessel by providing an assisted departure flight from Japan to Australia this Wednesday. This flight will be made possible by Quantas and we want to thank Quantas once again for answering the call of the Australian people and for those who will be supporting that flight, going up to Japan and bringing Australians home, we want to thank you very much for your great cooperation and to Alan Joyce and the entire team at Quantas, we thank you very much for your tremendous support in assisting Australians at this time of great need.

We are taking this action on clear advice, once again, of our medical experts, in particular, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, who joins me again here today, along with the Foreign Minister and the Health Minister. But as well, Professor Paul Armstrong. Professor Paul Armstrong is in Yokohama. He was sent there to assess the situation and to provide us advice in terms of decisions that we needed to make to provide this assisted departure back to Australia.

At this stage, it is not clear how further cases of infection have occurred onboard that vessel and Dr Murphy will be able to take you through in more detail the situation on board that vessel. But because of the nature of the quarantine not being able to be assured, for those more than 200 Australians who will be returning to Australia we are going to have to require a further 14 day quarantine period to be put in place on their return to Darwin, where they will be accommodated at the Howard Springs facility.

Now, I understand that those who are onboard will feel very frustrated about this, as will their family members. Indeed, I’m very frustrated about it. I wish it were not possible. But our first responsibility is, I’m sure all Australians would agree, is that we have to protect the health and safety of Australians here in Australia. And today, we have Australians who are leaving Christmas Island, having been part of that initial quarantine period of 14 days, returning back home, including returning back home to Melbourne.

I was at Box Hill today with members of the Chinese Australian community, and they’re looking forward to welcoming some of their family back here later this evening. It’s frustrating and it’s unfortunate, but it is absolutely necessary to ensure that we put measures in place that have been so effective in containing the spread of this virus and ensuring that Australians here can go about their lives on a daily basis without any concern about the impact of this virus on their health. And this has been made possible by the strong and very clear and very early measures that the Government took to protect Australians from the impact of the virus.

So, we greatly appreciate, again, the support and cooperation of the Japanese government who we have been working with to ensure that they are able to facilitate this assisted departure. I also need to make it clear that the decision that has been taken by the National Security Committee that any person who was onboard that ship, regardless of their nationality, if they seek to enter Australia within the next 14 days, they won’t be granted entry to Australia. And that arrangement will also be put in place with airlines as well. So we are making direct contact with all the passengers on board that ship now. We’ll also be providing spaces on our flight to New Zealanders and I have been in contact with Prime Minister Ardern and they welcome that arrangement as well. New Zealand passengers will be transferred from Darwin back to their quarantine arrangements in New Zealand and the balance of those passengers who will be Australians and Australian residents will be accommodated at the Howard Springs facility…

February 17, 2020: Holland American Line posted: “Update: 2/17/2020 3:45 am Pacific Time”. From the update:

Westerdam remains alongside in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, where officials from the Cambodian Health Ministry are on board today to complete testing for COVID-19 on the 255 guests and 747 crew that are awaiting clearance. We anticipate this will take several days and greatly appreciate the thoroughness of all authorities involved in resolving this situation.

Guests at a hotel in Phnom Penh have all completed the COVID-19 screening. Results are being returned when completed, with the first batch of 406 all being negative. Cleared guests may travel home, and arrangements are being made for those guests.

Guests in both locations are being very well cared for, including assistance with any medications needed. A full team is on the ground in both Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, including Holland America Line’s President Orlando Ashford. We are communicating updates regularly as new information becomes available. A special hotline has been established for families.

One female guest remains in a hospital in Malaysia with a reported positive result for COVID-19 according to Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. She is currently in stable condition. Her traveling companion tested negative for COVID-19.

“We are in close coordination with some of the leading health experts from around the world,” said Dr. Grant Tarling, Chief Medical Officer for Holland America Line. “These experts are working with the appropriate national health authorities to investigate and follow-up with any individuals who may have come in contact with the guest.”

Holland America Line continues to work closely and in compliance with government and health officials in Malaysia and Cambodia, as well as experts in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). At this time, no other guests or crew on board or at the hotel have reported any symptoms of the illness. Guests who have already returned home will be contacted by their local health department and provided further information.

Prior to arrival in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Holland America Line undertook significant precautions to ensure the health and safety of our guests and crew. On Feb. 10, 2020, all 2,257 passengers and crew were screened for illness including the taking of individual temperatures. No individual at that time was identified with an elevated temperature. Guests who were able to disembark in Cambodia underwent additional health screening and temperature checks. Furthermore, the passports of everyone on board were reviewed to ensure no one had traveled through mainland China in the 14 days prior to the cruise.

During the voyage there was no indication of COVID-19 on the ship. The guest who tested positive did not visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms of illness. An additional 20 guests who reported to the medical center during the cruise were tested by health officials for COVID-19, and all results were confirmed negative.

Holland America Line will provide a further update once we have more information. 

February 17, 2020: Holand American Line posted: “Update: 2/17/2020 9:30 am Pacific Time”. From the update:

As we are still working through the extremely complex factors and decisions of itinerary planning, no cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond Feb. 29 have been announced at this time. We understand that our guests are eager to learn more about their departures, and we are assessing future cruise itineraries as quickly as possible. We will announce an update as soon as plans are finalized. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

February 17, 2020: The Guardian posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: Russian court orders woman who fled quarantine back to hospital”. It was written by Andrew Roth. From the article:

A St. Petersburg court has ordered a Russian woman to be forcibly confined to hospital after she dramatically broke out of coronavirus quarantine and blogged about her escape.

Alla Ilyina, 32, was escorted by bailiffs and medical staff back to the Botkin infectious diseases hospital, where she had been held under quarantine, before short-circuiting the electronic lock to her hospital door and sneaking past doctors to an elevator.

The escape, which took place on 7 February, went unreported for days until Ilyina herself told journalists she had broken out, posting a detailed video of her getaway on Instagram.

Ilyina fell ill after returning from the Chinese resort island of Hainan last month and was put under quarantine by doctors. But after she tested negative for the virus on 6 February, she was told she would be held under quarantine for two weeks regardless…

…The story went viral and led to a police search for Ilyina who had locked herself in her apartment. The court on Monday ordered her to be admitted to hospital until at least Wednesday, in order to recieve new test results…

February 17, 2020: The County of San Luis Obispo (California) Public Health Department posted a public health response titled: “Feds Back Off Coronavirus Isolation at Camp Roberts”. From the public health response:

San Luis Obispo, CA—The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Officer received notice last evening that federal authorities no longer consider Camp Roberts a potential site to house any returning travelers who may or may not be infected with novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  

Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said “We remain prepared to work with federal and state partners should future decisions turn back to Camp Roberts as a resource.” Dr. Borenstein also expressed her appreciation and admiration for “the prompt and professional response shown by our local hospitals, EMS providers, and County personnel.”


February 18, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 13

February 18, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “Update on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship in Japan.” From the media statement:

We commend the extraordinary efforts by the Government of Japan to institute quarantine measures onboard the Diamond Princess. While the quarantine potentially conferred a significant public health benefit in slowing transmission, CDC’s assessment is that it may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship.

CDC believes the rate of positives new on board, especially among those without symptoms, highlights the high burden of infection on the ship and the potential for ongoing risk. Therefore, to protect the health of the American public, all passengers and crew of the ship have been placed under travel restrictions, preventing them from returning to the United States for at least 14 days after they had left the Diamond Princess.

Currently, there are more than 100 U.S, citizens still onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship or in hospitals in Japan. These citizens have been placed under the restrictions, as have the ship’s other passengers and crew.

After disembarkation from the Diamond Princess, these passengers and crew will be required to wait 14 days without having symptoms or a positive coronavirus test result before they are permitted to board flights to the United States.

If an individual from this cruise arrives in the United States before the 14-day period ends, they will still be subject to a mandatory quarantine until they have completed the 14-day period with no symptoms or positive coronavirus test results.

Because of their high-risk exposure, CDC expects there will be additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the remaining passengers on board the Diamond Princess.

CDC is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Americans. We continue to believe that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 to the general public in the United States is currently low. The U.S.Government is taking these measures to protect the Diamond Princess passengers and crew, their loved ones, the traveling public, and communities within the United States.

February 18, 2020: President Trump tweeted: “I hope the Federal Judges Association will discuss the tremendous FISA Court abuse that has taken place with respect to the Mueller Investigation Scam, including the forging of documents and knowingly using the fake and totally discredited Dossier before the Court. Thank you!”

February 18, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation Report – 29”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

WHO Operations Support and Logistics (OSL) continues to gather and assess the needs of Member States for critical items such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). On 14 February, OSL started the dispatch of laboratory COVID-19 testing kits for 56 countries. As of 17 February, 37 shipments have been dispatched to 34 countires and three regional offices.

Health care workers are on the front line of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. WHO has developed guidance on the Rights, Roles and Responsibilities Of Health Workers, Including Key Considerations For Occupational Safety and Health.

TECHNICAL FOCUS: Operations Support and Logistics

WHO Operations Support and Logistics (OSL) continues to gather and assess the needs of Member States for critical items such as personal protective equipment (PPE). The country-level perspective is aggregated to obtain a global view on the overall demand for PPE necessary for frontline healthcare workers. Due to the growing demand and consumption of PPE, OSL is collaborating with WHO disease specialists to develop and disseminate a guiding document on the rational use of PPE.

In the meantime, OSL continues to accelerate the work of the Pandemic Supply Chain Network (PSCN), which includes manufacturers of medical products and medicines, medical distributors, and logistics providers.

Since the activation of the PSCN, the market for PPE continues to experience unprcedented demand. Government export restrictions have continued to limit the supply of products across borders. The PSCN is continuously exploring options with its stakeholders to alleviate the demand and increase the supply to ensure access to PPE for those countries most vulnerable and most in need. This includes working with WHO technical specialists to advocate via the PSCN on the proper use of PPE, understanding the potential for manufacturing expansion outside China (a makor source of crucial commodities), and working with stakeholders to support the prioritization of PPE for frontline healthcare workers. The PSCN will also prepare for any bottlenecks in the market for other supplies as listed in the Disease Commodity Package.

On 14 February, OSL started the dispatch of COVID-19 laboratory testing kits for 56 countries. As of 17 February, 37 shipments have been dispatched to 34 countries and three regional offices.

The WHO global supply team had already dispatched 28 PPE shipments totalling more than 12 000 kg to priority countries in the Western Pacific, South-East Asia and African regions. Another 24 shipments are being processed this week to cover other priority countries.

With the Technical support of the WHO Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) team, OSL continues to update the Disease Commodity Package (DCP) for COVID-19. This document provides the technical guidance and specification on the critical supplies necessary to fight COVID-19. Responding organizations and countries preparing and responding to COVID-19 are able to use the DCP to secure the correct supplies in the areas of surveillance, prevention and control, and case management.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions, and cities in China, 18 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 1,807 daily confirmed cases/ 93 daily deaths/ 59,989 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1,789 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 1,1346 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,328 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths:
  • Henan: 11 daily cases/ 3 daily deaths/ 1,257 cumulative cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 1 daily case/ 0 daily confirmed deaths/ 1,172 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hunan: 1 daily case/ 1 daily death/ 1,007 cumulative confirmed cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 9 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 982 cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 3 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 933 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jiangsu: 3 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 629 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 553 cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Shandong: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 543 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 13 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 508 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjaing: 7 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 464 cumulative cases/ 11 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 6 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 387 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 333 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 1 daily case/ 1 daily death/ 302 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 292 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 4 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 242 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 240 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 172 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 163 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shanxi: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 130 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 125 cumulative cases/ 3 daily deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Jlin: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 89 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Xinjiang: 1 daily case/ 1 daily death/ 76 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Inner Mongolia: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 73 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 70 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 3 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 60 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Taipei and environs: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 22 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Quinghai: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 cumumative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 1,891 daily cases/ 98 daily deaths/ 72,528 cumulative cases/ 1,870 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of February 18, 2020:

  • Singapore: 77 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 65 confirmed cases (6 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Republic of Korea: 31 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Phillippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 8 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 9 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Japan): cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 454 cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths

February 18, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted a Media Release titled: “Backing Important Coronavirus Research”. From the Media Release:

The Morrison Government is fast tracking $2 million in funding to support Australia’s best researchers as they work to understand and respond to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.

Our government’s priority is to keep Australians safe and this $2 million investment will help develop a coronavirus vaccine.

Following a meeting of leading Australian researchers last week, the Government is provideing the funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) for an open and competitive Grant Opportunity to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

This Grant Opportunity will complement the world-leading work already undertaken by the Doherty Institute, CSIRO and University of Queensland and their collaboration.

The ability to swiftly react to emerging health issues is a key strength of the MRFF, which was established in 2015 to support health and medical research and innovation for the benefit of Australians.

Research plays a critical role in ensuring Australia maintains its world-class health system and is particularly important as the world responds to coronavirus.

Last week’s meeting, chaired by Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly, included eminent experts from across Australia including the three centers of research excellence working in epidemic preparedness, the WHO Collaborating Centre on Influenze, th CISRO and states and territories…

February 18, 2020: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office posted a press release titled: “British nationals on the Diamond Princess: Foreign Office Statement”. From the press release:

THE FCO is working to organise a flight back to the UK for British nationals on the Diamond Princess in Japan, following the outbreak of coronavirus.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said:

“Given the conditions on board, we are working to organize a flight back to the UK for British nationals on the Diamond Princess as soon as possible.

“Our staff are contacting British nationals on board to make necessary arrangements, We urge all those who have not yet responded to get in touch immediately.”

February 18, 2020: Live Nation TV posted an article titled: “Ari Lennox Show Cancellation Notice”. It was written by Live Nation Japan. From the article:

Due to travel restrictions in several Asian countries, Ari Lennox will be postponing her upcoming tour of Asia. As a result, the Tokyo show scheduled for March 3 (Tues) 2020 at WWW X Tokyo has been cancelled. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Ticket refund will be available betwen February 19 (Wed) to March 19 (Thu) from each ticketing agency. Please check “LIVENATION.CO.JP” for ticket refund instructions.

If you have already been issued a ticket, please ensure you do NOT lose your ticket as you will require this during refund processing…

February 18, 2020: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a press release titled: “HHS Engages Sanofi’s Recombinant Technology for 2019 Novel Coronavirus Vaccine”. From the press release:

Racing to develop a vaccine against the 2019 novel coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant for Preparedness and Response has engaged Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of ASPR, will provide expertise and reallocated funds to support the vaccine’s development. Sanofi will use its egg-free, recombinant DNA platform to produce a recombinant 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate.

The technology produces an exact genetic match to proteins of the virus. The protein’s DNA will be combined with DNA from a virus harmless to humans, and used to rapidly produce large quantities of antigen which stimulate the immune system to protect against the virus. The antigens will be separated and collected from these cells and purified to create working stocks of vaccine for advanced development…

…This expanded collaboration with Sanofi is BARDA’s second program to focus on developing a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in the past few weeks. There is currently no approved vaccine, treatment, or diagnostic for novel coronavirus infections; however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to enable emergency use of a diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

BARDA also is working with counterparts across the government, including within HHS and with the Department of Defense. The team is reviewing potential vaccines, treatments and diagnostics from across the public and private sectors, particularly products in development for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), to identify promising candidates for development and licensure to detect, protect against or treat novel coronavirus infections…

February 17, 2020: Holand America Line posted: “Update 2/18/2020 2:30 pm Pacific Time. From the update:

We know that guests booked on Westerdam Asia sailings March 14 and beyond have questions and would like an answer soon. We appreciate the many perspectives on this issue. Please know this is high on our priority list, and we fully appreciate the questions around timing given the announcements of others. There are many factors that go into these decisions, including what other options might be. We kindly request your understanding of this extremely complex situation. Thank you.

February 18, 2020: Holland America Line posted: “Update 1/18/2020 2:30 pm Pacific Time”. From the update:

The Cambodian Ministry of Health has issued a press release confirming that 781 Westerdam guests have tested negative for COVID-19. This completes the guests’ testing.

These results provide the required clearance for remaining guests in Cambodia to begin their onward journey home. The company is working to finalize arrangements for everyone. Those who travelled home previously will be contacted by their local health department and provided further information.

Westerdam will remain alongside in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, for at least a few more days until testing is complete on the 747 crewmembers on board.

February 18, 2020: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “This morning I spoke to Chinese President Xi to express my sympathy and support for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The UK government has donated vital medical dquipment to the region and we will continue to offer our assistance. (1/2)”

February 18, 2020: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “We also agreed on the need to work together to tackle climate change, and resolved to strengthen our economic partmership. (2/2)”


February 19, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 13

February 19, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Highest Stock Market in History, By Far!”

February 19, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 30”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

WHO is working with an international network of statisticians and mathmatical modelers to estimate key epidemiologic parameters of COVID-19, such as the incubation period (the time between infection and symptom onset), case fatality ratio (CFR, the proportion of cases that die), and the serial interval (the time between symptom onset of a primary and secondary case). Reports of current analyses that have estimated these paramaters are provided in this Situation Report as a summary of currently available evidence. These values should be considered preliminary and paramaters will likely be updated as more information becomes available. Modeling can support decision-making but needs to be combined with rigorous data collection and a comprehensive analysis of the situation. Please see the Subject in Focus section for more information…

SUBJECT IN FOCUS: Advanced Analytics and Mathematical Modeling:

In order to mount an appropriate public health response for any epidemic pathogen, information and analyses of transmission dynamics, severity of disease and the impact of control and mitigation measures are needed. In addition to descriptive analyses of available epidemiologic and clinical data, mathematical modeling and advanced analytics are helpful tools that can be used to estimate key transmission and severity parameters…

…To calculate these parameters, statisticians and modelers use case-based data from COVID-19 surveillance activities, and data captured from early investigations, such as those studies which evaluate transmission within clusters of cases in households or other closed settings. Preliminary estimates of median incubation period are 5-6 days (ranging from 0-14 days) and estimates for the serial interview range from 4.4 to 7.5 days. Several estimates have been shared in pre-print and information will be updated as more information becomes available.

The confirmed case fatality ratio, or CFR, is the total number of deaths divided by the total number of confirmed cases at one point in time. Within China, the confirmed CFR, as reported by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is 2.3%. This is based on 1,023 deaths amongst 44,415 laboratory-confirmed cases as of 11 February. This CFR does not include the number of more mild infections that may be missed from current surveillance, which has largely focused on patients with pneumonia requiring hospitalization; nor does it account for the fact that recently confirmed cases may yet develop severe disease, and some may die. As the oubreak continues, the confirmed CFR may change. Outside of China, CFR estimates among confirmed cases reported is lower than reported from within China. However, it is too early to draw conclusions as to whether there are real differences in the CFR inside and outside China, as final outcome data (that is, who will recover and who will die) for the majority of cases reported from outside China.

Modeling is a helpful tool to try to account for missed cases, such as those that are mild cases potentially missed in current surveillance activities, and the time lag between onset and death. Using an estimated number of total infections, the infection Fatality Ratio can be calculated. This represents the fraction of all infections (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) that result in death. Based on these available analyses, current IFR estimates range from 0.3 % to 1%. Without population-based seriologic studies, it is not yet possible to know what proportion of the population has been infected with COVID-19.

Modeling has been used to estimate the impact of the 23 January, 2020 Wuhan travel ban on reducing transmission both inside and outside of China. According to these models, travel restrictiosn alone are projected to only have a modest effect on the progression of the outbreak; they would need to be combined with other public health interventions, such as early case insolation, other forms of mobility restrictions, social distancing and population-level behavioral changes to be effective.

This is in line with several studies on travel restrictions during past influenza pandemics, including H1N1, reported in the recently published paper on “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings – International Travel-Related Measures”…

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 19 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 1,693 confirmed daily cases/ 132 daily deaths/ 61,682 cumumative cases/ 1,921 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 3 daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 1,331 cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 5 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,262 cumulative cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,173 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hunan: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,008 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 4 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 986 cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jiangsu: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 555 cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Shandong: 1 daily case/ 1 daily death/ 554 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 6 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 514 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 6 daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 470 cumulative cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 6 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 393 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths. 333 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hebei: 4 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 306 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 293 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 244 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 242 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 173 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 163 cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 146 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 3 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 131 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 3 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 128 cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Jilin: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 90 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Xinjiang: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulaive death
  • Inner Mongolia: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 2 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 62 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Taipei and environs: 1 daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 23 cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinguai: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 1,752 daily cases/ 136 daily deaths/ 74,280 cumulative cases/ 2,006 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 19 February 2020:

  • Singapore: 81 confirmed cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Japan: 73 confirmed cases (8 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Republic of Korea: 51 confirmed cases (20 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new) / 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 542 confirmed cases (88 new)/ 0 deaths

February 19, 2020: The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra posted a press release titled: “Postponment of the HK Phil Japan and Korea Tour March 2020”. From the press release:

In view of current developments related to the coronavirus outbreak, along with discussions with our tour presenters, performing venues and related partners, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s (HK Phil) tour to Japan and Korea has been postponed to a later time of the year. The tour was originaly schedulled for 5 March to 13 March 2020 in Osaka Symphony Hall, Tokyo Suntory Hall, Deajeon Arts Center, Seoul Arts Center, Chuncheon Culture & Art Center, and Gwangju Culture & Art Center. New dates for the tour will be announced on relevant performing venues’ websites shortly.

Mr Benedikt Fohr, Chief Executive of the HK Phil, says, “We are disappointed with the postponement. As a cultural ambassador for Hong Kong, the orchestra and its Music Director Jaap van Zweden were really looking forward to performing for audiences in Japan and Korea. However, we also put the health and well-being of our players, staff, and audiences at the forefront of our priorities. We sincerely hope that the orchestra’s home city, as well as the HK Phil Team is making every effort to schedule new dats for this tour and is committed to touring in Japan and Korea in the near future.

The HK Phil would like to thank presenters in Japan and Korea, our performing venue partners, as well as sponsors, for their ongoing support.

Ticket holders for the affected concerts, please visit websites of relevant performing venues for ticketing assistance.

February 19, 2020: The Motley Fool posted an article titled: “Macao Casinos to Reopen After 2-Week Shutdown” It was written by Rich Duprey. From the article:

After a forced 15-day closure due to the coronavirus outbreak, casino operators in Macao are scheduled to open their doors again on Feb. 20. MGM Resorts said it was losing $1.5 million a day during the shutdown while Wynn Resorts said it was losing $2.5 million a day.

The peninsula, which is the only place in China where it is legal to gamble, derives 80% of its revenue from tourism, but during the crisis visitations plunged by 98% with visits tumbling to about just 2,000 people a day.

In allowing the casinos to open, however, gaming regulators are imposing strict conditions, such as requiring them to take temperature checks of guests and staff, and ensure people are wearing masks. It’s not likely there will be a large influx of tourists immediately after the business restrictions are lifted…

February 19, 2020: Scottish Government posted news titled: “Coronavirus testing”. From the news:

Scottish facilities deliver quicker results.

Coronavirus screening laboratories in Glasgow and Edinburgh have tested 202 possible cases in the first 10 days since testing began in Scotland.

Combined with the previous tests at the Public Health England Facility in Colindale, London, it brings the total number of tests from Scotland to 290 at close of play yesterday.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick observed the testing process during a visit to the laboratory at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI).

When a clinician suspects a new coronavirus infection, they take nose, throat and deeper respiratory samples, and send them to the facilities at the GRI and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The Scottish facilities, which started operating on 10 February, mean test results can be returned quicker…

…Background

After the esperience of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, a series of diagnostic tests were developed in the UK to detect any member of the family of coronaviruses.

When the first reported publication of the genome sequence of this new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19, working with the WHO and a global network of laboratories, further specific tests for this virus were rapidly developed.

The efficient roll-out of this testing regime in Scotland is the result of the close co-operation between Scottish laboratories staff and staff in Public Health England. This forms an important part of our joint efforts to combat the threat from this new virus SARS-CoV-2.

Health boards are also exploring the ability to undertake community-based testing where this is appropriate rather than require people to travel to a clinical setting.

February 19, 2020: RUEL posted a tweet that included two screenshots of text. From the screenshots:

Hey guys,

I’m really sad to have to do this but due to the numerous travel restrictions being put in place as a result of the coronavirus, my team and I have made the tough decision to postpone the remaining dates of my Free Time World Tour to September this year. Thank you so much to everyone that bought tickets already and I’m looking forward to coming back in September! Pls stay safe and I can’t wait to see u all soon.

Due to overwhelming demand, Singapore and Seoul venues have been upgraded, see updated Free Time World Tour dates below:

  • 09 – Sep- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Bee
  • 10 – Sep – Singapore – Capitol Theatre [VENUE UPGRADED]
  • 12 – Sep – Bangkok, Thailand – GMM
  • 16 – Sep – Taipei, Taiwan – Legacy Taipei
  • 18 – Sep – Seoul, Taiwan – Yes24 Live Hall {VENUE UPGRADED]
  • 20 – Sep – Hong Kong – Music Zone
  • 25 – Sep – Manila, Philippines – Music Museum
  • 29 – Sep – Osaka, Japan – TRAD
  • 30 – Sep – Tokyo, Japan – Duo Music Exchange

Due to scheduling complications the originally scheduled Beijing show on March 2, 2020 at Omni Space has been cancelled. Tickets will be fully refunded through all official ticketing outlets. I promise to get to Beijing as soon as possible.

Shanghai, originally schedulled on March 4, 2020 at BUDX VAS, has been postponed to a later date that is to be announced asap. Current ticket holders will be able to use theri tickets for the rescheduled Shanghai date.

Current tickets purchased will remain valid for the rescheduled dates, and for those who are unable to attend the rescheduled date, a full refund can be requested through all official ticketing outlets…

February 19, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Spectrum of the Seas Update”. From the press release:

In light of current regional travel conditions, we’ve decided to cancel Spectrum of the Seas March 5, 13, 17, and 21 sailings. We are sharing the news with our guests and are sorry for the disruption to their vacations. Guests will recieve full refunds.

February 19, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Ukraine Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 19, 2020

Ukraine – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Crimea due to arbitrary detentions and other abuses by Russian occupation authorities.
  • The eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhanks oblasts, especially the non-government-controlled areas, due to armed conflict.

Crime targeting foreigners and property is common. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv. Politically targeted assassinations and bombings have also occured. There are reports of violence by extreme nationalist groups.

The Federal Aviation Admnistration (FAA) prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying in the Ukranian Simferopol (UKFV) and Dniporpetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Ukraine:

  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Expect increased police presence.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to recieve Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Ukraine.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situation. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Crimea – Level 4: Do Not Travel

There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea as part of Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of this part of Ukraine. Occupation authorities continue to abuse and arbitrarily imprison foreigners and the local population, particularly individuals who are seen as challenging Russian authority on the penninsula.

The U.S. government prohibits its employees from traveling to Crimea and is unable to provide emergency to U.S. citizens in Crimea…

…Donetsk and Luhansk – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Russia-led forces continue to control areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where the ongoing-armed conflict has resulted in more than 10,000 deaths. Individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been threatened, detained, or kidnapped for hours or days after being stopped at checkpoints controlled by Russia-led forces. The U.S. government restricts U.S. government employees from traveling to the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and adjacent regions, which limits the ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizen in these areas…

February 19, 2020: Holland America Line posted: “Update: 2/19/2020 9 am Pacific Time”. From the update:

Holland America Line will be making a decision on all of Westerdam’s remaining Asia sailings by the end of the week. We would like to thank everyone for their extreme patience and understanding during this unprecedented situation.

February 19, 2020: Al Jazeera posted an article titled: “Two die of coronavirus in Iran, first fatalities in Middle East”. It was written by Arwa Ibrahim.

Two elderly people have died in Iran after testing positive for the new coronavirus according to health officials.

The deaths on Wednesday were the outbreak’s first fatalities in the Middle East.

“Two elderly people have died due to coronavirus in the city of Qom, south of Tehran,” Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran’s health minister, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

“The two victims had suffered acut lung infections due to their infection with the coronavirus,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Kianoush Jahanpour, spokesman for Iran’s ministry of health, said the two people had tested positive for the virus in preliminary results and died due to immune deficiencies and old age.

There was no immediate information about the gender and the exact age of the victims…

…Meanwhile, during a visit earlier on Wednesday to Qom to assess the situation, Qasem Jan-Babaei, Iran’s deputy health minister, told local news agencies that the ministry had set up emergency units for the treatment of contagious diseases in the holy city.

“We urge people to avoid shaking hands and kissing, to observe personal hygiene and preferably avoid crowded places,” said Babaei, adding that there was no reason to panic.  

“There have been no reports of coronavirus in other cities so far, but there is a possibility that cases may also arise in other cities.” 

Ali Gholizadeh, an Iranian public health policy researcher at the University of Science and Technology of China, said Iran’s health ministry was prepared to manage the virus, but added that the victims’ relatives should be quarantined “until we are sure they are not infected”…


February 20, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 13

February 20, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Internal REAL Polls show I am beating all of the Dem candidates. The Fake News Polls (here we go again, just like in 2016) show losing or tied. Their polls will be proven corrupt on November 3rd, just like the Fake News is corrupt!

February 20, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end. Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!”

February 20, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “I was thrilled to be back in Colorado Springs tonight, beneath the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains, with thousands of terrific, hardworking American Patriots. With your help, this November, we are going to defeat the Radical Socialist Dems, and we are going to WIN Colorado!”

The tweet included four photos. The photos show a large crowd of people, all packed together.

February 20, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation report – 31”. From the report:

Highlights:

One new country (Islamic Republic of Iran) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

China has revised their guidance on case classification for COVID-19, removing the classification of “clinically diagnosed” previously used for Hubei province, and retaining only “suspected” and “confirmed” for all areas, the latter requiring laboratory confirmetion. Some previously reported “clinically diagnosed” cases are thus expected to be discarded over the coming days as laboratory testing is conducted and some are found to be COVID-19 negative.

In early January, following the notification of the occurance of cases of COVID-19 among travelers from Wuhan, China, WHO established a Global Surveilance System to collect and organize essential information to describe and monitor COVID-19. All WHO regions have implemented the reporting of COVID-19 cases either through existing or newly-established data collection systems. Please see the Subject in Focus section for more information.

SUBJECT IN FOCUS: WHO Global Surveillance for Human Infection with COVID-19 Occurring Outside China:

Following the notification of the occurance of cases of COVID-19 among travelers from Wuhan, China in early January, WHO set up a Global Surveilance System to collect and organize essential information to describe and monitor the extent of the global outbreak. The goals of global surveillance are to: 1) Monitor the global extent of the epidemic; 2) Provide early epidemilogical information to support risk assessment at the national, regional and global levels; 3) Rapidely detect new cases in countries where the virus was not previously circulating; 4) Monitor trends of the disease after a first case is imported and; 5) Provide epidemilogical information to guide response measures. In line with the international Health Regulations (2005), all Member States’ IHR National Focal Points were requested to immediately report any new confirmed case of COVID-19 and, within 48 hours, provide information related to clinical, epidemilogical, and travel history using the WHO standardized case reporting form…

…WHO regions implemented immediate reporting of COVID-19 through systems already in place – such as The European Surveillance System in the European Region, EMFLU in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and FluNet in the Americas Region; or by setting up a new electronic data collection system (South-East Asia region). The flow of the data from WHO Regional Offices to WHO HQ was organized using the existing Global Influenza Surveillance system, allowing regions to rapidly transfer information. A Global Surveillance COVID-19 database centralizing all COVID-19 cases reported from outside China is maintained at WHO HQ, and data analysis is conducted daily to: follow the transmission of the disease between countries; describe the characteristics of human-to-human transmission within clusters of cases; describe the characteristics of affected persons and their exposure history; and support the evaluation of public health measures implemented in response to the epidemic.

SUBJECT IN FOCUS (UPDATE): Advanced Analytics and Mathematical Modeling:

Since the publication of modeling estimates in yesterday’s ‘Subject in Focus’, one research group (Ref. 12) has provided a correction of their estimate of the Infection-Fatality Ratio (IFR), with the new estimate being 0.94% (95% confidence interval 0.37-2.9). This replaces the lowest estimate of IFR of 0.33% but remains below the highest estimate of 1.0% (Ref.11).

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 20 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 349 confirmed daily cases/ 108 deaths/ 62,031 cumulative confirmed cases/ 2,209 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,332 cumulative confirmed cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 4 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,265 cumulative confirmed cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,175 cumulative confrmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hunan: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,010 cumulative confirmed cases/ 4 cumulative confirmed deaths
  • Anhui: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 987 cumulative confirmed cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative daily death
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 cumulative confirmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 5 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 560 cumulative confirmed cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Shandong: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 546 cumulative confirmed cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 6 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 520 cumulative confirmed cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjaing: 6 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 476 cumulative confirmed cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 395 cumulative confirmed cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 333 cumulative confiirmed cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 1 confirmed daily case/ 1 daily death/ 307 cumulative confirmed cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 293 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Guangxi: 1 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 cumulative confirmed cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 245 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 172 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hainan: 5 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 cumulative confirmed cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 cumulative confirmed cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 131 cumulative confirmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 130 cumulative confirmed cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 cumulative confirmed cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 cumulative confirmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 cumulative confirmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 65 cumulative confirmed cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 24 cumulative confirmed cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 cumulative confirmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 cumulative confirmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 cumulative confirmed case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 399 confirmed daily cases/ 115 daily deaths/ 74,675 cumulative confirmed cases/ 2,121 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 20 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 104 confirmed cases (53 new)/ 1 death (1 new)
  • Japan: 85 confirmed cases (12 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Singapore: 84 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 2 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 2 deaths (2 new)
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 621 confirmed cases (79 new)/ 2 deaths (2 new)

February 20, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted a Media Release titled: “Continuing Travel Ban to Protect Australians From the Coronavirus”. From the Media Release:

The protection and safety of Australians is our highest priority.

The National Security Committee of Cabinet has today decided that the continuing coronavirus infections in mainland China make it necessary to continue the travel restrictions on foreign nationals entering Australia for a further week to 29 February.

This decision, as with all decisions taken by the Government with respect to the coronavirus outbreak, has been guided by the expert medical advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, made up of the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and chief medical officers from each state and territory.

The committee has advised that there are signs of the spread of the coronavirus in Chinese provinces outside Hubei provience is slowing. We will need to watch closely whether this positive trend continues as people return to work after the holidays.

Unfortunately, the number of infections and deaths in Hubei province itself continues to grow.

The AHPPC has also advised that the number of cases in Australia remains at 15, indicating the Government’s precautionary approach to preventing the spread of coronavirus on our shores continue to be successful.

The continuation of the travel restrictions means that for a further week, foreign nationals – excluding permanent residents – who have been in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they left mainland China.

As before, Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians and dependents only).

We continue to require Australian citizens, permanent residents and their families who have been in mainland China from 1 February 2020, and who return Australia, to self-isolate for 14 days from the time they left mainland China.

People who have been in contact with someone confirmed to have coronavirus must also self-isolate for 14 days from the time they were in contact with that person.

We will continue to consider developments in China and advice from the AHPPC as they meet and review health and travel arrangements on an ongoing basis.

Our government continues to work closely with state and territory authorities as well as our international partners to ensure we keep Australians safe.

February 20, 2020: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP posted a press release titled: “Diamond Princess evacuation flight organised: Foreign Secretary’s statement”. From the statement:

Dominic Raab has confirmed the evacuation flight back to the UK for British people on the Diamond Princess in Japan, following the coronavirus outbreak.

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:

“We’ve organised an evacuation flight for British nationals on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship to depart Tokyp on Friday.

“Details have been sent to those who have registered for the flight. We urge other British nationals still seeking to leave to contact us.

“We will continue to support British nationals who wish to stay in Japan.”

February 20, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Hong Kong Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 20, 2020

Hong Kong – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19

A novel (new) coronavirus officially known as COVID-19 is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness that began in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Hong Kong government has reported cases of the novel coronavirus in its special administrative region, has upgraded its response level to emergency, its highest response level, and is taking other steps to manage the novel coronavirus outbreak. On February 8, the Hong Kong government began enforcing a compulsory 14-day quarantine for anyone, regardless of nationality, arriving in Hong Kong who has visited mainland China within a 14-day period. This quarantine does not apply to individuals transiting Hong Kong International Airport and certain exempted groups such as flight crews. However, health screening measures are in place at all of Hong Kong’s borders and the Hong Kong authorities will quarantine individual travelers, including passengers transiting the Hong Kong International Airport, if the Hong Kong authorities determine the traveler to be a health risk. Please refer to the Hong Kong government’s press release for further details.

On January 30, the Hong Kong government closed certain transportation links and border checkpoints connecting Hong Kong with mainland China until further notice, and on February 3, suspended ferry services from Macau.

On February 10, 2020, the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees and their family members due to the novel coronavirus and the effect to Mission personnel as schools and some public facilities have been closed until further notice.

On February 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 Warning: Practice Usual Precautions in Hong Kong for COVID-19.

The Department of State has raised the Travel Advisory for mainland China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Warning for China: Avoid all nonessential travel.

At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Hong Kong. If you travel to Hong Kong, take the following steps:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%-95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom/ before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

If you spent time in Hong Kong during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing:

  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel to Hong Kong, an area with community spread of coronavirus, and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty…

Continue to exercise increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest.

Country Summary: Since June 2019, lage scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including MTR stations, shopping malls, universities, and at Hong Kong International airport. While many demonstrations have been peaceful, some have resulted in violent demonstrations between protesters and police – or between protesters and people who oppose the demonstrations – leading to serious injuries. Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Some protesters have lit fires, built barricades, and thrown Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs). Police have identified and seized weapons and explosive materials linked to ongoing protest activity. Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal.

Protests, which can take place with little or no notice at any time of the week, are likely to continue and are often accompanied by vandalism and/or violence.

U.S. citizens, as well as U.S. Consolate General employees, have been subject to a People’s Republic of China propaganda campaign falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong…

If you decide to travel to Hong Kong:

  • Monitor local media, local transportation sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
  • Avoid the areas of the demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Review your flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website.
  • Follow U.S. Consolate General Hong Kong on Facebook and Twitter
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Hong Kong.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

February 20, 2020: Holland America Line posted: “Update 2/20/2020 2 am Pacific Time”. From the update:

The Cambodian Ministry of Health has issued a statement confirming that all 747 crew on board Westerdam have tested negative for COVID-19. This in addition to the announcement yesterday that 781 guests in Cambodia tested negative and were cleared to begin their travels home. All testing was conducted by the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh.

Twenty-five crew members were originally scheduled to disembark the ship on Feb. 15 at the end of their work contracts. They will now begin their travels home. The rest of the crew will remain on Westerdam to continue their work contracts.

This completes the testing ordered by the Cambodian Ministry of Health related to Westerdam. It is anticipated the ship will remain alongside in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, for a few more days until its future itinerary is finalized. The next scheduled cruise on Feb. 29 was previously cancelled.

Holland America Line sincerely thanks Cambodia’s Honorable Prime Minister Hun, the Cambodian Ministry of Health and all those in Cambodia who have worked so hard to get our guests home and help clear our crew.

Our sincere gratitude also goes to the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia for all of its hard work and support. We also appreciate the embassies from several other nations that provided their vital assistance and our flag state of the Netherlands for its many efforts.

We would also like to thank the regional authorities from the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their guidance.

February 20, 2020: Holand America Line posted: “Update 2/20/2020 5 pm Pacific Time”. From the update:

Due to the uncertainty of ports accepting cruise ships in Asia, Holland America Line has decided to cancel Westerdam’s four March and April 2020 Asia cruises.

The cancelled cruises include:
• March 14–28, 14-day South Korea and Japan, sailing roundtrip Yokohama, Japan.
• March 28–April 11, 14-day Japan Explorer, sailing roundtrip Yokohama.
• April 11–25, 14-day Japan and Russia, sailing roundtrip Yokohama.
• April 25–May 10, 16-day North Pacific Crossing, sailing Yokohama to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Details and itineraries regarding Westerdam deployment through early May will be provided in the coming days.

Holland America Line has been closely monitoring the very fluid and evolving situation with respect to the ability to successfully operate cruise itineraries in Asia due to the regional concerns surrounding COVID-19. We never want to disappoint our guests, however we are not confident that we could deliver a cruise experience that meets their expectations.

All guests will receive a full refund of the cruise fare paid. Each guest will also receive a future cruise credit of 25-50% of fare paid depending on the departure date and reimbursement of any travel cancellation fees…


February 21, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: 15

February 21, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a transcript titled: “Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19”. From the transcript:

Mr. Paul Fulton: Thank you for joining us on the briefing of the COVID-19 response. We’re joined by secretary for consular affairs for the department of state, Ian G. Brownlee, and Nancy Messonnier, the Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who will give opening remarks before taking your questions…

…Ian G. Brownlee: Good morning. I’d like to say a word about the cruise ship travel alert that the State Department posted yesterday afternoon. U.S. Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens overseas. February 20th, the department advised all citizens to reconsider travel by cruise ships with Asia. Many countries implemented strict screening procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. This is a dynamic situation, and U.S. citizens traveling by ship may be impacted by restrictions affecting their itineraries or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by local authorities. While the U.S. government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in recent weeks, such repatriation flights do not reflect our standard practice and should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. We urge U.S. citizens to evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and to take all appropriate proactive measures.

People who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies for further information on the current rules and restrictions, and should continue to monitor the travel.state.gov website for updated information. We encourage all U.S.citizens traveling oversees to enroll their travel plans in the smart traveler enrollment program, step.state.gov. They can recieve important messages about their destination, including timely alerts and updates to travel advisories. Finally, you can find the text of the travel alert on that same website, travel.state.gov. Thank you very much.

Dr. Messonier: …I want to start with how we will be reporting our cases of COVID-19 beginning today and going forward. We are making our case counts in two tables. One only tracks people who were repatriated by the state department, and the second tracks all other cases picked up through U.S. public health network. CDC will continue to update these numbers every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We are keeping track of cases resulting from repatration efforts separately because we don’t believe those numbers accurately represent the picture of what is happening in the community in the Unites States at this time.

As of this morning, when you break things up this way, we have 13 U.S. cases versus 21 cases among people who were repatriated. The repatriated cases include 18 passengers from the “Diamond Princess” and three from the Wuhan repatriation flights.

I want to update you on the status of the repatriation efforts. Yesterday, nearly all of the remaining people who returned from Wuhan, China, via State Department chartered flights, who have been quarantined at four Department of Defense installations across the U.S. have completed their 14-day quarantine. We are truly thankful to those released from quarantine for their cooperation and patience and wish them well as they return to home, work, and school.

I want to be clear that someone who has been released from quarantine is not at risk for spreading the virus to others. Specifically, they are not infected. Additionally, I want to extend my thanks to the men and women on all of the DOD bases and their families for their graciousness while hosting these guests. We are also thankful that Travis Air Force Base and Joint Base San Antonio-lackland opened their doors to the recently returned passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Now, the Diamond Princess. 329 U.S. citizens earlier this week returned to the United States aboard two state department chartered flights. So far, 18 have tested positive at CDC. Another 10 were reportedly positive in Japan. 11 are recieving care at the University of Nebraska medical center. Five are recieving care around Travis. Two are recieving care around lakland.

Because the passengers on the Diamond Princess were in a close setting, where there has been a significant spread of COVID-19, they are considered at high risk for infection. We do expect to see additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the passengers.

Additionally, since many of these people are over the age of 60, we are also prepared for other medical issues to arise that will require hospitalization. We’re going to do everything we can to make their quarantine as easy as possible while monitoring them to see if they develop illness. Our goal for these people who have been repatriated is to be sure that each and every person is properly cared for and that those who are in need of medical care recieve it. To ensure this, we are working closely with local hospitals as well as other facilities across the country who are prepared to provide this care…

…As I said, the number of cases detected through the recent U.S. surveillance systems has increased to 13. The most recent patient was announced last night by Humbolt county in California. This patient had traveled to mainland China.

The fact that we have been able to keep this number low is good news, especially given what we are seeing among some countries in Asia that are beginning to experience community spread. This is being reported in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as in Hong Kong and Japan. The last two countries we issued level one travel notices for earlier this week. We are working in close coordination with the State Department to keep travelers informed up-to-the-minute guidance, including on cruise ship travel, as discused by Mr. Brownlee…

February 21, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “THANK YOU Las Vegas, Nevada! I was delighted to be back in a state I love, with proud, hardworking PATRIOTS. With your help, this November, we are going to defeat the Radical Socialist Democrats, and we are going to win in Nevada in a landslide! #KAG2020” The tweet includes a periscope video.

February 21, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 32”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Through the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), national food safety authorities are seeking more information on the potential for persistence of SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19, in foods traded internationally as well as the potential role of food in the transmission of the virus. Currently, there are investigations conducted to evaluate the viability and survival time of SARA-CoV-1. As a general rule, the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, raw milk, or raw animal organs should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods.

SUBJECT IN FOCUS: Food related considerations:

The new COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-COV-2. The most likely ecological resrvoirs for SARS-CoV-2 are bats, but it is believed that the virus jumped the species barrier to humans from another intermediate animal host. The intermediate animal host could be a domestic food animal, a wild animal, or a domesticated wild animal which has not yet been identified.

WHO continues to collaborate with experts, Member States and other partners to identify gaps and research priorites for the control of COVID-19, and provide advice to countries and individuals on prevention measures. National food safety authorities have been following this event with the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) Secretariat to seek more information in the transmission of the virus. Experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. To date, there have not been any reports of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus through food. However, concerns were expressed about the potential for these viruses to persist on raw foods of animal origin.

Currently, there are investigations conducted to evaluate the viability and survival time of SARS-CoV-2. In general, coronaviruses are very stable in a frozen state according to studies of other coronaviruses, which have shown survival for up to two years at -20°C. Studies conducted on SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV indicate that these viruses can persist on different surfaces for up to a few days depending on a combination of parameters such as temperature, humidity and light. For example, at refrigeration temperature (4°C), MERS-CoV can remain viable for up to 72 hours. Current evidence on other coronavirus strains shows that while coronaviruses appear to be stable at low and freezing temperatures for a certain period, food hygiene and good food safety practices can prevent their transmission through food. Specifically, coronaviruses are thermolabile, which means that they are susceptible to normal cooking temperatures (70°C). Therefore, as a general rule, the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, raw milk or raw animal organs should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods.

SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are susceptible to the most common cleaning and disinfection protocols and there is no indication so far that SARS-Cov-2 behaves differently….

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease by provinces, regions and cities in China, 21 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 631 confirmed daily cases/ 115 daily deaths/ 62,662 cumulative confirmed cases/ 2,144 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,333 cumulative confirmed cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,267 cumulative confirmed cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 28 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 1,203 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,011 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 988 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 202 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 748 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 daily deaths
  • Chongqing: 7 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 567 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 5 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 525 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 479 confirmed cumulative cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 396 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 334 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 308 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 246 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 1 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 246 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 132 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 131 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 3 daily confirmed cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 68 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 2 daily confirmed cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 26 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative daily cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 894 confirmed daily cases/ 118 daily deaths/ 75,569 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,239 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 21 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 204 confirmed cases (100 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Japan: 93 confirmed cases (8 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Singapore: 85 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 17 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 15 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 3 confirmed cases/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 5 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 2 deaths (0 new)
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 556 confirmed cases (114 new)/ 6 deaths (0 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 634 confirmed cases (13 new)/ 2 deaths (0 new)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 1,200 confirmed cases (127 new)/ 8 deaths (0 new)

February 21, 2020: Government of Canada posted a statement titled: “Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of repatriated Canadians from quarantine following 14-day stay at CFB Trenton”. From the statement:

On February 7, 2020, the Government of Canada repatriated individuals and their families from Wuhan, China, which is the epicenter of the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Out of an abundance of caution, and to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 within Canada, these Canadians were transported to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton for a 14-day quarantine.

This action was taken in the interest of the health and safety of all Canadians – both those we brought home from China and those in Canada. I woild like to thank the repatriated Canadians and their family members for their patience, cooperation and contribution to public health.

Today, I can confirm that the 180 Canadians from the first Government of Canada-chartered flight from Wuhan, as well as the 39 Canadians who returned to Canada on a separate flight chartered by the United States, have been released from quarantine.

The Government of Canada has worked with provincial and territorial partners, as well as local public health authorities and non-governmental organizations, to ensure that social services are in place to support these Canadians and their family members after they leave CFB Trenton. The Government of Canada is also helping to facilitate their return home by providing transportation to Toronto before they continue onward to their final destination. To respect the privacy of the individuals leaving quarantine, we will not be releasing further details of their travel plans.

I want to assure Canadians that the risk of spread of the novel coronavirus within Canada remains low, including in those communities where repatriated Canadians will retirn following the quarantine at CFB Trenton. All of the quarantined individuals being released today remained asymptomatic for the novel coronavirus throughout the 14-day quarantine period and, as a result, pose no risk to others and can return to their usual activities.

I urge everone to treat these repatriated Canadians with respect and compassion. Before they were able to return home, they dealth with an uncertain and stressful period living within the epicenter of this outbreak.

For the Canadians who arrived on February 11 aboard the second Government of Canada-chartered flight and remain at CFB Trenton, the quarantine is anticipated to end on February 25, 2020.

February 21, 2020: Government of Canada posted a news release titled: “Government of Canada repariates Canadians and their families from Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan”. From the news release:

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today announced that the plane chartered by the Government of Canada to repatriate Canadians who were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship has arrived in Canada from Tokyo, Japan.

At 2:01 (EST) today, 129 Canadians and accompanying family members travelling on the chartered plane arrived at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton. None of the passengers exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) upon arrival.

Upon landing, the returning passengers were screened at CFB Trenton by quarantine officers and then met by officers from the Canada Border Services Agency. They were then transported to the NAV CENTRE in Cornwall, Ontario where they will be subject to a 14 day quarantine period. They will undergo the same medical assessment and observation as those who were repatriated earlier this month from Wuhan, China.

The Government of Canada continues to work with provincial, territorial and local health authorities to ensure that the returning Canadians and their family members receive all the medical and ongoing support necessary to protect their health and the health and safety of all Canadians…

February 21, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Statement Regarding U.S. State Department Travel Advisory”. From the press release:

U.S. guests on Cruises in Asia departing before March 23, 2020, who want to change their plans will be allowed to rebook without penalty at a later date.

We have cancelled or modified most sailings in Asia through mid-March, with no sailings departing from mainland China or Hong Kong.

We are unaware of any significant travel restrictions, delays or quarantines anywhere else in the world. Accordingly, we look forward to welcoming our guests who are booked on itineraries outside Asia onto their cruises as schedulled.


February 22, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 15

February 22, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Democrats in the Great State of Nevada (Which, because of the Economy, Jobs, the Military & Vets, I will win in November), be careful of Russia, Russia, Russia. According to Corrupt politician Adam “Shifty” Schiff, they are pushing for Crazy Bernie Sanders to win. Vote!”

Senator Adam Schiff is a Democrat who led the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. Senator Bernie Sanders is an Independant who was running for President as a Democrat.

February 22, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 33”. From the report:

Highlights:

Two new countries (Lebanon and Israel) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

The role of environmental contamination in the transmission of COVID-19 is not yet clear. On 18 February, a new protocol entitled “Surface sampling of coronavirus disease (COVID-19): A practical “how to” protocal for health care and public health professionals” was published. This protocol was designed to determine viable virus presence and persistance on fomites in various locations where a COVID-19 patient is receiving care or isolated, and to understand how fomites may play a role in the transmission of the virus.

The WHO Director-General briefed the emergency ministerial meeting on COVID-19 organized by the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control or Prevention. Details can be found here.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 22 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 366 confirmed daily cases/ 106 daily deaths/ 63,454 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,250 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 6 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,339 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,270 confirmed cumulative cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/1,013 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 989 confirmed cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shangdong: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 750 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 5 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 572 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 526 confirmed cumulative daily cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilonjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 479 confirmed cumulative cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 399 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 344 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 1 confirmed daily case/ 1 daily death/ 309 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 293 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Guangxi: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 249 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 133 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths. 132 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjaing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 68 confirmed cumulative cases (Subject to change due to discrepant information)/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 26 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 387 confirmed daily cases/ 109 daily deaths/ 76,392 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,348 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 22 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 346 confirmed cases (142 new)/ 2 deaths (1 new)
  • Japan: 105 confirmed cases (12 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Singapore: 86 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 21 confirmed cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 35 confirmed cases (20 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 8 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 deaths (0 new)
  • Italy: 9 confirmed cases (6 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Israel: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 18 confirmed cases (13 new)/ 4 deaths (2 new)
  • United Arab Emirates: 11 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Lebanon: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 768 confirmed cases (202 new)/ 9 deaths (0 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 634 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 11 deaths (3 new)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 1,402 confirmed cases (202 new)/ 11 deaths (3 new)

February 22, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Samsung Electronics confirms coronavirus case at phone factory complex in South Korea”. From the article:

Samsung Electronics … said on Saturday that one coronavirus case had been confirmed at its mobile device factory complex in the southeastern city of Gumi, causing a shutdown of its entire facility there until Monday morning.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s top smartphone maker, said the floor where the infected employee worked would be shut down until the morning of Feb. 25.

“The company has placed colleagues who came in contact with the infected employee in self-quarantine and taken steps to have them tested for possible infection,” Samsung said in a news release…

…Gumi is close to the city of Daegu, home to a church at the center of South Korea’s largest coronavirus outbreak.

South Korea said on Saturday that the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the country had more than doubled to 433…

February 22, 2020: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The RT Hon Dominic Raab MP posted a press release titled: “Diamond Princess evacuation flight lands in the UK: Foreign Secretary’s statement”. From the press release:

Dominic Raab confirms that 32 British and European citizens have been brought safely home from Japan, following the coronavirus outbreak.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

“We have brought 32 British and European citizens safely home from Japan. The FCO worked hard to get them back to the UK securely.

“Our number one priority has consistently been the health and safety of UK nationals.”

February 22, 2020: Scottish Government posted news titled: “Coronavirus becomes notifiable disease in Scotland”. From the article:

Public Health regulations updated.

Public health regulations have been amended in Scotland to make coronavirus (COVID-19) a notifiable disease.

The changes to the Public Health (Scotland) Act 2008 mean that medical practitioners are now required to share patient information with health boards if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a person they are attending has coronavirus.

The Chief Medical Officer has written to NHS Boards, medical practitioners and directors of diagnostic laboratories to make them aware of the changes.

There have been no positive test results for coronavirus in Scotland to date…

…Background

The new regulations will come into effect from Saturday 22 February 2020…

February 22, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Japan Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 22, 2020

Japan – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

A novel (new) coronavirus disease, recently designated as COVID-19, is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.    

Many cases of COVID-19 have been associated with travel to or from mainland China or close contact with a travel-related case, but sustained community spread has been reported in Japan. Sustained community spread means that people in Japan have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and the spread is ongoing. The CDC has issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice.

Because older adults and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe disease, people in these groups should discuss travel with a healthcare provider and consider postponing nonessential travel.

Travelers should review and follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus if they decided to travel to Japan. If suspected to have Coronavirus in Japan, you may face travel delays, quarantine, and extremely expensive medical costs.

If you travel to Japan, you should:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Discuss travel to Japan with your healtcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60% – 95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Japan.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

February 22, 2020: USA Today posted an article titled: “A dozen towns in northern Italy are locked down after coronavirus deaths”. It was written by Doug Stanglin. From the article:

Schools, businesses and restaurant were closed in a dozen northern Italian towns Saturday following reports of two deaths tied to an outbreak of the coronavirus in the region.

A female resident in the Lombardy region died only hours after a 77-year-old man succumbed near Padua, in the Veneto region, the ANSA news agency reported, citing health care sources.

Italy reports a total of 62 cases, many of them representing the first infections in the country via secondary contagion, that is, not directly from a visitor to China.

The deaths come a day after health officials at the World Health Organization warned that attempts to contain the virus that erupted in China in December were at a crisis point…

…Local authorities in Lombardy and Veneto ordered the lockdown, including the cancellation of sporting events, while the mayor of Milan, the business capital of Italy, shuttered public offices. In Veneto, civil protection crews set up a tent camp outside a closed hospital, where several confirmed cases were being held in isolation, to screen medical staff for the virus.

In hard-hit Codogno, where the first patient in the north to fall ill was in critical condition, the main street was practically a ghost town Saturday. The few people out on the streets wore hard-to-get face masks…


February 23, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 15

February 23, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Look forward to being with all of my friends and supporters @CPAC on Saturday, February 29th! #KAG2020”. The tweet includes a photo of President Trump on a stage at CPAC 2019. He is hugging a flagpoll upon which an American flag on it.

February 23, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 34”. From the report:

Highlights:

No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 23 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 630 confirmed daily cases/ 96 daily deaths/ 64,084 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,346 deaths
  • Guangdong: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 1,342 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,271 confirmed cumulative cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,016 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 989 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 4 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 754 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 573 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 526 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 480 confirmed cumulative cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 399 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 335 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heibi: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 311 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 293 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Guangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 confirmed deaths/ 249 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 135 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 132 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 122 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 70 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 26 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 650 confirmed daily cases/ 97 daily deaths/ 77,042 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,445 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 23 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 602 confirmed cases (256 new)/ 5 total deaths (3 new)
  • Japan: 132 confirmed cases (27 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Singapore: 89 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 22 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 76 confirmed cases (67 new)/ 2 deaths (2 new)
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Israel: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 28 confirmed cases (10 new)/ 5 deaths (1 new)
  • United Arab Emirates: 13 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Lebanon: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 1,135 confirmed cases (367 new)/ 15 deaths (0 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial water: 634 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 2 deaths (0 new)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 1,769 confirmed cases (367 new)/ 17 deaths (6 new)

February 23, 2020: Government of Canada posted an update titled: “Update #5: Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of selected individuals from quarantine for the 2019 novel coronavirus.” From the update:

Further to my previous statements, as Chief Public Health Officer, I have assessed individuals in quarantine at the NAV CENTRE pursuant to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act and determined that they do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.

I have authorized the release of six Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) medical staff and one Government of Canada employee who accompanied the returning travellers on the third Canada-chartered flight from Japan to CFB Trenton to the NAV CENTRE in Cornwall, Ontario. In my assessment, I took into account the fact that they followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and that they did not have unprotected contact with passengers or persons at risk of having the novel coronavirus. As a result of this assessment, I have determined that their continued quarantine is not required.

February 23, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care posted a news story titled: “CMO for England announces 4 new cases of novel coronavirus”. From the news release:

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty statement on 4 new cases of COVID-19 from the Diamond Princess.

Four further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 13.

The virus was passed on in the Diamond Princess cruise ship and the patients are being transferred from Arrowe Park to specialist NHS infection centres.

February 23, 2020: Mabel tweeted: “[loudly crying face emoji] but safety first [Dizzy symbol emoji]” The tweet included a screenshot of text that said:

Due to recent events concerning the Coronavirus in Italy, we’ve been advised by the Minister of Health and the President of the Lombardy region not to go ahead with tomorrow’s show in Milan. So sad to have to write this, but safety is the absolute priority here! Hoping to reschedule soon. Love Mx.

This tweet is in regards to Mabel’s February 24 concert at the Magazzini Generali venue in Milan.

February 23, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Quantum of the Seas Update”. From the press release:

In light of current regional travel conditions, we’ve decided to cancel Quantum of the Seas March 4th and 8th sailings. We are sharing the news with our guests and are sorry for the disruption to their vacations. Guests will revieve full refunds.

February 23, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Trains between Italy and Austria resume after passengers test negative for coronavirus.” It was written by Kirsti Knolle. From the article:

Austria suspended train services ove the Alps to Italy for about four hours late on Sunday before restarting them after two travellers tested negative for coronavirus.

A train carrying about 300 passengers from Venice, Italy, to Munich in Germany was halted on the Italian side of the Brenner Pass before being allowed to continue its journey after the two tested negative, authorities said.

“We can give the all-clear,” Austria’s interior ministry said in a statement. As a precaution, it added, all passengers disembarking in Austria would have their identities checked.

The Brenner Pass is an important and frequently congested passenger train route between Italy, Austria and Germany.

The train, which media reports said was carrying mostly Austrians and Germans, was stopped after Italian State Railways told Austria’s OBB train operator there were two people with fever symptoms on board, the interior ministry said earlier.

It left the station on the Italian side of the pass shortly before midnight local time (2300 GMT), according to a Reuters witness.

Italy is battling with an explosion of coronavirus cases, which rose on Saturday to more than 150, with three deaths. The government has closed off the worst-hit areas in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto…


February 24, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 15

February 24, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

February 24, 2020: The Guardian posted a live blog titled: “Wall Street plummets as coronavirus spreads in Europe – as it happend”. Here is a small part of the live blog:

Shares on Wall Street have plummeted at the opening bell and European markets are also in a sea of red, with the Italian market the worst hit, amid reports of rising deaths from the coronavirus in the country.

  • Dow Jones down 848 points, or 2.83%, at 28,143
  • S&P 500 down 91 points, or 2.75%, at 3,245
  • Nasdaq down 334 points, or 3.49%, at 9,242
  • UK’s FTSE 100 down 262 points, or 3.56%, at 7,140
  • Germany’s Dax down 544 points, or 4%, at 13,035
  • France’s CAC down 243 points, or 4%, at 5,786
  • Italy’s FTSE MIB down 1,407, or 5.68%, at 23,368

In addition, The Guardian also posted the following the same live blog:

Oil prices have taken another tumble, with Brent crude now down 4.8% or $2.86 per barrel at $55.64.

More than £63bn has been wiped off th FTSE 100 so far today, though we still have about 20 minutes of trading to go.

February 24, 2020: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi posted a press release titled: “Pelosi Remarks at Media Availability Following Visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown and Meetings with Local Business Owners”. From the press release:

…Good afternoon, everyone. I’m so glad to see so many of you in Chinatown today…

…I’m here today, particularly, to say thank you to the community for the sense of family values and sense of community they provide.

But also to say to everyone: we should come to Chinatown. Precautions have been taken by our city. We know that thre is concern surrounding tourism, travelling all throughout the world, but we think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and Hope that others will come.

It’s lovely here. The food is delicious, the shops are prospering, the parade was great. Walking tours continue. Please come and visit Chinatown.

Q: Madam Speaker, is the federal government doing enough to control this virus and to get out this kind of message?

Speaker Pelosi: Well. we’ll see. They just cut $1.3 – something like that – billion out of the Centers for Disease Control. So, I don’t know if that’s enough, but let’s see what the focus is. Prevention, prevention, prevention. We want people to be concerned and vigilant. However, we don’t want them to be afraid…

February 24, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 35”. From the report:

Highlights:

One new Member State (Kuwait) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Since the emergence of COVID-19 we have seen instances of public stigmatization among specific populations, and the rise of harmful stereotypes. Stigmatization could potentially contribute to more severe health problems, ongoing transmission, and difficulties controlling infectious diseases during an epidemic. Please see the Subject in Focus section for more information on how to counter stigmatizing attitudes.

SUBJECT IN FOCUS: Risk Communications to Address Stigma

Stigma occurs when people negatively associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a specific population. In the case of COVID-19, there are an increasing number of reports of public stigmatization against people from areas affected by the epidemic. Unfortunately, this means that people are being labelled, stereotyped, separated, and/or experience loss of status and discrimination because of a potential negative affiliation with the disease.

Stigma can:

  • Drive people to hide the illness to avoid discrimination
  • Prevent people from seeking health care immediately
  • Discourage them from adopting healthy behaviors

Such barriers could potentially contribute to more severe health problems, ongoing transmission, and difficulties controlling infectious diseases during an infectious disease outbreak. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UNICEF and the WHO are developing community-based guides and global campaigns to thwart the effects of stigma on people and the COVID-19 response.

Do your part. Governments, citizens, media, key influencers and communities have an important role to play in preventing and stopping stigma. We all need to be intentional and thoughtful when communicating on social media and other communication platforms, showing supportive behaviors around COVID-19.

Here are some examples and tips on possible actions to cover stigmatizing attitudes:

  • Spreading the facts: Stigma can be heightened by insufficient knowledge about how the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is transmitted and treated, and how to prevent infection.
  • Engaging social influencers such as religious leaders on promptimg reflection about people who are stigmatized and how to support them, or respected celebrities to amplify messages that reduce stigma.
  • Amplify the voices, stories and images of local people who have experienced COVID-19 and have recovered or who have supported a loved one through recovery to emphasize that most people do recover from COVID-19.
  • Make sure you portray different ethnic groups. Materials should show diverse communities that are being affected, and show communities working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Balanced reporting. Media reporting should be balanced and contextualized, disseminating evidence-based information and helping combat rumour and misinformation that could lead to stigmatisation.
  • Link up. There are a number of initiatives to address stigma and stereotyping. It is key to link up to these activities to create a movement and a positive environment that shows care and empathy for all…

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions, and cities in China, 24 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 398 confirmed daily cases/ 149 deaths/ 64,287 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,485 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,345 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,271 confirmed cumulative cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,016 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 989 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 755 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 575 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 525 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 480 confirmed cumulative cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 399 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 335 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 311 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 293 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Guangxi: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 251 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 135 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 132 confirmed cumulative caes/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 93 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative daily cases
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong: 4 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 74 confirmed cumulative cases / 2 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 28 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative cases
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative daily cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 415 confirmed daily cases/ 150 daily deaths/ 77,262 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,595 cumulative cases

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 24 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 763 confirmed case (161 new)/ 7 deaths (2 new)
  • Japan: 114 confirmed cases (12 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Singapore: 89 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 35 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 124 confirmed cases (48 new)/ 2 deaths (0 new)
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 9 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Israel: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 43 confirmed cases (15 new)/ 8 deaths (3 new)
  • United Arab Emirates: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Kuwait: 3 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Lebanon: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 1,374 confirmed cases (239 new)/ 20 deaths (5 new)
  • International conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 695 confirmed cases (61 new)/ 3 deaths (1 new)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 2,069 confirmed cases (300 new)/ 23 deaths (6 new)

February 24, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) Europe posted news titled: “Joint WHO and ECDC mission in Italy to support COVID-19 control and prevention efforts.” From the article:

Italy has reported a rapid increase in cases of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) since 21 February 2020. An initial investigation by Italian authorities has found several clusters of cases in different regions of northern Italy, with evidence of local transmission of COVID-19.

A WHO-led team of experts from WHO and the European Centere for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) arrived in Italy on Monday 24 February to support Italian authorities in understanding the situation. WHO experts are providing support in the areas of clinical management, infection prevention and control, surveilance and risk clinical management infection prevention and control, surveillance and risk communication. At this stage the focus is on limiting further human-to-human transmission.

While limited person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in countries outside of China was expected, the rapid increase in reported cases (4 out of 5) people experience mild or no symptoms…

…Health authorities in Italy are implmenting measures to prevent onward transmission, including closing of schools and bars and cancelling of sports events and other mass gatherings in the areas affected. This aligns with the containment strategy being implemented globally in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19…

…Countries across the European Region continue to prepare for and respond to cases of COVID-19. This includes establishing how to promptly detect sick people, testing samples from suspect cases, ensuring appropriate infection control and case management to minimize the risk of the virus spreading, and maintaining communication with the public.

February 24, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted a transcript titled: “WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 24 February 2020”. From the transcript:

Good afternoon everyone.

Let me start, as always, with the latest numbers. As of 6am Geneva time this morning, China has reported a total of 77,362 cases of COVID-19 to WHO, including 2,618 deaths. In the past 24 hours, China has reported 416 new confirmed cases, and 150 deaths.

We’re encouraged by the continued decline in cases in China.

As you know, the team has traveled to several different provinces, including Wuhan. The team has made a range of findings about the transmissibility of the virus, the severity of the disease and the impact of the measures taken.

They found that the epidemic peaked and plateaued between the 23rd of January and the 2nd of February, and has been declining steadily since then.

They have found that there has been no siginificant change in the genetic makeup of the virus.

They have found that the fatality rate is between 2% and 4% in Wuhan, and 0.7% outside Wuhan. They found that for people with mild disease, recovery time is about two weeks, while people with severe or critical disease recover within three to six weeks. The team also estimate that the measures taken in China have averted a significant number of cases.

The report contains a wealth of other information, highlights questions for which we still don’t have answers, and includes 22 recommendations…

…Outside China, there are now 2,704 cases in 28 countries, and 23 deaths.

The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning. There is a lot of speculation about whether these increases mean that this epidemic has now become a pandemic. We understand why people ask that question.

WHO has already declared a public health emergency of international concern – our highest level of alarm – when there were less than 100 cases outside China, and 8 cases of human-to-human transmission.

Our decision about whether to use the world “pandemic” to describe an epidemic is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes and the impact it has on the whole of society.

For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing the large-scale severe disease or death.

Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely, it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet…

…There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every country must make its own risk assessment for its own context. WHO is also continuing to do its own risk assessment and its monitoring the evolution of the epidemic around the clock.

But there are at least three priorities.

First, all countries must prioritize protecting health workers.

Second, we must engage communities to protect people who are most at risk of severe disease, particularly the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

And third, we must protect countries that are the most vulnerable, by doing our utmost to contain epidemics in countries with the capacity to do it…

February 24, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Canadian families ‘plead urgently’ for third evacuation flight from Wuhan”. It was written by Moira Warburton. From the article:

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who remain in Wuhan, China, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, need to be brought home on a third evacuation plane, a group of families urged the federal government.

In a letter sent to Global Affairs Canada on Saturday, 44 families said that poor communication and misinformation meant their relatives did not board either of the previous government-chartered flights. The families represent about 100 Canadian citizens and PRs who want to leave Wuhan.

The families gave examples of language barriers, limited internet access and personal isolation as reasons why people did not board the flights, as well as general confusion about who was permitted to board the planes.

“We are pleading urgently with the government to have compassion to bring our families and loved ones home,” the letter said…

…”The longer this ordeal carries on, and the longer the lockdown continues for these unfortunate individuals, the more danger it will impose on Canadians stuck there,” the letter read.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu told reporters in Ottawa the government’s attention was turning inward “as the window closes in terms of stopping global spread,” and it would have to be “very thoughtful” on how to proceed with any further repatriations.

“We really do need to focus our efforts now on our domestic preparedness,” Haijdu said.

February 24, 2020: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi posted a press release titled: “Pelosi Statement on President Trump’s Budget Request on Coronavirus Response.” From the press release:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the Trump Administration’s request for supplemental funds to combat the coronavirus crisis:

“Americans need a coordinated, fully=funded, whole-of-the-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe. The President’s request for coronavirus response funding is long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency.

“For almost two years, the Trump Administration has left critical positions in charge of managing pandemics at the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security vacant.  His most recent budget called for slashing funding for the Centers for Disease Control, which is on the frontlines of this emergency.  And now, the President is compounding our vulnerabilities by seeking to ransack funds still needed to keep Ebola in check.

“Weeks after the Trump Budget called for slashing the CDC budget during this coronavirus epidemic, this undersized funding request shows an ongoing failure to understand urgent public health needs. 

“Our state and local governments need serious funding to be ready to respond effectively to any outbreak in the U.S.  The President should not be raiding money that Congress has appropriated for other life-or-death public health priorities.

“The House will swiftly advance a strong, strategic funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis.”

February 24, 2020: Kojima Productions tweeted: “Kojima Productions has made the difficult decision to cancel our participation at the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to coronavirus. (1/2)”

February 24, 2020: Kojima Productions tweeted: “Although much-anticipated, unfortunately this cancellation also includes Hideo Kojima’s session on the 19th and Eric Johnson’s session on the 16th. (2/2)”

February 24, 2020: UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency posted a news story titled: “MHRA update on novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”. From the news story:

…We are working closely with the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and other healthcare partners, contributing to the essential work needed to protect public health in the UK.

We are prioritising work to support and authorise the development of vaccines, clinical trials of new medicines, and helping to manage the supply of medicines and other healthcare products. We also provide information to patients, manufacturers and healthcare professionals through our established information channels and alert systems.

NIBSC

The MHRA includes the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), which plays a major role in assuring the quality of biological medicines, worldwide. NIBSC is drawing on its expertise gained through work on previous virus outbreaks such as Zika, Ebola and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), to support the public health response.

NIBSC is developing biological reference materials which are needed to support a quick and reliable diagnosis of infection, evaluate vaccines and the effectiveness of treatments, all of which will assist public health research.

NIBSC works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI): a global partnership that facilitates the development of vaccines for emerging viruses. NIBSC acts as an implementing partner to produce reference material which supports these activities. Workinbg with CEPI and other partners will ensure the rapid availability of biological materials needed to contribute towards global response efforts to COVID-19…

February 24, 2020: Testament posted an official press release on their Facebook page. From the statement:

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – ITALY, PLEASE READ

ENGLISH: Following the order signed by the President of the Lombardy Region, we are forced all the events scheduled at the Trezzo Live Club. It is a precautionary measure valid unless corrections are made until March 1, 2020.

We will shortly communicate the recovery date and the refund modalities.

We want to clarify to all those who have followed us for years and also to those who have never come to us, who we have tried in all ways, expected and hoped with you, to be able to go ahead with our events and provide you with services and offer for which you have always appreciated us.

The cancellation of an event causes economic damage and serious inconvenience to everyone, especially you and the public, who often make sacrifices in terms of time and money to make sure you participate in an event or concert of the band you love: booking travel, accommodation, taking leave and vacation days. It is economic damage also for the club, obviously, for the intermediary agencies, for the companies and workers involved, up to the artists themselves. They are therefore choices that must be carefully considered, in order to also evaluate possible recoveries in the case of international tours in particular.

Regarding the epidemic situation, our personal conviction is that the infection does not stop by stopping entertainment, sport and culture, instead leaving free access to shopping centers, supermarkets, banks, public transport and officies. It is a virus that has reached every corner of the globe and is transmitted even just by walking, but which fortunately has a very limited incidence of danger.

If you want to tackle the problem seriously, healthcare must be structured above all to treat serious cases.

We hope to see you all as soon as possible with more and more desire to be and have fun together.

The statement is also written in Italian.

Billboard reported that this was The Bay Strike’s Back show at the Trezzo Live Club in Milan, Italy. It included Testament, Exodus, and Death’s Angel.

February 24, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Quantum of the Seas Update”. From the press release:

In light of current travel conditions, we’ve decided to cancel Quantum of the Seas March 13, 18, 22, 27, and 31 sailings. We are sharing the news with our guests and are sorry for the disruption to their vacations. Guests will recieve full refunds.

February 24, 2020: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a statement titled: “Coronavirus Update: FDA steps to ensure quality of foreign products”. From the statement:

…Today, we are providing updated and more detailed information about the status of FDA inspections in China and the agency’s oversight of imported products from China, which have been impacted by this outbreak. While we are not able to conduct inspections in China right now, this is not hindering our efforts to monitor medical products and food safety. We have additional tools we are utilizing to monitor the safety of products from China, and in the meantime, we continue monitoring the global drug supply chain by prioritizing risk-based inspections in other parts of the world. The FDA is not currently conducting inspections in China in response to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory to not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in China so that, when the travel advisory is changed, we will be prepared to resume routine inspections as soon as feasible…

…It is important to reiterate that inspections are one of many tools that the agency uses to inform our risk strategy for imported FDA-regulated products and to help prevent products that do not meet the FDA’s standards from entering the U.S. market. A wide variety of FDA-regulated products are imported from China, which makes it important to assure the public of the quality of these products. At this time, over 60% of FDA-regulated products imported from China are medical devices and 20% are housewares (like food packaging).

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the FDA will utilize, where appropriate, our authority to request records from firms “in advance or in lieu of” drug surveillance inspections in China. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) of 2012, gives the FDA authority to request records “in advance of or in lieu of” on-site drug inspections. Congress enacted this provision to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of inspections, given the increasing globalization of drug production. Along with other FDASIA provisions, this inspection record request authority was viewed as a way to “level the playing field” between foreign and domestic drug inspections by allowing the FDA to review records ahead of time and take a more risk-based approach to conducting both domestic and foreign inspections. These records will help the agency when we resume drug inspections in China. By applying the use of paper records in our risk-based inspection framework, we can prioritize our early inspections on those deemed most needed, based on the records. By doing so, we hope to rapidly assess what could become a backlog number of on-the-ground surveillance inspections this fiscal year if travel restrictions persist.

In addition to records requests, the FDA will continue working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to target products intended for importation into the U.S. that violate applicable legal requirements for FDA-regulated products, which may come from a variety of sources, such as first time importers unfamiliar with regulatory requirements or repeat offenders trying to skirt the law. FDA has the ability through our risk-based import screening tool (PREDICT) to focus our examinations and sample collections based on heightened concerns of specific products being entered into U.S. commerce. The PREDICT screening continues to adjust risk scores as necessary throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. We are keeping a close eye out for indications of port shopping or cargo diversion and will continue our oversight of shipments through potentially higher-risk venues such as International Mail Facilities. We can refuse admission of products that fail sample testing or may violate other applicable legal requirements.

Fortunately, currently, we are not seeing the impacts of this outbreak resulting in an increased public health risk for American consumers from imported products. There is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. As noted, this remains a dynamic situation and we will continue to assess, and update guidance as needed. 

We also continue to aggressively monitor the market for any firms marketing products with fraudulent COVID-19 prevention and treatment claims. The FDA can and will use every authority at our disposal to protect consumers from bad actors who would take advantage of a crisis to deceive the public, including pursuing warning letters, seizures, or injunctions against products on the market that are not in compliance with the law, or against firms or individuals who violate the law…

February 24, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a weekly report titled: “Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak – United States, February 24, 2020”. From the weekly report:

Summary:

What is already known about this topic?

An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States.

What is added by this report?

Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total 53 cases within the United States. The U.S. government and public health partners are implementing aggressive measures to slow and contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States…

…COVID-19 Cases in the United States

As of February 23, 14 COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (eight), Illinois (two), Massachusetts (one), Washington (one), and Wisconsin (one). Twelve of these 14 cases were related to travel to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19. An additional 39 cases were reported among repatriated U.S. citizens, residents, and their families returning from Hubei province, China (three), and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Yokohama, Japan (36). Thus, there have been 53 cases within the United States. No deaths have been reported in the United States.

CDC Public Health Response

As of February 24, 2020, a total of 1,336 CDC staff members have been involved in the COVID-19 response, including clinicians (i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists), epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, communicators, data scientists and modelers, and coordination staff members. Of these CDC staff members, 497 (37%) have been deployed to 39 locations in the United States and internationally, including CDC quarantine stations at U.S. ports of entry, state and local health departments, hospitals, and U.S. military bases that are housing quarantined persons, as well as WHO and ministries of health around the world. CDC staff members are working with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments and other public health authorities to assist with case identification, contact tracing, evaluation of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19,* and medical management of cases; and with academic partners to understand the virulence, risk for transmission, and other characteristics of this novel virus.

CDC teams are working with the Department of Homeland Security at 11 airports where all flights from China are being directed to screen travelers returning to the United States, and to refer them to U.S. health departments for oversight of self-monitoring. CDC is also working with other agencies of the U.S. government including the U.S. Department of Defense; multiple operational divisions with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Administration for Children and Families; and the U.S. Department of State to safely evacuate U.S. citizens, residents, and their families to the United States from international locations where there is substantial, sustained transmission of COVID-19, and to house them and monitor their health during a 14-day quarantine period…

…Laboratory testing. As part of laboratory surge capacity for the response, CDC laboratories are testing for SARS-CoV-2 to assist with diagnosis of COVID-19. During January 18–February 23, CDC laboratories used real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to test 2,620 specimens from 1,007 persons for SARS-CoV-2. Some additional testing is performed at selected state and other public health laboratories, with confirmatory testing at CDC. CDC is developing a serologic test to assist with surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the U.S. population. The test detects antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig]G, IgA, and IgM) indicating SARS-COV-2 virus exposure or past infection. In addition, CDC laboratories are developing assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antigens in tissue specimens. Finally, following CDC’s establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture, CDC shared virus isolates with the Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repository to securely distribute isolates to U.S. public health and academic institutions for additional research, including vaccine development…


February 25, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 15

Febrary 25, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer is complaining, for publicity purposes only, that I shouldn’t be asking for more money than $2.5 Billion to prepare for Coronavirus. If I asked for more he would say it is too much. He didn’t like my early travel closings. I was right. He was incompetent!”

February 25, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus, including the very early closing of our borders to certain areas of the world. It was opposed by the Dems, “too soon”, but turned out to be the correct decision. No matter how well we do, however, the….”

February 24, 2020: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a speech presented by Secretary of HHS Alex Azar. The post included a video. From the speech:

…This HHS briefing on the China coronavirus aims to do two things: provide the American public with an update on the risks presented by the virus, and provide the latest on the actions that President Trump’s administration is taking to respond to the outbreak and keep Americans safe.

I am joined by Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of CDC; Dr. Tony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Robert Kadlec, HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; and Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

As of this morning, we still have only 14 cases of the China coronavirus detected in the United States, involving travel to China or close contacts with travelers; 3 cases among Americans repatriated from Wuhan; and 40 cases among American passengers repatriated from the Diamond Princess.

I want to thank the responders and communities that have worked with HHS and the administration to provide these Americans with the treatment they need. I’m also grateful to the governors and other state and local leaders who have worked with us in close partnership so far.

The immediate risk to the general American public remains low. But, as we have warned, that has the potential to change quickly. There is now community transmission in a number of countries, including outside of Asia.

That is deeply concerning, and community spread in other countries will make successful containment at our borders harder and harder. That is why we have already been working closely with state, local, and private sector partners to prepare for mitigating the virus’s potential spread in the United States, because we will likely see more cases here…

…This preparation has been possible in part because of how aggressively President Trump has responded to this outbreak. As soon as we knew of the threat presented by the novel virus, public health leaders were monitoring it and beginning to prepare.

The travel restrictions that the President put in place at around the beginning of this month have given our country valuable time to prepare, and that is precisely what they were designed to do.

That includes working with Congress. Yesterday, the White House sent a request to Congress to make at least $2.5 billion in funding available for preparedness and response.

There are five major priorities within the supplemental, which I underscored this morning before the Senate appropriations committee.

First, we need to expand our surveillance work, building on an existing system we have within CDC’s influenza surveillance network.

Second, we will need funds to support public health preparedness and response for state and local governments for what could be a very large-scale response. This support complements the significant funds that these partners have received from CDC for preparedness—about two-thirds of a billion dollars a year in recent years.

Third and fourth, we need to support development of therapeutics and fourth, we need to support development of vaccines.

Given the scale of this outbreak, the private sector sees a real market for both kinds of countermeasures, as well as for diagnostics, but federal funding and guidance can help accelerate this work. Dr. Fauci will address the current status of that work in more depth.

Fifth and finally, we need funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment for the Strategic National Stockpile, a topic that Dr. Kadlec can address.

I’ll conclude by noting that, though scheduling conflicts prevented this briefing from including other members of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, we will be providing a new update from interagency leaders soon, and we expect to continue doing so regularly…

February 25, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Corinavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 36”. From the report:

Highlights:

Four new Member States (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, and Oman) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours…

…The WHO-China joint mission concluded on 24 February. The team has made a range of findings about the transmissibility of the virus, the severity of disease and the impact of the measures taken.

A joint WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) mission arrived in Italy on 24 February to support Italian authorities on the COVID-19 situation.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 25 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 499 confirmed daily cases/ 68 daily deaths/ 64,786 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,563 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 1,347 confirmed cumulative cases/ 7 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 0 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,271 confirmed cumulative cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,016 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 989 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 2 daily deaths/ 755 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqiing: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 576 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 529 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 0 daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 480 confirmed cumulaive cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 400 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 335 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 311 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 284 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 252 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 135 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 133 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 93 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 7 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 81 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xingjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 31 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 cumulative confirmed cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 cumulative confirmed case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 518 confirmed daily cases/ 71 daily deaths/ 77,780 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,666 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 25 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 997 confirmed cases (214 new)/ 10 deaths (3 new)
  • Japan: 157 confirmed cases (13 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Singapore: 90 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 37 confirmed daily cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 53 confirmed cases (18 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 10 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 229 confirmed cases (105 new)/ 6 deaths (4 new)
  • Germany: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths * Four UK cases from yesterday were incuded under the international conveyance. Based on the practice of categorizing cases based on reporting country, the four cases are re-catagorized under UK cases.
  • Israel: 2 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of ): 61 confirmed cases (18 new)/ 12 deaths (4 new)
  • United Arab Emirates: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Bahrain: 8 confirmed cases (8 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Kuwait: 8 confirmed cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Oman: 2 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Afghanistan: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iraq: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Lebanon: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 1,768 confirmed cases (390 new)/ 31 deaths (11 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): 691 confirmed cases (0 new/ 3 deaths (0 new)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 2,459 confirmed cases (390 new)/ 34 deaths (11 new)

February 25, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted “Press Conference – Parliament House”. From the Transcript:

Prime Minister: As each week passes, the impact of the coronavirus, COVID-19 is becoming more apparent to everyone, not only here in Australia but all around the world. But the assurance I can give Australians is this, we are not immune to the coronavirus and its impacts, but we are as best prepared as any country in the world today. And evidence of that has been demonstrated in these many weeks now that have passed since the coronavirus has become an even more significant issue as each week has passed. We are learning more an more about the virus, and the government’s decisions from the outset have been exercising an abundance of caution. And that abundance of caution, I think, has been rewarded in the outcomes that we have so far been able to achieve. But we’re not complacent going forward.

So far, our measures have proved to be effective. I can confirm that the 15 cases that had previously been identified here in Australia that were sourced from Wuhan, all 15 of those patients have now been discharged and have overcome the virus. There are, as you know, 7 other, what the Chief Medical Officer advises me, are mild cases from those passengers on the Diamond Princess. And they are the only remaining cases that we have in Australia today.

I’d note that there are some 30,000 Australians and more, and Australian residents, and close family members and others who have arrived under the existing travel ban since the 1st of February of this year. As you know, there were exemptions put in place for those Australians and those other groups. There has been no human-to-human transmission of the virus outside of the groups that I mentioned before from the Diamond Princess and those of the group that came in from Wuhan. So outside of those groups, there has been no human-to-human transmission in Australia. Now, what that says is, is the self-isolation that we put in place for those more than 30,000 Australians to date has proved to be very effective. And I want to thank all of those Australians for their cooperation and for their diligence in following through and acting on the advice that we provided to them when they returned home to Australia.

We have had three successful flights, including the Air New Zealand flight, and there’s been the additional flight for the Diamond Princess, of those first three flights they have now all cleared quarantine and the arrangements we put in place in both Christmas Island and Howard Springs in the Northern Territory. And I want to thank all those who have been involved in the delivery of those quarantine services in both of those locations. And I want to thank those who had to go through the inconvenience of taking part in those quarantine arrangements and for the good spirit and good faith in which they did that. We understand the disruption to their routines and daily lives and particularly the concern that other family members would have had being separated from their family members. And that continues for those who are still subject to quarantine in relation to the Diamond Princess, in the Northern Territory today. I want to thank particularly the Territory government in the Northern Territory for their great assistance in managing this issue as we’ve been pursuing those quarantine arrangements.

So Australia has not been complacent. In fact, Australia has been proactive with the measures that we have put in place in relation to the coronavirus. And that has been to address the health risk. And that swift action means that we can report to you what I’ve just outlined to you today…

February 25, 2020: U.S. National Institutes of Health posted a news release titled: “NIH clinical trial of remdesivir to treat COVID-19 begins”. From the news release:

A randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational antiviral remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha. The regulatory sponsor is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. This is the first clinical trial in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory disease first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

The first trial participant is an American who was repatriated after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Yokohama, Japan and volunteered to participate in the study. The study can be adapted to evaluate additional investigative treatments and to enroll participants at other sites in the U.S. and worldwide.

There are no specific therapeutics approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly emergent SARS-CoV-2 virus (formerly known as 2019-nCoV)…

…Remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc., is an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral treatment. It was previously tested in humans with Ebola virus disease and has shown promise in animal models for treating Middle East respiratory (MERS) and severe accute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which are caused by other coronaviruses.

“We urgently need a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. Although remdesivir has been administered to some patients with COVID-19, we do not have solid data to indicate it can improve clinical outcomes,” said NIAID Director and U.S. Coronavirus Task Force member Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial is the gold standard for determining if an experimental treatment can benefit patients.”

Clinical trials of remdesivir are also ongoing in China. NIAID developed the current study taking those designs into account, and in accordance with consultations convened by the WHO on the development of a therapeutic trial for patients with COVID-19.

Participants in the NIH-sponsored trial must have laboratory-confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection and evidence of lung involvement, including rattling sounds when breathing (rales) with a need for supplemental oxygen or abnormal chest X-rays, or illness rewuiring medical ventilation. Individuals with confirmed infection who have mild, cold-like symptoms or no apparent symptoms will not be included in the study. In accordance with standard clinical research protocals, eligible patients will provide informed consent to participate in the trial.

All potential participants will undergo a baseline physical exam before receiving treatment. Eligible study participants will then be randomly assigned either to the investigational treatment group or the placebo group. The study is double-blind, meaning trial investigators and participants would not know who is recieving remdesivir or placebo. Participants in the investigational treatment group will recieve 200 milligrams (mg) of remdesivir intraveniously on the first day of enrollment to the study. They will recieve another 100 mg each day for the duration of hospitalization, for up to 10 days total. The placebo group will recieve, at an equal volume, a solution that resembles remdesivir but contains only inactive ingredients…

…An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) will monitor ongoing results to ensure patient well-being and safety as well as study integrity. The DSMB will recommend the study be halted if there is clear and substantial evidence of a treatment difference between drug and placebo.

Andre Kalil, M.D., professor of internal medicine at UNMC and an infectious diseases physician at Nebraska Medicine, is leading the trial at UNMC. Thirteen people repatriated by the U.S. State Department from the Diamond Princess cruise ship were transported to the National Quarantine Unit, located within the Training, Simulation and Quarantine Center on the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus in Omaha on February 17, 2020. The passengers were in a close setting where there had been significant spread of COVID-19 and were sent to the unit for continued isolation and possibly further care. The CDC has since reported that 11 people in the UNMC unit have confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection…

February 25, 2020: Government of Canada posted an update titled: “Update: Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of repatriated Canadians from quarantine following 14-day stay at CFB Trenton”. From the update:

Further to my previous statement today, I can confirm that the remaining 195 individuals at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton have been released from quarantine. These individuals arrived aboard the second Government of Canada-chartered flight from Wuhan, China, on February 11.

These repatriated individuals are recieving the same level of support a the previous repatriated Canadians who were released from quarantint on February 21. The Government of Canada is helping to facilitate their onward travel by providing transportation to Toronto before they continue to their final destination. To respect the privacy of the individuals leaving quarantine, we will not release further details of their travel plans.

The Government of Canada has worked with provincial and territorial partners, as well as local public health authorities and non-governmental organizations, to ensure that social services are in place to support these Canadians and their family members after they leave CFB Trenton.

I want to take this opportunity to reiterate to Canadians that the risk of spread of the novel coronavirus within Canada remains low, including in those communities where repatriated Canadians are returning following quarantine at CFB Trenton. All of the quarantined individuals being released today and those who departed on February 21 remained asymptomatic for the novel coronavirus throughout the 14-day quarantine period and, as a result, they pose no risk to others and can return to their usual activities.

I would like to thank the repatriated Canadians and theri families for their patience, cooperation and contribution to public health. They have been through a stressful experience and I urge everyone to treat them with respect and compassion.

February 25, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care posted a news story titled: “Secretary of State makes new regulations on coronavirus”. From the news story:

New regulations made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to delay or prevent further transmission of the virus.

In light of the recent public health emergency from the novel Coronavirus originating from Wuhan, the Secretary of State has made regulations to ensure that the public are protected as far as possible from the transmission of the virus.

In accordance with Regulation 3, the Secretary of State declares that the incidence or transmission of novel Coronavirus constitutes a serious threat to publich health, and the measures outlined in these regulations are considered as an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus.

In accordance with Regulation 2, the Secretary of State designates Arrowe Park Hospital, Kents Hill Park, and Heathrow Ariel Hotel as an “isolation” facility and Wuhan and Hubei province as an “infected area”.

February 25, 2020: Scottish Government posted news titled: “Coronavirus travel advice updated”. From the news:

New guidance for travellers returning from overseas.

The four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) have agreed to update health advice for travellers returning from certain countries.

Anyone who has arrived in the UK from these areas since 19 February is advised to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, even if they do not have symptoms, and phone their GP or NHS24 on 111 out of hours.

  • Iran
  • specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
  • special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
  • the Hubei province in China

For South Korea, anyone who visited the two cities at the centre of the outbreak, Daegu and Cheongdo, is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms.

For Iran, all returning travellers are requested to self-isolate, even if they do not have symptoms.

For northern Italy, all travellers returning from specific lockdown areas identified by the Italian Government are advised to self-isolate, even if they do not have symptoms.

Any other travellers returning from parts of Italy north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini in the past week are asked to monitor their health, and self-isolate if they develop symptoms…

February 25, 2020: Billboard posted an article titled: “K-Pop Music Festival in LA Postponed Over Coronavirus Fears”. From the article:

The Korea Times Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl was set to feature performances by MOMOLAND, Ha Sungwoon and more in April.

Growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus has led to the postponement of one of the biggest annual K-pop concerts in the U.S.

The Korea Times Music Festival announced that its concert scheduled for April 25 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles “has provisionally been postponed due to the increasing uncertainty threat of coronavirus.” The annual music festival, which is in its 18th year, had already announced the likes of K-pop girl group MOMOLAND, solo singer and former Wanna One member Ha Sungwoon and rock band No Brain, with the addition of more acts expected in the coming weeks.

The festival says, “Concert goers can opt for a refund or keep the existing tickets”, noting that further tickets “will remain valid and transferable to the rescheduled concert date.”..

February 25, 2020: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted: “Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak – United States, February 24, 2020”. From the update:

…An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, and has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States. As of February 23, 2020, there were 76,936 reported cases in mainland China and 1,875 cases in locations outside mainland China. There have been 2,462 associated deaths worldwide; no deaths have been reported in the United States.

Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, and an additional 39 cases have occurred among repatriated persons from high risk-settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States…

…Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to occur mainly by respiratory transmission. How easuly the virus is transmitted between persons is currently unclear. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Based on the incubation period of illness for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses, as well as obversationa data from reports of travel-related COVID-19, CDC estimates that symptoms of COVID-19 occur within 2-14 days after exposure. Preliminary data suggest that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems might be at greater risk for severe illness from this virus.

COVID-19 Cases in the United States

As of February 23, 14 COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (eight), Illinois (two), Massachusetts (one), Washington (one) and Wisconsin (one). Twelve of these cases were related to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts with a person with confirmed COVIC-19. An additional 39 cases were reported among repatriated U.S. citizens, residents, and their families returning from Hubei province, China (three), and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Yokohama, Japan (36). Thus, there have been 53 cases within the united States. No deaths have been reported in the United States…

Discussion

COVID-19 is a serious public health threat. Cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, primarily in travelers from China and quarantined repatriates, and also in two close contacts of COVID-19 patients. Currently, COVID-19 is not recognized to be spreading in U.S. communities. If sustained transmission in U.S. communities is identified, the U.S. response strategy will enhance implementation of actions to slow spread in communities (2,6). Implementation of basic precautions of infection control and prevention, including staying home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene will become increasingly important.

Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces). These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities… However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available… These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities… Mitigation measures implemented in China have included the closing of major transport hubs and preventing exit from certain cities with widespread transmission, cancellation of Chinese New Year celebrations, and prohibition of attendance at school and work… However, the impact of these measures in China has not yet been evaluated.

In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators are working on development of candidate vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. In China, multiple clinical trials of investigational therapeutics have been implemented, including two clinical trials of remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug. An NIH randomized controlled clinical trial of investigational therapeutics for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States was approved by the Food and Drug Administration; the first investigational therapeutic to be studied is remdesivir. In the absence of a vaccine or therapeutic, community mitigation measures are the primary method to respond to widespread transmission and supportive care is the current medical treatment.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the “common cold,” are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons aged ≥6 months should receive an annual influenza vaccine; vaccination is still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza (9). To decrease risk for respiratory disease, persons can practice recommended preventive measures… Persons ill with symptoms of COVID-19 who have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recent travel to countries with apparent community spread… should communicate with their health care provider. Before seeking medical care, they should consult with their provider to make arrangements to prevent possible transmission in the health care setting. In a medical emergency, they should inform emergency medical personnel about possible COVID-19 exposure.

Areas for additional COVID-19 investigation include 1) further clarifying the incubation period and duration of virus shedding, which have implications for duration of quarantine and other mitigation measures; 2) studying the relative importance of various modes of transmission, including the role of droplets, aerosols, and fomites; understanding these transmission modes has major implications for infection control and prevention, including the use of personal protective equipment; 3) determining the severity and case-fatality rate of COVD-19 among cases in the U.S. health care system, as well as more fully describing the spectrum of illness and risk factors for infection and severe disease; 4) determining the role of asymptomatic infection in ongoing transmission; and 5) assessing the immunologic response to infection to aid in the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.


February 26, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 15

February 26, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a transcript titled: “Transcript for the CDC Telebriefing Update on COVID-19”. From the transcript:

…Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Dr. Nancy Messonier: …The global novel coronavirus situation is rapidly evolving and expanding. There are still a lot of news coverage about community spread in a few countries since the last time we talked.

This means that cases of COVID-19 are appearing without a known source of exposure. Communities include Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Community spread is often a trigger to begin implementing new strategies tailored to local circumstances that blunt the impact of disease and can slow the spread of virus. The fact this virus has caused illness – including illnesses resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria of the pandemic.

The world moves closer to the third criteria: worldwide spread of the new virus. The U.S. has been implementing an aggressive containment strategy that requires detecting, tracking, and isolating all cases as much as possible and preventing more introduction of disease notably at points of entry. We’ve restricted travel into the United States while also issuing extensive travel advisories for countries currently experiencing community spread. Our travel notices are changing almost daily. We’ve also enacted the first quarantine of this scale in the U.S., and are supporting the State Department and HHS in repatriating citizens from high-risk areas.

We are doing this with the goal of slowing the introduction of this new virus into the U.S. and buying us more time to prepare. To date, our containment strategies have been largely successful. As a result, we have very few cases in the United States and no spread in the community. But as more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder.

Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country. It’s not so much a question of if this will heppen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness. We will maintain for as long as practical a dual approach where we continue measures to contain this disease but also employ strategies to minimize the impact on our communities.

At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against this new virus and no medications approved to treat it. Non-pharmaceutical inventions or NPIs will be the most important tools in our response to this virus. What these interventions look like at the community level will vary depending on local conditions. What is appropriate for one community level will vary depending on local conditions. What is appropriate for one community seeing local transmission won’t necessarily be appropriate for a community where no local transmission has occured. This parallel, proactive approach of containment and mitigation will delay the emergence of community spread in the United States while simultaneously reducing its ultimate impact…

…Based on what is known now, we would implement these NPI measures in a very aggressive, proactive way as we have been doing with our containment efforts. There are three categories of NPIs. Personal NPIs which include personal protective measures you can take every day and personal protective measures reserved for pandemics. Community NPIs which include social distancing measures designed to keep people who are sick away from others. And school closures and dismissals. And environmental NPIs which include surface cleaning measures.

These are preventative measures we recommend during influenza season. These NPIs are recommended during a pandemic regardless of the severity level of the respiratory illness. Personal protective measures reserved for pandemics include voluntary home quarantine of household members who have been exposed to someone they live with who is sick.

Now I’d like to talk through some examples of what these NPIs look like. These are practical measures that can help limit exposure by reducing exposure in community settings. Students in smaller groups or in a severe pandemic, closing schools and using internet-based teleschooling to continue education. For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options. On a larger scale, communities may need to modify, postpone, or cancel mass gatherings. Looking at how to increase telehealth services and delying elective surgery.

The implementation of environmental NPIs would require everyoen to consistently clean frequently touched surfaces and objects at home, at school, at work, and at large gatherings. Local communities will need to look at which NPIs to implement and when based on how transmission and disease is and what can be done locally. This will require flexibility and adaptations as disease progresses and new information becomes available.

Some of these measures are better than none. But the maximum benefit occurs when the elements are layered upon each other.

Some community level interventions that may be most effective in reducing the spread of a new virus like school closures are also the most likely to be associated with unwanted consequences and further disruptions. Secondary consequnces of some of these measures might include missed work and loss of income. I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now…

…Brittany: … And our final question comes from Ben from CNN. Your line is open.

Ben from CNN: Hi, thanks so much for taking my question. This morning while he was traveling in India, President Trump said that he thinks that the coronavirus is a problem that is going to go away. He seems very optimistic about thsi and we’re trying to figure out exactly why he believes so strongly that to be the case. And my question for you is what information is your agency specifically giving the president and the White House about the current state of the coronavirus outbreak?

Dr. Nancy Messonier: As you imagine, we brief the Secretary daily and the Secretary is the lead of the White House task force. And Ddr. Redfield the CDC director is briefing them daily. In terms of the course of this illness, we have a — again, a team of mathematical modelers working with us to try to predict the trajectory. One hypothesis is that we could be hopeful that this could potentially be seasonal. Other viral respiratory diseases are seasonal including influenza and therefore in many viral respiratory diseases, we do see a decrease in disease in spring and summer. And so we could certainly be optimistic that this disease will follow suit. But we’re not going to know that until time keeps ticking forward. We’re going to be, again, preparing as if this is going to continue, preparing as if we’re going to see community spread in the near term. But I’m always going to be hopeful that that disease will decline either for the summer or that, you know, we’ll be over-prepared and we won’t see the high levels of transmission here in the U.S…

February 26, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Just landed. India was great, trip very successful. Heading to the White House. Meetings and calls scheduled today. @CDCgov, @SecAzar and all doing a great job with respect to Coronavirus! Briefing this afternoon.”

February 26, 2020: President Trump tweeted: “Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA is in great shape! @CDCgov…”

February 26, 2020: President Trump tweeted: “Big Rally in the Great State of South Carolina on Friday. See you there!”

February 26, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “CDC Confirms Possible Instance of Community Spread of COVID-19 in U.S.” From the media statement:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 in California in a person who reportedly did not have the relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19.

At thsi time, the patient’s exposure is unknown. It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.

This case was detected through the U.S. public health system – picked up by astute clinicians. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15.

The federal government has been working closelu with state, local, tribal and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to responde to this public health threat. Unprecedented, aggressive efforts have been taken to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of this virus.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. CDC will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant…

February 26, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 37”. From the report:

Highlights:

Four new Member States (Algeria, Austria, Croatia, and Switzerland) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Algeria is the first Member State of the AFRO Region to report a case of COVID-19.

The WHO Director-General provided opening remarks at the weekly Member State briefing on COVID-19 regarding ongoing and future WHO missions along with priorities for control of the outbreak.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 26 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 401 confirmed daily cases/ 52 daily deaths/ 65,187 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,615 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,347 confirmed cumulative cases/ 7 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,271 confirmed cumulative cases/ 19 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,016 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 989 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 756 cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 576 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 531 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 480 confirmed cumulative cases/ 12 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 400 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 336 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 312 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fijian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 294 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Guangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 253 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 135 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 133 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 93 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 4 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 85 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjaing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 32 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 412 confirmed daily cases/ 52 daily deaths/ 78,191 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,718 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 26 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 1,261 confirmed cases (284 new)/ 12 deaths (2 new)
  • Japan: 164 confirmed cases (7 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Singapore: 91 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 23 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 deaths (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 40 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 53 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 10 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 322 confirmed cases (93 new)/ 11 deaths (5 new)
  • Germany: 18 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • The United Kingdom: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 12 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Austria: 2 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Croatia: 2 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Israel: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Switzerland: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 95 confirmed cases (34 new)/ 15 deaths (3 new)
  • Bahrain: 26 confirmed cases (18 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Kuwait: 12 confirmed cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iraq: 5 confirmed cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Oman: 4 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Afghanistan: 1 confirmed case (0 new) / 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Lebanon: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Algeria: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 2,227 confirmed cases (459 new)/ 41 deaths (10 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 691 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 3 deaths (0 new)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 2,918 confirmed cases (459 new)/ 44 deaths (10 new)

February 26, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Governor Cuomo Announces $40 Million Emergency Appropriation to Support DOH Staffing and Equipment to Respond to Potential Novel Coronavirus Pandemic”. From the news:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $40 million appropriation for the New York State Department of Health to hire additional staff, procure equipment and any other resources necessary to respond to the potential novel coronavirus pandemic. The Governor will also propose legislation to grant authority to DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to ensure local health departments and public and private hospitals statewide take certain actions and measures in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak as needed. DOH will convene local health departments and hospitals statewide to review protocols, best practices and procedures to help ensure they are prepared to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Governor is also calling on the federal government to authorize the Wadsworth Center and NYC Public Health Lab to test for the virus, allowing for expanding testing capacity and expedited test results. New York State has independently worked to develop and validate a test using the CDC protocol. Upon FDA approval, Wadsworth can immediately begin testing to support New York State and other states in the northeast region if necessary.

Additionally, DOH will work with the MTA, Port Authority and its airport operators, and the authorities’ respective workforces to ensure workers have the necessary training and access to supplies, including cleaning and protective equipment, they need to continue to operate mass transit systems and airports. The State is also coordinating with all state agencies to help ensure they are prepared to respond to the potential novel coronavirus pandemic…

…As of today, samples from 27 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing, 26 have come back negative with one result still pending. There are still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus…

February 26, 2020: Yamaha Motor posted a press release titled: “Yamaha Motor: Support for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Countermeasures in China”. From the press release:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly in Wuhan, Hubei Provence, China.

Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd, with our group of companies in China, have together provided a donation of 1.5 million yuan through the Shanghai Charity Foundation as part of efforts to help and prevent further spread of the infection..

February 26, 2020: California Department of Public Health posted a news release titled: “CDC Confirms Possible First Instance of COVID-19 Community Transmission in California”. From the news release:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today confirmed a possible first case of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in California in the general public. The individual is a resident of Solano County and is receiving medical care in Sacramento County. The individual had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual.

California has a strong health care system and public health infrastructure. California has prepared for the potential spread of diseases, such as H1N1, in the past is is prepared and actively responding to the potential community spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing in this case has already begun.

The health risk from novel coronavirus to the general public remains low at this time. While COVID-19 has a high transmission rate, it has a low mortality rate. From the international data we have, of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, approximately 80 percent do not exhibit symptoms that would require hospitalization. There have been no confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States to date. California is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves…

…As in any public health emergency, the Department of Public Health’s Emergency Operations Center has been actively coordinating response efforts across the state and preparing for possible community transmission. California continues to prepare and respond in coordination with federal and local partners.

This would be the first known instance of person-to-person transmission in the general public in the United States. Previously known instances of person-to-person transmission in the United States include one instance in Chicago, Illinois, and one in San Benito County, California. Both cases were after close, prolonged interaction with a family member who returned from Wuhan, China and had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As of today, including this case, California has had 7 travel-related cases, one close contact case, and now one community transmission…

February 26, 2020: NYC, The Official Website of the City of New York, posted a transcript titled: “Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Media Availability on Coronavirus Preparedness”. From the transcript:

Mayor Bill de Blasio: On behalf of the City of New York, I want to respond to the Centers for Disease Control warning that was issued yesterday and I want to commend the CDC for acknowleging the reality and saying very clearly that it’s not a question of if, but when the coronavirus affects the United States in a much more profound manner. I welcome that acknowledgement by the CDC and the federal government.

I will say very plainly that on January 24th with my colleagues, I made the exact same statement about the City of New York. So, it has been clear for weeks now that was not a question of if, but when it is important that the federal government is accepting that reality and acting more agressively and I’m going to talk about things I think need to be done additionally by our federal partners to address this crisis…

…We all ask ourselves the question after seeing the CDC guidance yesterday, what would we be able to do if this became a much deeper crisis? What kind of capacity could the city of New York bring to bear immediately? I want to give you a couple of updates. Right now we have 1,200 hospital beds that we can make available immediately for any individual in the testing process or who tests positive and needs isolation in a hospital setting, 1,200 beds that can be brought online immediately. That is a very, very substantial capacity given what we’re seeing playing out even in some of the countries that are dealing with this crisis in a much deeper manner. Already, our public health officials have distributed 1.5 million masks in the City of New York. That is a very good start, but we need more. We have requests out for an additional minimum of 300,000 surgical masks to guarantee that these arrive in New York City promptly. We will need federal assistance, so I’m calling on the federal government to help us and all other localities to get the masks we need. Working with the private sector…

February 26, 2020: Gilead posted a press release titled: “Gilead Sciences Initiates Phase 3 Studies of Investigational Antiviral Remdesivir for the Treatment of COVID-19”. From the press release:

Gilead Sciences Inc… today announced the initiation of two Phase 3 clinical studies to evaluate the safety and effiicacy of remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). These randomized, open-label, multicenter studies will enroll approximately 1,000 patients at medical centers primarily across Asian countries, as well as other countries globally with high numbers of diagnosed cases, beginning in March. The studies will assess two dosing durations of remdesivir, administered intravenously. The initiation of these studies follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rapid review and acceptance of Gilead’s investigational new drug (IND) filing for remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19.

The new clinical studies expand the ongoing research into remdesivir, which includes two clinical trials in China’s Hubei province led by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital as well as the recently initiated clinical trial in the United States led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Giliad has donated drug and provided scientific input for these studies, wih results from those in China expected in April…

…The Gilead studies will evaluate two durations of remdesivir. One study will randomize approximately 400 patients with severe clinical manifestations of COVID-19 to recieve either five or 10 days of remdesivir. The second study will randomize approximately 600 patients with moderate clinical manifestations of disease to recieve five or 10 days of remdesivir or standard of care alone. The primary endpoint of both studies is clinical improvement, as described below.

Remdesivir is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and has not been demonstrated to be safe or effictive for any use. Working with government agencies, non-government organizations and local regulatory authorities, Gilead is providing remdesivir to qualified patients with COVID-19 on a compassionate use basis for emergency treatment outside of ongoing clinical studies.

February 26, 2020: Government of Canada posted “Update #6: Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of selected individuals from quarantine for the 2019 novel coronavirus”. From the update:

Further to my previous statements, as Chief Public Health Officer, I have assessed individuals in quarantine at the NAV CENTRE pursuant to an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act and determined that they do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.

I have authorized the release of 15 flight crew members who accompanied the returning travellers on the third Canada-chartered flight from Japan to CFB Trenton to the NAV CENTRE in Cornwall, Ontario. In my assessment, I took into account the fact that they followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and that they did not have unprotected contact with passengers or persons at risk of having the novel coronavirus. As a result of this assessment, I have determined that their continued quarantine is not required.

February 26, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP posted an oral statement to Parliment titled: “COVID-19: Health Secretary’s statement to Parliament”. From the statement:

Mr Speaker, with your permission, I’d like to update the House on COVID-19 coronavirus.

As of this morning, 7,132 people in the UK have been tested for the virus. So far 13 people in the UK have tested positive, of whom 8 now have been discharged from the hospital. We expect more cases here.

As planned, 115 people left supported isolation at Kents Hill Park in Milton Keynes on 23 February. All tested negative for COVID-19.

On Saturday, 32 people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship were repatriated and taken to Arrowe Park, where they will remain in supported isolation. And 4 of those have tested positive and been transferred to specialist centres.

British tourists are currently being quarantined in a hotel in Tenerife and the Foreign Office is in contact with them.

Mr Speaker, we have a clear, 4-part plan to respond to the outbreak of this disease: Contain. Delay. Research and Mitigate.

We are taking all necessary measures to minimise the risk to the public.

We have put in place enhanced monitoring measures at UK airports, and health information is available at all international airports, ports and international train stations. We have established a supported isolation facility at Heathrow, to cater for international passengers who are tested, and to maximise infection control and free up NHS resources.

The NHS is testing a very large number of people who travel back from affected countries, the vast majority of whom test negative.

In the past few days we have published quidance for schools, for employers, for first responders, for social care and the travel industry on how to handle suspected cases.

If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in a childcare or educational setting, no special measures are required while test results are awaited. There is no need to close the school or send other students or staff home.

Once the results arrive, those who test negative will be advised individually about returning to education.

In most cases, cosure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary, but this will be a local decision based on various factors including professional advice. Schools should be guided by the advice of the GOV.UK website and contact their regional school commissioner in cases of queries…

…Yesterday, we updated our advice to returning travellers from northern Italy, defined as anywhere north of, but not including, Pisa and Florence, as well as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Those returning from Iran, from the lockdown areas in northern Italy, and special care zone in South Korea should self-isolate and call NHS 111, even if they have no symptoms…

February 26, 2020: Public Health England posted a news story titled: “New surveillance system for early detection of COVID-19”. From the news story:

Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS establish a new surveillance system to detect cases of COVID-19.

A new surveillance system to detect cases of COVID-19 in England has been established by Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS to strengthen existing systems and to prepare for and prevent wider transmission of the virus.

There is no current evidence to show that the virus is circulating in the community in England, but internationally there is evidence of wider transmission of the virus in areas outside of China, and most recently Italy and South Korea.

This new surveillance strategy will enable PHE to identify early evidence of spread within England, if this occurs.

Some NHS hospitals have been asked to take part, which would see them implementing the new surveillance at their intensive care units (ICU) and Severe Respiratory Failure (ECMO) Centres.

Samples will be tested from patients with severe respiratory infections who do not meet the current case definition for COVID-19. Depending on the results, patients will be given the support they need and rapid public health actions will be taken.

A programme of testing with a network of around 100 primary care sites across England will also complement the detection system in hospitals, so that both mild and more unwell cases can be found…

…This process will not apply to patients meeting the current COVID-19 case definition, who will continue to be isolated and tested as appropriate, and test result times will not be affected.

PHE and NHS have tried and tested surveillance systems in place to monitor and manage the spread of community transmission of seasonal influenza each year.

February 26, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Iran Travel Advisory” From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 26, 2020

Iran – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. ciizens. Those present in Iran should exercise increased caution due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

Country Summary: U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Iran have been kidnapped, arrested, and detained on spurious charges. Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans – including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics – on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Iranian authorities routinely delay consular access to detained U.S. citizens and consistently deny consular access to dual U.S.-Iranian citizens.

A novel (new) coronavirus disease, recently designated as COVID-19 and also known as the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness in several countries around the world. The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Iran is experiencing sustained community spread of COVID-19. The virus can spread from person to person. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Iran should review and follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.

Individuals suspected of having COVID-19 may face travel delays, quarantine, and high medical costs. Several countries have closed their borders with Iran and/or suspended air traffic to and from Iran. As a result, commercial travel to and from Iran may become severely limited with little or no notice.

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iran.

Due to the risks of operating civilian aircraft within or in the vicinity of Iran, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you are currently in Iran:

  • Consider the risks involved in possessing dual U.S. Iranian nationality.
  • Review your personal security plan and visit our website for Travel to High Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Have a plan for departing Iran that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60% – 95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and to make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

February 26, 2020: Royal Caribbean Cruises posted a press release titled: “Spectrum and Jewel of the Seas Updates”. From the press release:

In light of current travel conditions, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Spectrum of the Seas March 28th sailing. We are also making an itineary change for our Jewel of the Seas Feb. 24th sailing, replacing visits to Khasab and Muscat, Oman, with a visit to Doha, Qatar.

February 26, 2020: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi posted a press release titled: ” Pelosi Statement on President Trump’s Coronavirus Press Conference.” From the press release:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on Congressional action to combat coronavirus:

“The American people need a well-coordinated, whole-of-government, fully-funded response to keep them safe from the coronavrirus threat. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has mounted an opaque and chaotic response to this outbreak.

“The Trump Administration has left critical positions in charge of managing pandemics at the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security vacant. The Trump Budget called for slashing almost $700 million from the Centers for Disease Control. And even now, the Administration continues to devalue Americans’ health security by ransacking funding from other vital public health care needs.

“The House will be advancing a strong, strategic funding package with transparency and accountability that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis.”


February 27, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: 16

February 27, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Congratulations and thank you to our great Vice President & all of the many professionals doing such a fine job at CDC & all other agencies on the Coronavirus situation. Only a very small number in U.S., & China numbers look to be going down. All countries working well together!”

February 27, 2029: President Donald Trump tweeted: “”Anti-Trump Network @CNN doing whatever it can to stoke a national Coronavirus panic. The far left Network pretty much ignoring anyone who they interview who doesn’t blame President Trump.” @trish_regan @FoxNews Media refuses to discuss the great job our professionals are doing!”

February 27, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Diagnosis positive: @CNN is infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome. I’m calling out CNN for irresponsibly politicizing what should be a unifying battle against a virus that doesn’t choose sides!.” @trish_regan @FoxNews Like I say, they are Fake News!”

Trump Derangement Syndrome does not exist.

February 27, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “So, the Coronavirus, which started in China and spread to various countries throughout the world, but very slowly in the U.S. because President Trump closed our border, and ended flights, VERY EARLY is now being blamed by the Do Nothing Democrats, to be the fault of “Trump”.”

February 27, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “The Do Nothing Democrats were busy wasting time on the Immigration Hoax & anything else they could do to make the Republican Party look bad, while I was busy calling early BORDER & FLIGHT closings, putting us way ahead in our battle with Coronavirus. Dems got it VERY wrong!”

February 27, 2020: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi posted a press release titled: “Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement on Congressional Action to Combat the Coronavirus”. From the press release:

Speaker Nancy Pelosit and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer today issued the following statement regarding Congressional action to combat the coronavirus:

“The United States government must do more to address the spread of the deadly coronavirus in a smart, strategic, and serious way and we stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion in Congress and with the administration to achieve this necessary goal. Lives are at stake – this is not the time for name-calling or playing politcs.

“The first step the Congress must take is to ensure the government has the resources needed to combat this deadly virus and keep Americans safe.

“Any emergency funding supplemental the Congress approves must be entirely new funding – not stolen from other accounts p and include , at a minimum, strong provisions that ensure that:

1 The president cannot transfer these new funds to anything other than the coronavirus and fighting infectious diseases;

2 Vaccines are affordable and available to all who need it;

3 interest-free loans are made available for small businesses impacted by the outbreak; and

4 The state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak”

February 27, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted: “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 38”. From the report:

Highlights:

Nine new Member States (Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, and North Macedonia) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

WHO and the World Tourism Organization released a joint statement regarding responsibility and coordination on tourism and COVID-19…

…WHO is utilizing an international network of expert laboratories to provide support in the detection of the COVID-19 virus globally. For more information, please see the Subject in Focus below.

SITUATION IN FOCUS: Laboratory Network and Detection:

On 9 January 2020, WHO published interim laboratory guidelines for detection of the novel coronavirus. This guideance is continually updated as more data becomes available and includes advice on sample collection, diagnostic testing, and pathogen characterization. Specific interim guidance on biosafety in the laboratory has also been published. An update to the guidance for the international shipment of specimens will follow soon. WHO is utilizing an international network of expert laboratories to provide support in the detection of the COVID-19 virus globally.

The diagnostic landscape of this outbreak is changing quickly. The first COVID-19 cases were detected using genomic sequencing, but multiple RT-PCR commercial and non-commercial assays have since been developed. As the international case load increases, there is an urgent need to rapidly scale up the diagnostic capacity for the COVID-19 virus:

1 Developing a WHO network of 15 COVID-19 reference laboratories with demonstrated expertise in the molecular detection of coronaviruses. These international laboratories can support national labs to confirm the COVID-19 virus and troubleshoot their molecular assays.

2 Strenghtening national capacity for detection of the COVID-19 virus so that diagnostic testing can be performed rapidly without the need for overseas shipping. Existing global networks for detection of respiratory pathogens are being utilized including. notably. the National Influenza Centers that support the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.

3 Ensuring ongoing test availability. WHO has procured a commercial assay (manufactured under ISO:13485) with strong performance data and shipped to over 150 laboratories globally as an interum measure for Member States requesting support. The main goal is to strengthen global diagnostic capacity for detection of the COVID-19 virus. Support is now also provided to ensure the quality of testing through the implementation of an External Quality Assurance mechanism.

Public health efforts are targeted at both interrupting further transmission and monitoring the spread of COVID-19. As reports of asymptomatic cases increase, the need for reliable serology testing is becoming more urgent. There are a number of groups working on this and developments are being monitored.

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 27 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 409 confirmed daily cases/ 25 daily deaths/ 65,596 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,541 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,347 confirmed cumulative cases/ 7 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 1 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 1,272 confirmed cumulative cases/ 20 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 1 confirmed daily case / 0 daily deaths/ 1,017 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 989 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative daily deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 934 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 756 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 576 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 3 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 534 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 480 confirmed cumulative cases/ 13 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 10 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 410 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 337 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 5 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 317 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 296 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Guangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 252 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 0 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 135 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 133 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 122 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 93 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 6 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 1 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 71 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 32 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 439 confirmed daily cases/ 29 daily deaths/ 78,630 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,747 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories, or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 27 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 1,766 confirmed cases (505 new)/ 13 deaths (1 new)
  • Japan: 185 confirmed cases (22 new)/ 3 deaths (2 new)
  • Singapore: 93 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Australia: 23 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Malaysia: 22 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Thailand: 40 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United States of America: 59 confirmed cases (6 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Canada: 11 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Brazil: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Italy: 400 confirmed cases (78 new)/ 12 deaths (1 new)
  • Germany: 21 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths
  • France: 18 confirmed cases (6 new)/ 2 deaths (1 new)
  • The United Kingdom: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Spain: 12 confirmed cases (10 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Croatia: 3 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Austria: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Finland: 2 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Israel: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Sweden: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Denmark: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Estonia: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Georgia: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Greece: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • North Macedonia: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Norway: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Romania: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Switzerland: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 141 confirmed cases (46 new)/ 22 deaths (7 new)
  • Kuwait: 43 confirmed cases (31 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Bahrain: 33 confirmed cases (7 new)/ 0 deaths
  • United Arab Emirates: 13 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Iraq: 6 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Oman: 4 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Lebanon: 2 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Pakistan: 2 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Afghanistan: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • Algeria: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 2,959 confirmed cases (732 new)/ 53 deaths (12 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 705 confirmed cases (14 new)/ 4 deaths (1 new)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 3,664 confirmed cases (746 new)/ 57 deaths (13 new)

February 27, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted a statement titled: “A Joint Statement on Tourism and COVID-19 – UNWTO and WHO Call for Responsibility and Coordination”. From the statement:

As the current outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to develop, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are committed to working together in guiding travel and tourism sectors’ response to COVID-19.

On 30 January 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to be a Public Health Emerency of International Concern and issued a set of Temporary Recommendations. WHO did not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available. WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulance of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and the global community on measures to protect heath and prevent the spread of this outbreak.

Cooperation is key

The tourism sector is fully committed to putting people and their well-being first. International cooperation is vital for ensuring the sector can effectively contribute to the containment of COVID-19. UNWTO and WHO are working in close consultation and with other partners to assist States in ensuring that health measures be implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.

Tourism’s response needs to be measured and consistent, proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment, involving every part of the tourism value chain – public bodies, private companies and tourists, in line with WHO’s overall guideance and recommendations.

UNTWO and WHO stand ready to work closely with all thsoe communities and countries affected by the current health emergency, to build for a better and more resilient future. Travel restrictions going beyond these may cause unnecessary interference with international traffic, including negative repercussions on the tourism sector.

At this challenging time, UNWTO and WHO join the international community in standing in solidarity with affected countries.

February 27, 2020: Marin County, California, posted a press release titled: “Coronavirus Patient from Travis Isolated at Local Hospital”. From the press release:

The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today confirmed the transfer of one patient with laboratory-confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from Travis Air Force Base in Solano County to a Marin County hospital. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) agreement with the Department of Defense requires any evacuee who tests positive to be moved to the base. Marin County and other Bay Area counties are accepting the patients to reduce the burden on the Solano County health care system.

An asymptomatic patient – meaning the patient does not show symptoms of the virus, such as fever or difficulty breathing – was transported to a Marin hospital on Wednesday night. The patient who tested positive for COVID-19 is one of the evacuees from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan…

February 27, 2020: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi posted a press release titled: “Transcript of Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Today”. From the press release:

…Earlier this week, yesterday actually, I said that ‘the American people need a coordinated, whole-of-government, fully-funded response to keep us safe from the coronavirus threat. Unfortunately – and this is the purpose of my telling this – ‘unfortunately, up until now the Trump Administration has mounted an opaque and often chaitic response to this outbreak.’

They left critical positions vacant in charge of managing pandemics at the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security. They left them vacant. They dismissed the people and never filled the slots. They were there from the precious Administration.

The Trump budget calls for slashing almost $700 million from the Centers for Disease Control.  And this was the budget which came out after we knew about the coronavirus threat.  And now it continues to devalue our health needs by ransacking other public health needs, whether it’s the Ebola fund or others.  So that was up until now. 

Now, we are trying to work in a bipartisan way, and that’s one of the reasons that I was delayed in meeting with you this morning.  We’re trying to – we’re coming close to a bipartisan agreement in the Congress as to how we can go forward with a number that is a good start.  We don’t know how much we will need.  Hopefully, not so much more because prevention will work.  But, nonetheless, we have to be ready to do what we need to do. 

And in that regard, we want to make sure that the President cannot transfer any of these new funds – this is part of the statement from Chuck and me, from Leader Schumer and me, the President cannot transfer any of these new funds to anything other than use for the coronavirus threat. 

That we perhaps will have interest‑free loans made available to small businesses which are suffering from the coronavirus.  Some will maybe have to shut down because of that. 

Vaccines.  We want to make sure that the vaccines are affordable.  Affordable.  And we think it’s important to make that point because of what Secretary Azar said yesterday, ‘We would want to ensure that we can work to make it affordable, but we can’t control the price, because we need the private sector to invest.’

Really?  This would be a vaccine that is developed with taxpayer dollars to, again, prevent, and we think that should be available to everyone, not dependent on Big Pharma.  I guess yesterday when the Secretary made that ill‑advised statement he was wearing his Pharma hat, which he wore before he came here. 

And then we want to be sure that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Again, I met with – I spoke with the Vice President this morning, made some of these concerns known to him.  We have always had a very candid relationship, and I expressed to him the concern that I had of his being in this position, while I look forward to working with him, about his, when he was Governor of Indiana, slashing the public health budget and having some clinics – one, especially a Planned Parenthood clinic, closed, which was the only place in Scott County where you could get tested for HIV and AIDS.  There was an outbreak.

Again, he will have his side of that story.  But the fact is, is that the health professional, the director of the health [commission] in Indiana at the time, Jerome Adams, was the Vice President, then-Governor Pence’s [State Health Commissioner].  He is now the Surgeon General of the United States…

…Q: How concerned are you about the stock market drops that we saw this week in response to coronavirus fears? And how much do you think those market jitters should be taken into account both here on the Hill and in the White House when you are delivering messages about coronavirus?

Speaker Pelosi: Well, we are hoping to work in a bipartisan way to stop the spread, to have serious prevention, science‑based, evidence‑based decision-making with professionals who know the territory of science and epidemiology to do the job.  The market drop – now, it’s what, 3,000, 2,500, as of last night, 3,000 – is disturbing.  But, again, we want to instill confidence.  We want to prevent without panicking people about this.  But the market will do what it does, with the invisible hand that it always does.

It does show some fragility on the part of the market that it would drop so much.  But, again, it can’t affect what we do if what we’re there to do is to prevent and not panic people on the subject. 

The President said something so strange that you really have to wonder. He said the reason the market dropped is because of the debate the other night.  Well, the market had dropped 1,800 points before the debate the other night.  The market [futures] dropped while he was speaking yesterday in his press conference.  So, you know, let’s not – let’s not be silly about what that is. 

Clearly, the lack of ability to get some of the product to sell and the rest has an impact on the bottom line of some of these companies.  We don’t like seeing the market drop, that’s for sure. We hope that this will have a turnaround.  But it cannot affect how we address the issue. 

Our issue is public health. Our issue is prevention.  And we would hope that that would not lower the market but raise the market, because we want to show that decisions have been made to put this in good hands now…

February 27, 2020: Reuters posted an article titled: “Hyundai Motor halts work at factory after worker tests positive for coronavirus”. From the article:

Hyundai Motor … shut down a factory in South Korea on Friday after a worker tested positive for the new coronavirus, disrupting production of popular models such as Palisade sport utility vehicle.

Shares of the automaker ended down more than 5% after the news, while the wider market KS11 wsas down 3.3%. The closing dealt a fresh setback to Hyundai Motor, which has gradually resumed production at local plants hit by a Chinese parts shortage in the wake of the virus outbreak.

South Korea has the most infected people outside China, affecting companies like Samsung and Hyundai. South Korea reported 256 new cases, bringing the total number of infected to 2,022, ad the world prepared for a global recession.

“The company has also placed colleagues who came in close contact with the infected employee in self-quarantine and taken steps to have them tested for possible infection,” Hyundai Motor said in a news release.

The company added that it was disinfecting the factory. It did not say when productuon would resume…

February 27, 2020: Microsoft posted information titled: “GDC and the wellbeing of our teams & community” on their Game Slack Blog. From the information:

After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).

In light of this, we plan to move our presence to a digital-only event March 16-18th held on www.microsoft.com/gamestack. This event will feature the majority of our planned game developer sessions and experiences, which will be streamed live and available on demand…

…GDC has long been a moment for us to come together and celebrate Gaming for Everyone with our many vibrant communities. While we won’t be able to bring our G4E events online, we remain committed to celebrating and amplyfying our diverse communities in gaming throughout the year…

February 27, 2020: Unreal Engine tweeted: “Here at Epic we were excited about participating in GDC 2020. Regrettably, uncertainty around health concerns has made it unviable to send our employees, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw attendance. Stay tuned for Epic news and more through other channels.”

February 27, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care and Professor Chris Whitty posted a news story titled: “CMO for England announces 2 new cases of novel coronavirus”. From the news story:

Two further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of UK cases to 15.

The virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres in Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, London.

February 27, 2020: Scottish Government posted news titled: “Coronavirus guidance issued for education providers”. From the news:

Specific advice for students and staff.

New guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) has been published for education providers.

The guidance, published by Health Protection Scotland (HPS), includes advice on preventing the spread of infection, what to do if staff or students become unwell, web links to teaching resources on good hygiene practices, and contact details for local health protection teams.

It also covers what pupils or members of staff should do if they have retirned from a higher risk area as part of a school trip. This advice is consistent with the advice being given to individuals, and there is no need to manage returning groups of pupils, students or staff any differently…

…Background

This guidance has been circulated to all local authority Directors of Education for dissemination to schools and early learning and childcare settings/providers in Scotland, and it has also been circulated to independent schools via Education Scotland. and grant aided special schools.

It has also been circulated to all colleges and universities by the Scottish Funding Council and independent schools via Education Scotland, and grant aided special schools…

February 27, 2020: Variety posted an article titled: “BTS Cancels Korea Concerts Due to Coronavirus”. It was written by Kristine Kwak. From the article:

BTS has canceled concerts planned for Korea, the group announced on Thursday, Feb. 27, due to concernsabout the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

According to an official BTS Twitter (@bts_bighit), “Map of the Soul” tour shows scheduled for April 11, 12, 18 and 19 at Seoul’s Jamsil Olympic Stadium have been called off, with ticket buyers being autimatically refunded the price of their purchase.

“It is unavoidable that the concert must be canceled without further delay,” reads an announce,ent in Korean. “Please understand that this decision was made after extensive and careful consideration.”…

February 27, 2020: Green Day tweeted: “We have unfortunately made the difficult decision to postpone our upcoming shows in Asia due to the health + travel concerns with coronavirus. We know it sucks, as we were looking forward to seeing you all, but hold on to your tickets we’ll be announcing the new dates very soon.”

February 27, 2020: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear posted news titled: “Governor Beshear, Kentucky Health Officials Announce Efforts to Prevent 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”. From the news:

Governor Andy Beshear was joined by officials from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), to announce that Kentucky continues to closely monitor the international situation concerning the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Gov. Beshear emphasized that though there are currently no COVID-19 cases in the state, public health officials have been monitoring individuals who meet certain criteria and are also preparing for the possibility of the virus spreading within the Commonwealth.

“It’s important for the public to know that even though Kentuckians are at low risk for this virus, our state and local health experts have been working hard to ensure the public is educated and that reports of patients that meet criteria for COVID-19 are being properly tested and treated to reduce potential harm,” Gov. Beshear said. “The best advice for Kentuckians to follow is not new advice – get your flu shot, stay home if you are not feeling well and practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly.”

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that the United States should prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 spreading within local communities.

CHFS Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander said that his team has developed several resources to support local health departments, clinicians and the general public, including a Kentucky-specific website, kycovid19.ky.gov.

“While there is a low immediate health risk, we know that because Kentucky is part of the global health community, we may see positive cases here,” he said. “I am proud that our local and state health experts are prepared to respond quickly, calmly and thoroughly.”

Dr. Steven Stack, Department of Public Health (DPH) commissioner, said that federal guidelines emphasize rapid response for monitoring individuals who develop symptoms and are identified as “at risk.”

“The Kentucky Department for Public Health is working closely with the CDC and local partners to address the COVID-19 response and remains vigilant with active surveillance measures in place,” he said. “This virus is a serious public health concern, however the risk to the general public at this time in Kentucky remains low and we have no confirmed cases and no persons under investigation. If the situation changes and we start seeing person-to-person transmission in Kentucky, we have plans in place to help reduce the impact of diseases like novel coronavirus.”

“We understand that some people are worried about this virus and how it may impact Kentuckians,” Dr. Stack said. “We are carefully monitoring the evolving situation and taking necessary precautions. Kentucky has a strong disease surveillance system in place that includes partnerships with hospital and clinic systems as well as local health departments and we are committed to this mission of protecting the health and safety of all Kentuckians.”…

…DPH is working closely with clinicians to make sure providers are aware of and informed about the illness. In addition, DPH wants to ensure providers there is a process in place to determine whether testing is warranted, including consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as needed.

  • ..DPH is contacting and monitoring anyone they are aware of who has travelled in the last 14 days from China, the primary country of concern, to assess if they develop any symptoms.
  • To reduce potential risk, we have asked these travelers to self-isolate, to avoid public gatherings and report their temperatures and any symptoms daily.
  • We have monitored over 100 people up to this point, and the majority of these travelers have already passed the 14-day monitoring period. All but one have been illness-free, and that person tested negative for COVID-19.
  • We are reminding the public through all our means of communication and network of local health departments to follow the general respiratory illness and flu prevention tips that are crucial in preventing viral exposure and the spread of germs…

February 28, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: still 16

February 28, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “CDC Announces Additional COVID-19 Presumptive Positive Cases”. From the media statement:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware of four new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 announced by state public health authorities who are currently conducting investigations.

  • California has announced a second possible instance of community spread.
  • Oregon has announced its first possible instance of community spread.
  • The state of Washington has announced two presumptive cases. One is likely travel related. The other is the state’s first possible instance of community spread.

Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. One previous possible instance of community spread was announced in California on February 26…

The four patients tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in their respective states using the CDC-developed rRT-PCR. They are considered presumptive positive cases pending CDC confirmatory testing. However, CDC and State and local public health authorities are proceeding with public health infestigations and response activities as if these were confirmed cases.

…These four cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases detected through the U.S. public health system to 19….

February 28, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Will be in the Great State of South Carolina tonight, 7:00 P.M., for a really BIG Rally. Best place to be is a Trump Rally. See you later!

February 28, 2020: Journalist for Vox, Aaron Rupar, tweeted: “Here’s Trump at his rally tonight in South Carolina dismissing worries about the coronavirus as the “new hoax”.

The tweet included a short clip of a CSPAN video of Trump’s South Carolina rally at the North Charleston Collseum. In it, Trump says:

“Now, the Democrats are…politicizing… the coronavirus. (crowd boos) Coronavirus. You know that, right? (crowd coninues booing). They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you see.”

(Trump alters his voice a bit deeper.) “How’s President Drr… Trump doing?” (Back to his normal voice) “They go, (Trump alters his voice to sound weaker, and shakes his head no) “Oh, not good. not good.” (Crowd laughs.)

“They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa. (Trump waves his hands back and fourth to match the timing of those words.) They can’t even count… (Crowd roars with laughter.) …No, they can’t. (Trump gives the crowd more time to laugh, then yells. “THEY CAN”T COUNT THEIR VOTES!”

“ONE OF MY PEOPLE CAME UP TO ME AND SAID, ‘Mr. President. They tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. Uh, that didn’t work out too well.’ (Crowd laughs softly). ‘They couldn’t do it. They tried the Impeachment Hoax. (crowd starts booing again), That was on a perfect conversation. (Crowd continues to boo).

“THEY TRIED ANYTHING. THEY TRIED IT OVER AND OVER. THEY’VE BEEN doing it since you got in. I’ts all turning, they lost. It’s all turning. Think of it.” (Crowd makes a mixture of noises). “Think of it.”

“AND THIS IS THEIR NEW HOAX. But ya know, we did something that’s been pretty amazing. We have fifteen people in this massive country. And because of the fact that we went early. We went early. We coulda had a lot more than that. We’re doing great. Our country is doing so great. (Crowd roars). We are so unified. (Crowd roars louder). We are so unified.”

That is where the clip ends. For clarification, Trump just coached his crowd to believe that the coronavirus was “a new hoax”, which he tried to connect to the Democratic party. The crowd appeared to believe that, which is not surprising, considering that he had already convinced them that the impeachment hearings were a hoax, and that his ties to Russia before and during the 2016 election were a hoax.

Trump said “We have fifteen people in this massive country.” He was referring to the CDC’s tracking of the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. There were 15 people with the virus on February 26 that had been confirmed as having COVID-19. That number grew to 16 on February 27, and remained at 16 on February 28, when Trump was speaking at his South Carolina rally.

February 28, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “South Carolina was GREAT. A BIG & REALLY ENTHUSIASTIC CROWD!”

February 28, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “Thank you to all of the incredible Law Enforcement Officers in South Carolina tonight. We love you!” The tweet includes a six-second video from that night. It shows a row of police cars with their lights on.

February 28, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 39”. From the report:

Highlights:

Five new Member States (Belarus, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Nigeria) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours).

WHO has increased the assessment of the risk and spread and risk impact of COVID-19 to very high at the global level…

…The WHO-China Joint Mission, which was conducted from 16 through 24 February, has published its findings. The full report can be found here.

WHO has updated the guidance on Global Surveillance for human infection with coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This document includes revised surveillance case definitions for COVID-19. It is accompanied by a revised Case Reporting Form, line listing template, and data directory.

Table 2 in this Situation Report, “Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths”, has been simplified and now includes transmission classification. See Table 2 footnotes for additional information.

As of 27 February, there are 36 117 (26 403 in Hubei and 15 826 in Wuhan) case who have recovered from COVID-19 in China.

Under the International Health Regulations (2005), States Parties implementing additional health measures that significantly interfere with international traffic shall notify WHO of the public health rationale of those measures within 48 hours of their implementation. As of 27 February, 41 States Parties are officially reporting additional health measures. More inforamtion can be found in the Subject in Focus.

SUBJECT IN FOCUS: UPDATE ON ADDITIONAL HEALTH MEASURES

As of 27 February 2020, 41 States Parties have provided to WHO official reports on additional health measures that significantly interfere with international traffic under Article 43 of the International Health Regulations (2005), of which 14 are small island developing states Seven States Parties provided updates on the measures they have previously reported on. Eleven of the 41 States Parties are now reporting such measures against countries other than China. No trade restrictions have been reported to date…

…The majority of these measures are related to denial of entry of travelers originating from China or from countries reporting on-going transmission of COVID-19, quarantine requirements for foreigners, self-isolation of returning nationals, and visa restrictions. The public health rationale for these additional heatlh measures is mainly linked to vulnerabilities (e.g. lack of capacity for diagnostic and response, small island states context) in receiving countries, and the uncertainties about the virus transmission and disease severity.

Preliminary analysis of countries reporting cases that have imposed restrictive measures suggest that such measures may have delayed the importation of new cases, but did not prevent the importation of the disease. WHO has emphasized to Member States that additional measures should be proportionate to the public health risk, short in duration, and reconsidered in light of the evolution of the outbreak and the constant advancements of knowledge about the virus and the disease.

WHO has published updated advice for international traffic, and continues to recommend against the application of any travel or trade restrictions in relation to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

WHO continues to engage with travel and tourism international organizations and industry associations to enable compliance with the IHR on avoidance of unnecessary interference with international traffic. Joint statements have been issued by WHO in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and will shortly be issues in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, Data as of 28 February 2020:

  • Hubei: 318 confirmed daily cases/ 41 daily deaths/ 65,914 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,682 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,348 confirmed cumulative cases/ 7 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,273 confirmed cumulative cases/ 20 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejaing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,017 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 990 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 935 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 756 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 576 confirmed cumlative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 4 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 538 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 480 confirmed cumulative cases/ 13 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 2 daily deaths/ 410 confirmed cumulative cases/ 7 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 337 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 318 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 296 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Guangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 252 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 136 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 133 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 93 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hong Kong SAR: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 93 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 72 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 2 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 34 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 331 confirmed daily cases/ 44 daily deaths/ 78,961 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,791 cumulative deaths

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 28 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 2,337 confirmed cases (571 new)/ 13 deaths (0 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Japan: 210 confirmed cases (24 new)/ 4 deaths (1 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Singapore: 96 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Malaysia: 24 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Australia: 23 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 3 days since last reported case
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 15 days since last reported case
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)/ 24 days since last reported case
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 32 days since last reported case
  • New Zealand: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Italy: 650 confirmed cases (250 new)/ 17 deaths (5 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • France: 38 confirmed cases (20 new)/ 2 deaths (0 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Germany: 26 confirmed cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Spain: 25 confirmed cases (13 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • The United Kingdom: 16 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Sweden: 7 confirmed cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Switzerland: 6 confirmed cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Austria: 4 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Norway: 4 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Greece: 3 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Israel: 3 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Croatia: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths / 0 days since last reported case
  • Finland: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 28 days since last reported case
  • Belarus: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Lithuania: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Netherlands: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • North Macedonia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Romania: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 24 days since last reported case
  • Denmark: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 days since last reported case
  • Estonia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Georgia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Thailand: 40 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 25 days since last reported case
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 46 days since last reported case
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 32 days since last reported case
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 245 cases (104 new)/ 26 deaths (4 new)/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Kuwait: 43 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Bahrain: 33 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • United Arab Emirates: 19 confirmed cases (6 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Iraq: 7 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Oman: 6 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Lebanon: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Pakistan: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Afghanistan: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 4 days since last reported case
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 14 days since last reported case
  • United States of America: 59 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Canada: 11 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Brazil: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Algeria: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 3 days since last reported case
  • Nigeria: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 3,986 confirmed cases (1,027 new)/ 63 deaths (10 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruis ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 705 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 4 deaths (0 new)/ 2 days since last reported case
  • GRAND TOTAL: 4,691 confirmed cases (1,027 new)/ 67 deaths (10 new)

February 28, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted a media briefing titled: “WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 -28 February 2020”. From the media briefing:

…In the past 24 hours, China reported 329 cases – the lowest in more than a month.

As of 6am Geneva time this morning, China has reported a total of 78,959 cases of COVID-19 to WHO, including 2791 deaths.

Outside China, there are now 4,351 cases in 49 countries, and 67 deaths.

Since yesterday, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria have all reported their first cases. All these cases have links to Italy.

24 cases have been exported from Italy to 14 countries, and 97 cases have been exported from Iran to 11 countries.

The continued increase in the number of cases, and the number of affected countries over the last few days, are clearly of concern.

Our epidemiologists have been monitoring these developments continuously, we have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at a global level.

What we see at the moment are linked epidemics of COVID-19 in several countries, but most cases can be still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases. We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities.

As long as that’s the case, we still have a chance of containing thsi virus, if robust action is taken to detect cases early, isolate and care for patients and trace contacts.

As I said yesterday, there are different scenarios in different countries, and different scenarios within the same country.

The key to containing this virus is to break the chains of transmission.

Yesterday, I spoke about the things countries must do to prepare for cases and prevent onward transmission.

The report of the WHO-China Joint Mission has now published its report, which is available in English on the WHO website, and will also be posted in Chinese on the National Health Commission website.

The report includes a wealth of information, and 22 recommendations for China, for affected and unaffected countries, for the international community, and the general public.

It calls for all countries to educate their populations, to expand surveillance, to find, to isolate and care for every case, to trace every contact, and to take an all-of-government and all-of-society approach – this is not a job for the health ministry alone.

At the same time, work is also progressing on vaccines and therapeutics.

More than 20 vaccines are in development globally, and several therapeutics are in clinical trials. We expect the first results in a few weeks.

But we don’t need to wait for vaccines and therapeutics. There are things every individual can do to protect themselves and others today…

…But there are 10 basic things that you should know.

First, as we keep saying, clean your hands regularly with an alcohol-based hand rub, or wash them with soap and water.

Touching your face after touching contaminated surfaces or sick people is one of the ways the virus can be transmitted. By cleaning your hands, you can reduce your risk.

Second, clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant – for example kitchen benches and work desks.

Third, educate yourself about COVID-19. Make sure your information comes from reliable sources – your local or national public health agency, the WHO website, or your local health professional. Everyone should know the symptoms – for most people it starts with a fever and a dry cough, not a runny nose. Most people will ahve mild disease and get better without needing any special care.

Fourth, avoid traveling if you have a fever or cough, and if you become sick while on a flight, inform the crew immediately. Once you get home, make contact with a health professional and tell them about where you have been.

Fifth, if you cough or sneeze, do it into your sleeve, or use a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately into a closed rubbish bin, and then clean your hands.

Sixth, if you are over 60 years old, or if you have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing severe disease. You may wish to take extra precautions to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Seventh, for everyone, if you feel unwell, stay at home and call your doctor or local health professional. He or she will ask some questions about your symptoms, where you have been and who you have had contact with.

This will help you to make sure you get the right advice, are directed to the right health facility, and will prevent you from infecting others.

Eighth, if you are sick, stay at home, and eat and sleep separately from your family, use different utensils and cutlery to eat.

Ninth, if you develop shortness of breath, call your doctor and seek care immediately.

And tenth, it’s normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if you live in a country or community that has been affected. Find out what you can do in your community. Discuss how to stay safe with your workplace, school, or place of worship.

Together, we are powerful. Containment starts with you.

Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself, its fear, rumors and stigma.

And our greatest assests are facts, reason, and solidarity…

February 28, 2020: California Department of Public Health posted a news release titled: “COVID-19 Testing Kits Arrive at State Public Health Laboratories”. From the news release.

The California Department of Public Health announced today that new CDC test kits used to detect Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) now available in California can be used to do diagnostic testing in the community. California will immediately receive an additional shipment of kits to test up to 1,200 people.

“These new testing protocals and resources will help California medical experts identify and treat COVID-19 cases, trace potential exposures and better protect public health,” said Governor Newsom. “I am grateful to the CDC and federal government for quickly heeding our state’s requests and assisting California’s response to this evolving situation.”…

…If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough or shortness of breath, and has reason to believe they may have been exposed, they should call their health care provider or local health department before seeking care. Contacting them in advance will make sure that people can get the care they need without putting others at risk…

February 28, 2020: California Department of Public Health posted a news release titled: “Santa Clara County Announces Positive Test for COVID-19”. From the news release:

State and Local Public Health Officials are already on the ground tracing contacts and providing testing for this case. Also today, additional COVID-19 testing kits arrived at state public health laboratories as the CDC committed to send even more to state. Federal government announces Fairview Developmental Center no longer under immediate consideration as isolation site.

Today, local health officials in Santa Clara County announced an individual tested positive for COVID-19.

The individual had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual, making it the second possible instance of COVID-19 community transmission in California. Earlier today the California Department of Public Health announced that CDC test kits used to detect COVID-19 had arrived in California. The CDC committed to the state today to send more kits to California — enough to conduct more than 1,000 tests…

…This could be the second known instance of person-to-person transmission in the general public in the United States. Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health announced a possible first case of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in California in the general public.

Previously know instances of person-to-person transmission in the United States include one instance in Chicago, Illinois, and one in Santa Benito County, California. Both cases were after close, prolonged interaction with a family member who returned from Wuhan, China and had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus. As of today, including this case, California has had seven travel-related cases, one close contact case, and now two possible community transmissions…

Fairview Developmental Center

Also today, the federal government informed the state that it has determined it does not need the Fairview Development Center site for the isolations of passengers from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship given the imminent end of the isolation of those passengers and the small number of persons who ended up testing positive for COVID-19.

The initial estimates the CDC had provided were that as many as 50% of the passengers would test positive within the isolation period but the actual results have been substantially lower, changing current needs for isolation. The temporary restraining order prevented Fairview from being availale at a time when it was critically needed.

Having people who are not sick occupying available hospital beds placed a burden on the health care system and limits critical access for patients in a time of great need.

February 28, 2020: Massachusetts Department of Public Health posted a press release titled: “Statement on the state of testing by the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory for COVID-19”. From the press release:

“We are pleased that the US Food and Drug Administration has now given approval to the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory to begin testing patients for COVID-19, in accordance with guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means clinicians who have patients they think may have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who meet the current CDC definition of a Person Under Investigation can contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to discuss their patients and receive authorization to submit specimens for testing. This change is good news for Massachusetts as testing at the State Public Health Laboratory will sped up obtaining test results for Persons Under Investigation and expedite ongoing testing of any confirmed case in recovery.” – Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH

February 28, 2020: Washington State Department of Health posted a news release titled: “Additional Cases of COVID-19 in Washington State”. From the news release:

The Washington State Department of Health, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Snohomish Health District, are announcing two new cases of COVID-19, currently classified as “presumptive positives.” A presumptive positive is a test that comes back positive at the Public Health Laboratory and is pending confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The individuals reside in both King and Snohomish Counties. In King County, a woman in her 50s with confirmed travel to Daegu, South Korea is a presumptive positive. She is currently in home isolation.

In Snohomish County, a person under the age of 18 with no travel history is also a presumptive positive. He is currently in isolation as well. That patient visited Seattle Children’s North Clinic on Monday, Feb. 24. Snohomish County Health District is working alongside the Everett Public Schools to ensure the safety of students and staff at Jackson High School, where this student attends. Everett Public Schools is taking this very seriously and in an abundance of caution, the superintendent has decided to close Jackson High School on Monday to allow three days for deep cleaning.

While the King County case is believed to be travel-related, we don’t know how or where the new Snohomish County case was infected. We are working hard to identify how the patients were exposed as well as tracing people who might have been exposed to this patient….

…COVID-19 has the potential to be a serious risk in our country. Health departments at the federal, state, and local level are working together and with other partners to prepare.

Healthcare systems are getting ready to potentially see more patients than usual. Schools are receiving updated guideance on what to do to stay safe if they have cases, and what preventative measures they should take if they do now…

February 28, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted a transcript titled: “Press Conference – Australian Parliament House”. From the transcript:

Prime Minister: Good afternoon. Keeping Australians safe – that is the priority of our Government as we deal with what has been an emerging situation with the coronavirus. Each and every day there are new developments in relation to the coronavirus and I want to thank Dr Kelly, I want to thank Dr Murphy, I want to thank those who have been getting involved in providing advice to the Government, also at the state and territory level with the medical offices there. Earlier today, the National Security Committee met for three hours to consider the next round of advice and the information we are receiving in relation to the coronavirus.

What has occurred, in particular, in the last 24 hours or so as the data has come in is that the rate of transmissions of the virus outside China is fundamentally changing the way we need to look at how this issue is being managed here in Australia. Now, I want to reassure Australians that as we speak here and now we have had 15 cases that have come from Wuhan and all 15 of those cases have been cleared and are now back in the community, having been able to move on from the virus. There are 8 other cases that are imported from those who came on the Diamond Princess. There are no other cases here in Australia and there has been no community transmission, as Dr Murphy would say, here in Australia.

So the actions that the Australian government have taken and that included getting out well ahead of the World Health Organization at Dr Murphy’s, I think, very insightful advice with the measures that we initially took at a time when the WHO had not even declared it in the context that it has now been declared by them.

The advice we received today is very similar to that. And that is based on the expert medical advice we’ve received, there is every indication that the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus and as a result, we have agreed today and initiated the implementation of the Coronavirus Emergency Response Plan. As you can see, it’s a very comprehensive document and I want to commend the Department of Health and all of those who have been involved in ensuring that this plan is in place and ready to go.

So while the WHO is yet to declare the nature of the coronavirus and it’s moved towards a pandemic phase, we believe that the risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us and as a result, as a government, we need to take the steps necessary to prepare for such a pandemic. And so earlier today, I instructed through the NSC the Minister for Health to be engaging with the state and territory ministers to be bringing back the plan to identify any gaps in capabilities at the various stages or levels at which a pandemic may proceed to. I want to stress that these actions are being taken in an abundance of caution. We have always acted with an abundance of caution on this issue and that has put Australia in the strong position we are in to this time in being able to contain the impact of this virus. So the actions we’re now taking in being prepared even further is to ensure that we can respond immediately when the virus moves to the next level. 

We’ve also asked the Commissioner of Border Force to be reporting to us as quickly as possible on additional measures that would be required at our various ports of entry to ensure we’re able to identify any persons coming from wherever in the world that may require additional information in terms of being self-quarantined or other forms of quarantine that may be necessary as this issue continues to roll on. 

In relation to schools, I’ve tasked the Minister for Education to engage with the education ministers from the states and territories. I want to stress, and I’m sure Dr Kelly will reinforce this point, there is no evidence before us that children are in any greater risk as a result of what has occurred more recently, but we do believe to take care of our kids, that we need an even greater abundance of caution to ensure that should the coronavirus move to a very extreme level or there is any particular risk that is associated with children, particularly those attending school, that we have the preparedness and the arrangements in place with states and territories. And I want to thank all of the state and territories for their engagement, whether it’s on this issue on schools or the many other issues, the health issues, that are associated…

…There is no need for us to be moving towards not having mass gatherings of people. You can still go to the football, you can still go to the cricket, you can still go and play with your friends down the street, you can go off to the concert, and you can go out for a Chinese meal. You can do all of these things because Australia has acted quickly, Australia has got ahead of this at this point in time. But to stay ahead of it, we need to now elevate our response to this next phase. I said the other day, this is a health crisis, not a financial crisis. But it is a health crisis with very significant economic implications…

February 28, 2020: Department of Health Northern Ireland posted news titled: “New coronavirus advice service provision”. From the news:

Northern Ireland now has full access to the NHS 111 helpline service on coronavirus.

This NHS 111 advice line on coronavirus will replace the localized helpline number with immediate effect.

The service has been put in place by the Department of Health in consultation with the Public Health Agency…

February 28, 2020: Department of Health Northern Ireland posted news titled: “Testing of a patient in Northern Ireland has resulted in a presumptive positive test for coronavirus (Covid-19)”. From the news:

In line with established protocols, this Northern Ireland test outcome has been sent to Public Health England laboratories for verification.

The patient is receiving specialist care and Public Health Agency personnel are working rapidly to identify any contacts the patient had, with the aim of preventing further spread.

Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride stated: “We have been planning for the first positive case in Northern Ireland and have made it clear that it was a question of when not if.

“We have robust infection control measures in place which enable us to respond immediately. Our health service is used to managing infections and would assure the public that we are prepared.

“Our advice to the public remains the same. Members of the public who have visited affected regions and have symptoms are advised to self-isolate at home and contact their GP in the first instance. Advice will then be given on the next steps, including testing if required…”

February 28, 2020: GDC posted an update titled: “Important GDC 2020 Update”. From the update:

After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March.

Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we’re genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time.

We want to thank all our customers and partners for their support, open discussions and encouragement. As everyone has been reminding us, great things happen when the community comes together and connects at GDC. For this reason, we fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks….

February 28, 2020: Epic Games posted an update titled: “Unreal Fest Europe Update” on their Unreal Engine blog. From the update:

Here at Epic, we were excited about hosting Unreal Fest Europe 2020 in Prague. Due to uncertainty around health concerns and travel, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s event.

We are working with this year’s speakers to bring select presentations to other conferences and virtual events, so stay tuned to our channels for more information. We are also making plans for Unreal Fest Europe 2021 and look forward to sharing details at a later date.

February 28, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care posted a news story titled: “CMO for England announces 2 new cases of novel coronavirus: 28 February 2020”. From the news story:

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty statement on 2 new cases of COVID-19 passed on in Iran.

Two further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19.

The virus was passed on in Iran and the patients have been tranferred to specialist NHS infection centres at the Royal Free Hospital.

The total number of cases in England is now 17. Following confirmed cases in Norther Ireland and Wales, the total number of UK cases is 19.

February 28, 2020: UK Department of Health and Social Care posted a press release titled: “CMO for England announces a new case of novel coronavirus: 28 February 2020”. From the press release:

Chief Medical Officer Professor Whitty statement on a new case of COVID-19 passed on in the UK.

One further patient in England has tested positive for COVID-19.

The virus was passed on in the UK. It is not yet clear whether they contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad. This is being investigated and contact tracing has begun. The patient has been transferred to a specialist NHS infection centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

The total number of cases in England is now 18. Following confirmed cases in Northern Ireland and Wales, the total number of UK cases is 20.

February 28, 2020: Scottish Government posted news titled: “Testing arrangements expanded for coronavirus”. From the news:

‘Drive through’ testing introduced for HNS Lothian.

Testing arrangements for coronavirus are being expanded across Scotland.

Health boards are implementing a range of different methods for people in their areas to access coronavirus testing.

This ranges from testing in contained areas at local health centres, to community testing in the home, and ‘drive-through” testing in some areas.

NHS Lothian is the latest health board to introduce ‘drive through’ testing, where patients with mild symptoms drive themselves to a contained area of the hospital for testing, enabling them to avoid public transport or walking.

Other boards are running community testing, which allows people to be tested in their own homes where appropriate. This involves staff from public health teams attending people’s homes in protective suites to provide testing, and offer advice to anyone displaying symptoms. It follows the introduction of specialised coronavirus screening laboratories in Glasgow and Edinburgh…

February 28, 2020: Ben Harper (and The Innocent Criminals) tweeted: “Due to the ongoing situation in the region, we have unfortunately had to cancel the upcoming BHIC Tour of Japan. Most importantly we are wishing well to all those affected. We apologize to our fans in Japan for this inconvenience and we hope to reschedule soon. BHIC”

February 28, 2020: Avril Lavigne tweeted: “IMPORTANT TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT” The tweet included an image that said SWITZERLAND, art connected to her tour, and the following announcement:

Following the decision this morning of the Swiss government to cancel all events with more than 1,000 people in attendance from today till march 15th it means that my show on march 13th has been cancelled. I am really sorry about this but the decision is completely out of my control. I was really looking forward to come and see you all and very disappointed that the show can now not proceed. We have tried to reschedule the date but sadly that is not possible on this tour. You can get a full refund from your point of purchase. I hope to get back to switzerland as soon as i can!

February 28, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted “Transcript for the CDC Telebriefing Update on COVID-19”. From the transcript:

…[CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease] Dr. Nancy Messonnier: …Since I last briefed you, There has been one new case of COVID-19 detected through the U.S. public health system. as has been widely reported, at this time we don’t know how or where this person became infected. The brings the number of confirmed cases of person-to-person spread in the United States to 3.

We also have confirmed 2 more people who have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 among U.S. citizens repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. That brings the total number of people with COVID-19 to 44 among this group of people.

I’d like to share with you some additional information about the U.S. case CDC confirmed on Wednesday. CDC officials first heard from public health colleagues in California about this patient last Sunday, February 23rd. California reported a severely ill person who had not recently traveled abroad or had contact with a known case of COVID-19. CDC recommended testing for COVID-19 that day. We received samples on February 25th and confirmed the results with public health officials in California the day they were finalized, on February 26th. As I said, the patient’s exposure is unknown. It’s possible this could be the first instance of community spread – meaning the illness was acquired through an unknown exposure in the community. It’s also possible, however, that a thorough investigation may show that the patient had exposure through contact to a returned traveler who was infected.

CDC has sent a team to support the California Department of Health and the local health departments in investigating this case. We are working hard to find and identify how the patient was exposed as well as tracing back people who were exposed or might have been exposed to this patient. Like you, we are thinking about the wellbeing of this patient, this family, and this community. People who were exposed to this person during their infection are at some level of risk depending on their exposure. Based on what we know about how this virus behaves, we expect that we will find additional people who have had contact with this patient, especially those who have had close, prolonged contact. This of course includes family members and potentially among healthcare workers who cared for the patient.

There has been some confusion about whether this person met CDC’s criteria for testing of COVID-19…

…CDC’s definition of a person under investigation, or PUI, from the beginning has been broad, for travelers especially, because this was a disease that was being introduced from another part of the world. We have been looking for people with fever, cough, or trouble breathing. Fever and cough are pretty broad parameters, especially during flu season, and we’ve had to rule out many people who had other respiratory illnesses. At this point in our investigation, we are most focused on symptomatic people who are closely linked to confirmed cases or had travel history. But our criteria also allows for clinical discretion…

…We have been working simultaneously on a couple of possible solutions and I’m happy to say today that both have delivered.

Right now, labs can start testing with existing CDC test kits. States that were able to validate their kits should continue to test in this manner. States that were able to validate only the two components specific to novel coronavirus can test using only these two using revised instructions developed at CDC. We have established that the third component, which was the cause of the inconclusive results, can be excluded from testing without affecting accuracy. We have been working with FDA and they agree with our approach. While we’re working to amend the existing EUA, we have discretionary authority from FDA to proceed in this manner. This will increase testing capacity at state and local health departments. All positive test results will continue to be confirmed by CDC for some time.

Additionally, CDC has manufactured brand new test kits that will only include the two components that are specific to novel coronavirus. Those test kits are at the International Reagent Resource, where orders can be placed. We are working as quickly as we can to get CDC test kits to state and local public health authorities. However, during any infectious disease response there is a great need for test manufacturers to rapidly make testing available in clinics, in hospitals, and at the bedside. This is part of a huge effort within the US government led by HHS.

States will now start testing for this virus. You may start hearing from states directly. As always, their case counts will be the most up-to-date. CDC will continue to report case counts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Our priority continues to be getting accurate diagnostic capacity—and doing so quickly—because we know public health surveillance is critical to our fight against this novel coronavirus. To date, our strategies have been largely successful.  As a result, we have very few cases in the United States.  And while we may be confronting the first instance of community spread, we are working very hard with our state and local public health partners to find out more…

…[Benjamin] Haynes: We’re ready to open up for questions…

Helen Branswell: Now that test kits — state and local labs can test more broadly, how soon will you be able to get the surveillance project that you were talking about earlier with the six cities up and running?

Dr. Messonnier: Thank you for that question. It is increasingly important to be able to do not just surveillance focused on the PUIs, but broader community level surveillance. And we’re moving rapidly to go from those six sights to national surveillance. We expect the first site to do testing by next week and we hope to be able to rapidly move from six to all 50 states.  This is part of a layered approach with that first component that you’re talking about but multiple other systems that we’re modifying. We can modify them to be able to also test for this coronavirus.

Haynes: Next question, please.

Operator: Our next question comes from Rob Stein at NPR.

Rob Stein: Could you be a little more specific on the testing? How many states are testing now? How many states do you think will be testing let’s say next week, and sort of what is the timeline that you’re projecting for that?

Dr. Messonnier: I’m not going to give a specific number because throughout the day today we expect additional states to stand up and we expect that to be happening for the next week. Our goal is to have every state and local health department online doing their own testing by the end of next weekend and doing everything we can to continue that…

…Reporter Issam Ahmed at AFP: Hi, thank you for this. About what you were saying about the California patient, it seems to be at odds with what Representative Berra (?) said in Congress yesterday, he said the patient was brought in on the 19th of February, and it wasn’t until five days – and doctors immediately asked for a test, and it wasn’t until Sunday the 23rd that federal authorities agreed to do that test. I was wondering if you could speak to that? And another question is that given the US situation with its public health system with 27.5 million people uninsured, do you think that this could be a problem if it takes root in this community and spread and people will be reluctant to approach their health care providers because of the cost involved? Thank you.

Dr. Messonnier: According to CDC records, the first call we got about this patient was on Sunday, February 23rd.  The second question is we need to remember that right now the case count in the United States is really low and that is a reflection of the aggressive containment efforts of the US government. There is certainly the possibility of additional cases. We will continue to work aggressively to try to keep that number low. The spread we hope will be limited, and any disease in the U.S. will be mild, our focus on public health is on those issues.

Haynes: Next question, please?

Operator: Our next question comes from Craig at KNX CBS. Your line is now open.

Reporter: You talk about the case count being low, how do we reconcile that with the fact that here in California the most populous state, the governor yesterday said only a couple hundred testing kits. The case count will be low because it sounds like there is not enough tests that could reflect it.  It seems like the issue the math on that seems to be a low count.

Dr. Messonnier: Yes, thank you for the opportunity to talk about that. We need to remember that this situation is taken place rapidly. By far the majority of cases have been in California.  A few weeks ago we found an increase in cases around the world.  And again this week we have seen an increase in cases globally.  Because of the aggressive U.S. efforts at our border strategy the number of cases have been low.  And we have been able to focus our efforts on travelers and their close contact based on our evaluation of who is at highest risk. We will continue to modify our approach.  In terms of diagnostic testing, additional labs are coming on-line and additional test kits are on their way now…

February 28, 2020: MyLondon posted an article titled: “Heathrow Airport Holiday Inn used as coronavirus quarantine centre breaks silence”. It was written by Ellie McKinnell. From the article:

The Holiday Inn in Harlington, near Heathrow Airport, has been designated a quarantine site for patients who suspect they may have coronavirus.

On Thursday (February 27) an eyewitness told MyLondon that new wooden hoardings, like those around construction sites, were being installed and that security officers were being placed at the hotel on Bath road.

They also reported seeing ambulances at the hotel, which is closed to the public, and security officers were turning cars away at the entrance.

A spokesperson for the InterContinental Hotel Group had previously said the hotel had been block booked out but could not comment further, and The Department of Health and Social Care declined to comment.

However, this morning MyLondon spoke to a member of staff on the reception desk and he told us that “it’s a non-operational hotel and not open to the public…

February 28, 2020: Oregon Governor Kate Brown posted news titled: “Governor Kate Brown Convenes Coronavirus Response Team”. From the news:

Governor Kate Brown today convened a Coronavirus Response Team tasked with coordinating state and local agencies and health authorities in preparation for response to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The team will build on the work of the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) coronavirus incident management team to prepare Oregon to respond to any potential outbreaks of the disease.

“Let me be clear, as of today there are zero confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oregon, and the risk to Oregonians of contracting the coronavirus remains low,” said Governor Brown.

“However, in an escalating global health crisis, we must make sure we are as ready and informed as we can be. The purpose of the Coronavirus Response Team is to ensure we are taking every precaution necessary, in coordination with local health authorities, hospitals, community health partners, and school districts, to make sure that Oregon is fully prepared to respond to any outbreaks of the coronavirus and that Oregonians know how they can keep their families safe.”

The Coronavirus Response Team will meet regularly to coordinate coronavirus response and preparation, to update the Governor as the international situation develops, and make recommendations to the Governor to safeguard public health.

Since the first reported cases of COVID-19 overseas, state agencies have taken a number of actions to prepare in Oregon:

  • State agencies are reviewing readiness plans to ensure state government is able to maintain a continuity of operations and services in the event that coronavirus impacts agency operations.
  • State, county, and tribal health officials are monitoring people who may have come into contact with the disease or traveled to mainland China for symptoms like coughing or fever during the two weeks after they return, providing health education, and are prepared to link people appropriate health care if symptoms develop.
  • Starting this week, OHA is providing weekly updates about how many people are being monitored in Oregon, as well as sharing updates about how Oregon families can help prevent the spread of coronavirus on OHA’s COVID-19 website.
  • Oregon hospitals and health providers have scaled up their preparedness efforts, and OHA is conducting ongoing outreach to health facilities to support training and preparedness, as well as monitoring health care availability and needs…

…Public awareness is key to preventing the spread of coronavirus. Just as with flu season, containing coronavirus starts with everyone –– at home, in the workplace, and at school –– practicing good hygiene through regular handwashing, proper covering of coughs and sneezes, routine cleaning of workspaces, kitchens, and bathrooms, and staying home when sick or symptomatic…

…The Coronavirus Response Team includes agency directors or their representatives from:
• Department of Administrative Services
• Oregon Health Authority
• Department of Human Services
• Oregon State Police
• Oregon Department of Transportation
• Office of Emergency Management
• Oregon Military Department
• Oregon Department of Education
• Department of Corrections
• Oregon Youth Authority
• Secretary of State
• Oregon State Treasurer


February 29, 2020: Washington Governor Jay Inslee posted a statement titled: “Inslee statement on death in Washington state from COVID-19”. From the statement:

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today on the death of a Washington state individual from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to their family and friends. We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus.”

“In partnership with the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington State Department of Emergency Management and local and community health partners, we are strengthening our preparedness and response efforts. I am committed to keeping Washingtonians healthy, safe and informed.”

February 29, 2020: The CDC reported that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by this date was: 24

February 29, 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “CDC, Washington State Report First COVID-19 Death”. From the media statement:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials in the state of Washington have reported three hospitalized patients who have tested presumptive-positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, including one patient who died.

  • Two of the patients are from a long-term care facility (LTCF) where one is a health care worker. Additional residents and staff of the LTCF who have no yet been tested for COVID-19 are reportedly either ill with respiratory symptoms or hospitalized with pneumonia of unknown cause.
  • The patient who died, a male in his 50s, was being treated tat the same hospital. He was not a resident of the LTCF. CDC erroneously identified the patient as female in a briefing earlier today with the President and Vice President.

While there is an ongoing investigation, the source of these infections is currently unknown. Circumstances suggest person-to-person spread in the community, including in the LTCF…

…This is the first reported death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case in a health care worker and the first possible outbreak in a LTCF. These reports from Washington follow others of community spread in Oregon and two places in California earlier this week. While there is still much to learn about the unfolding situations in California, Oregon and Washington, preliminary information raises the level of concern about the immediate threat for COVID-19 for certain communities in the United States. Most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus, but some people will be at increased risk depending on their exposures. The greatest risk is to those who have been in close contact with people with COVID-19. People with suspected or confirmed exposure should reach out to their state or local public health department…

…These three cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases detected through the U.S. public health system to 22. The federal government will continue to respond aggressively to this rapidly evolving situation.

Testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 was conducted in Washington state using the CDC rRT-PCR. Results will be confirmed at CDC, but a presumptive positive result using the CDC test is treated as a positive for public health response purposes and a coordinated public health response has begun.

February 29, 2020: Journalist for Vox, Aaron Rupar tweeted: “Here’s Trump last night noting that ‘so far we have lost nobody to coronavirus in the United States” and adding “you wonder — the press is in hysteria mode. CNN, fake news.” (Since then, the first American has died from coronavirus.)”

The tweet included a short video from CSPAN of President Trump speaking at his rally in South Carolina the night before.

President Trump: …and goes up to a hundred-thousand people a year die. (makes a face showing his teeth and a sound of breathing in through his teeth). And so far… we have lost… nobody! (Crowd begins to cheer). To coronavirus (Crowd roars) in the United States.”

Trump pauses to let the crowd cheer and clap some more.

“Nobody.” Trump pauses again to allow the crowd to continue to loudly clap and cheer.

“And it doesn’t mean we won’t. And we are (he waves his hand back and forth) totally prepared. It doesn’t mean we won’t. (Crowd is silent.) But think of it.”

“You hear thirty-five and fourty thousand people… and…. we’ve lost nobody. And you wonder the is in hysteria mode. (Someone in the crowd giggles.) (Trump points directly at the camera.) “CNN, fake news, and the camera just went off!” (Trump puts his hand down and the crowd loudly cheers and boos at the same time.) Trump quietly says, “The camera just…”

Trump gives the crowd more time to loudly boo. He stands behind the podium smiling. Trump yells, “THE CAMERA JUST WENT OFF!” (Trump taps on the podium.) “TURN IT BACK ON! HEY, BY THE WAY!” (Trump holds up both his hands, palms toward the CSPAN camera, and waves them back and forth.) “Hold it! Look. Look at this… and honestly, “(One person cheers a “wooo” sound).

“All events are like this. Its about us. Its all about us. (Trump points at CNN’s camera again.) I wish they’d take the camera (Trump waves his pointing hand around in a circle) Show the arena please. Show the arena. (Crowd cheers again). They never show the arena. (Cheering gets louder) They never do. THEY NEVER DO. (Trump gives the crowd more time to cheer.) They never do.”

Feburary 29, 2020: President Trump tweeted: “I will be having a 1:30 P.M. Press Conference at the White House to discuss the latest CoronaVirus developments. Thank you!”

February 29, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Coronavirus”. From the news:

“When I spoke to Vice President Pence, I urged him to approve New York State’s Coronavirus test – we just recieved word that our test has been approved by the FDA. New York State will begin testing immediately at Wadsworth Lab.”

“This approval will expedite wait time and improve New York’s ability to more effectively manage the Coronavirus situation as it unfolds.”

February 29, 2020: Washington Governor Jay Inslee posted a news release titled: “Inslee issues COVID-19 emergency proclamation”. From the proclamation:

Gov. Jay Inslee today declared a state of emergency in response to new cases of COVID-19, directing state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.

“This will allow us to get the resources we need,” Inslee said. “This is a time to take common-sense, proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of those who live in Washington state. Our state agency directors have been actively preparing since the nation’s first case appeared in Snohomish County. Washingtonians can be assured we’ve taken this threat seriously and have been working in collaboration with our health care partners to develop plans and procedures to prepare for what could likely be a world-wide pandemic.”

He issued a proclamation that directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases. It also allows the use of the Washington National Guard, if necessary. In January, the Washington Military Department activated the State Emergency Operations Center at Level 1, the highest level, to help coordinate a statewide response.

Today, Public Health – Seattle & King County announced the death of an individual with COVID-19, the first in the United States.

The nation’s first case of COVID-19 was found in a Snohomish County man in January. He had traveled to Wuhan, China and has now recovered. On Feb. 28, the State Department of Health announced two additional cases – a King County woman who had recently traveled to South Korea, and a Snohomish County teenager with no travel history. Both are recovering at home and remain in home isolation.

The Department of Health also announced last week that the Public Health Lab in Shorline now has the capacity to test for cases of COVID-29, expediting results…

February 29, 2020: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a media statement titled: “CDC, Washington State Report First COVID-19 Death”. From the media statement:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials in the state of Washington have reported three hospitalized patients who have tested presumptive-positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, including one patient who died.

  • Two of the patients are from a long-term care facility (LTCF) where one is a health care worker. Additional residents and staff of the LTCF who have not yet been tested for COVID-19 are reportedly either ill with respiratory symptoms or hospitalized with pneumonia of unknown cause.
  • The patient who died, a male in his 50s, was being treated at the same hospital. He was not a resident of the LTCF, CDC erroneously identified the patient as female in a briefing earlier today with the President and Vice President.

While there is an ongoing investigation, the source of these infections is currently unknown. Circumstances suggest person-to-person spread in the community, including in the LTCF…

…This is the first reported death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case in a health care worker and the first possible outbreak in a LTCF. These reports from Washington follow others of community spread in Oregon and two places in California earlier this week. While there is still much to learn about the unfolding situations in California, Oregon and Washington, preliminary information raises the level of concern about the immediate threat for COVID-19 for certain communities in the United States. Most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus, but some people will be at increased risk depending on their exposures. The greatest risk is to those who have been in close contact with people with COVID-19. People with suspected or confirmed exposure should reach out to their state or local public health department…

…These three cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases detected through the U.S. public health system to 22. The federal government will continue to respond aggressively to this rapidly evolving situation

Testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 was conducted in Washington state using the CDC rRT-PCR. Results will be confirmed at CDC, but a presumptive positive result using the CDC test is treated as a positive for public health response purposes and a coordinated public health response has begun.

February 29, 2020: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi posted a press release titled: “Dear Colleague to All Members on Coronavirus Preparedness”. From the press release:

Dear Colleague,

Sadly and prayerfully, today, we learned of the first death from the coronavirus in the United States. The American people expect and deserve a well-coordinated, whole-of-government, fully-funded response to the coronavirus threat that addresses this public health crisis in a smart, scientific and strategic way.

An important step that Congress must take is to ensure the government has the resources needed to combat this deadly virus and keep Americans safe. To that end, House appropriators are working to advance a strong emergency funding supplemental package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis, which we hope to bring to the Floor next week.

Any emergency funding supplemental the Congress approves must be entirely new funding, not stolen from other accounts. This package must also ensure that the President cannot use these new funds for anything other than fighting coronavirus and infectious diseases.

The supplemental must also ensure that vaccines are affordable and available to all who need them, that SBA loans are made available for small businesses impacted by the outbreak and that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak…

…As this public health emergency develops, the House will continue to take strong, strategic action to keep Americans safe and ensure the functioning of Congressional operations. Updates will be ongoing.

February 29, 2020: World Health Organization (WHO) posted “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 40”. From the report:

Highlights:

Two new Member States (Mexico and San Marino) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

WHO has published the Rational use of personal protective equipment for COVID-19. This document summarizes WHO recommendations for the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care and community settings, including the handling of cargo. More information on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) activities can be found in the Subject in Focus.

SUBJECT IN FOCUS: UPDATE ON INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL

Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a major factor in preventative and mitigation measures for COVID-19. To ensure evidence-based quality guidance and prompt response to global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), WHO has convened the IPC expert global network of specialists from around the world since the beginning of the outbreak. Experts are members of the Global Infection Prevention and Control Network (GIPCN) or members of relevant institutions caring for COVID-19 patients. This network discusses technical aspects of IPC measures, and shares epidemiological updates and experiences across affected countries. In consultation with this global IPC expert network, WHO has released three key IPC interim guidance materials

Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, Data as of 29 February, 2020:

  • Hubei: 423 confirmed daily cases/ 45 daily deaths/ 66,337 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,727 cumulative deaths
  • Guangdong: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,349 confirmed cumulative cases/ 7 cumulative deaths
  • Henan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 1 daily death/ 1,272 confirmed cumulative cases/ 21 cumulative deaths
  • Zhejiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,205 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Hunan: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 1,018 confirmed cumulative cases/ 4 cumulative deaths
  • Anhui: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 990 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ daily deaths/ 935 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Shandong: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 756 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Jiangsu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 631 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Chongqing: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 576 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Sichuan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 538 confirmed cumulative cases/ 13 cumulative deaths
  • Heilongjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 480 confirmed cumulative cases/ 13 cumulative deaths
  • Beijing: 1 confirmed daily case/ 1 daily deaths/ 411 confirmed cumulative cases/ 8 cumulative deaths
  • Shanghai: 0 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 337 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Hebei: 0 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 318 confirmed cumulative cases/ 6 cumulative deaths
  • Fujian: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 296 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Guangxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 252 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Shaanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 245 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Yunnan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 174 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Hainan: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 168 confirmed cumulative cases/ 5 cumulative deaths
  • Guizhou: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 146 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Tianjin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 136 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Shanxi: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 133 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Liaoning: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 121 confirmed cumulative deaths/ 1 cumulative deaths
  • Hong Kong SAR: 1 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 94 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Jilin: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 93 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Gansu: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 91 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2 cumulative deaths
  • Xinjiang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 76 confirmed cumulative cases/ 3 cumulative deaths
  • Inner Mongolia: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 75 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Ningxia: 1 confirmed daily case/ 0 daily deaths/ 73 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Taipei and environs: 7 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 38 confirmed cumulative cases/ 1 cumulative death
  • Qinghai: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 18 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Macao SAR: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 10 confirmed cumulative cases/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • Xizang: 0 confirmed daily cases/ 0 daily deaths/ 1 confirmed cumulative case/ 0 cumulative deaths
  • TOTAL: 435 confirmed daily cases/ 47 daily deaths/ 79,394 confirmed cumulative cases/ 2,838 cumulative cases

Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 29 February 2020:

  • Republic of Korea: 3,150 confirmed cases (813 new)/ 17 deaths (4 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Japan: 230 confirmed cases (20 new)/ 5 deaths (1 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Singapore: 98 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Australia: 24 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Malaysia: 24 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Viet Nam: 16 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 16 days since last reported case
  • Philippines: 3 confirmed case (0 new)/ 1 death (0 new)/ 25 days since last reported case
  • Cambodia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 33 days since last reported case
  • New Zealand: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Italy: 888 confirmed cases (238 new)/ 21 deaths (4 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Germany: 57 confirmed cases (31 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • France: 57 confirmed cases (19 new)/ 2 deaths (0 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Spain: 32 confirmed cases (7 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • The United Kingdom: 20 confirmed cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Sweden: 12 confirmed cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Switzerland: 10 confirmed cases (4 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Norway: 6 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Croatia: 5 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Israel: 5 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Austria: 5 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported
  • Romania: 3 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Greece: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Denmark: 2 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Georgia: 2 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Netherlands: 2 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Finland: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 3 days since last reported case
  • Russian Federation: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 29 days since last reported case
  • San Marino: 1 confirmed case (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • North Macedonia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 3 days since last reported case
  • Estonia: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 2 days since last reported case
  • Lithuania: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Belarus: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Belgium: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 25 days since last reported case
  • Thailand: 42 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • India: 3 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 26 days since last reported case
  • Nepal: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 47 days since last reported case
  • Sri Lanka: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 33 days since last reported case
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): 388 confirmed cases (143 new)/ 34 deaths (8 new)/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Kuwait: 45 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Bahrain: 38 confirmed cases (5 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • United Arab Emirates: 19 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Iraq: 8 confirmed cases (1 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Oman: 6 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • Lebanon: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 3 days since last reported case
  • Pakistan: 2 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 3 days since last reported case
  • Afghanistan: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 5 days since last reported case
  • Egypt: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 15 days since last reported case
  • United States of America: 62 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Canada: 14 confirmed cases (3 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Mexico: 2 confirmed cases (2 new)/ 0 deaths/ 0 days since last reported case
  • Brazil: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 3 days since last reported case
  • Algeria: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 4 days since last reported case
  • Nigeria: 1 confirmed case (0 new)/ 0 deaths/ 1 day since last reported case
  • SUBTOTAL FOR ALL REGIONS: 5,304 confirmed cases (1,318 new)/ 80 deaths (17 new)
  • International Conveyance (Diamond Princess): Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters: 705 confirmed cases (0 new)/ 6 deaths (2 new)/ 3 days since last reported case
  • GRAND TOTAL: 6,009 confirmed cases (1,318 new)/ 86 deaths (19 new)

February 29, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a travel advisory titled: “Italy Travel Advisory”. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 29, 2020

Italy – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19

Level 4 – Do Not Travel to:

Lombardy and Veneto die to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures

There is a widespread ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person. Many cases of COVID-19 have been associated with travel to or from mainland China or close contact with a travel-related case, but widespread sustained community spread has been reported in Italy. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Italy. At this time, CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy. Travelers should review and follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus if they decide to travel to Italy. Italy has a longstanding risk presented by terrorist groups, who continue plotting possible attacks in Italy. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page. If you decide to travel to Italy:

  • Read the Centers for Disease Control’s and Prevention guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19 and information on health conditions in Italy.
  • Review the Embassy’s latest alerts and the embassy’s webpage on COVID=19 in Italy for additional information. Follow Italian health official guidance and avoid government-designated affected areas.
  • Have a plan to depart from Italy that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to recieve Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Italy.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

February 29, 2020: Prime Minister of Australia Honorable Scott Morrison MP posted a Media Release titled: “Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) In Australia”. From the Media Release:

Joint Media Release – The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Cabinet and Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister for Women.

The National Security Committee of Cabinet has agreed today to introduce new travel restrictions and update the travel advice for Iran as part of the Government’s coordinated measures to protect Australians from COVID-19.

From 1 March, 2020, the Australian Government will implement changes to travel arrangements for people travelling to, or returning from Iran, following expert medical advice today from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and the Australian Government’s Chief Medical Officer on the Outbreak of COVID-19.

These measures are part of our ongoing strategy of containment and minimising risk to the Australian community as detailed in our pandemic preparedness plan.

As of 1 March 2020:

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will raise the level of the travel advisory for Iran from level 3 to level 4 – do not travel;
  • Foreign nationals (excluding foreign permanent residents of Australia) who are in Iran on or after 1 March 2020, will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days, from the time they have left or transited through Iran;
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians, or dependants only). They will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the day they left Iran.

These actions are based on advice from the AHPPC that noted the following evidence suggesting the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran may be one of the largest outside of Hubei province in China;

  • Iran has the largest reported number of deaths outside of Hubei province;
  • There are already cases of COVID-19 from Iran to a number of countries including Australia and New Zealand, despite the absence of direct flights and relatively low travel volumes from Iran to these countries
  • It is almost certain tha the reported case numbers are underestimated

The travel restrictions for Iran will now be consistent with those in place for China.

The Australian Government favours measures that could materially slow the importation of COVID-19 cases into Australia to enable preparatory measures to continue and to enable a public health response to the initial cases.

We believe that travellers from Iran represent, at this time, a materially greater risk of COVID-19 importation than any other country outside China.

The current travel restrictions regarding mainland China continue to be successful in reducing the volume of travel from mainland China and will continue.

This is a specific temporising measure for an unusually high-risk country and further travel restrictions are unlikely to be effective at reducing importation.

Since 22 February 2020, 25 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Australia, including:

  • 15 cases with direct or indirect link to Wuhan, Hubei province, China, who are all reported to have now recovered from their infections.
  • 9 cases associated with the Diamond Princess repatration flight from Japan to the Northern Territory are in isolation in their home state in a stable condition
  • An additional case in Queensland with a recent travel history to Iran which was confirmed on 28 February 2020. The case is currently in isolation at a hospital in Queensland and contact tracing by Queensland Health is underway.

Across the world there are currently 85,153 cases and 2,922 deaths reported across 58 countries from the outbreak of COVID-19.

New countries with confirmed cases include New Zealand and Mexico.

While we are not immune as a country we are as prepared as we could possibly be.

The Australian Government contiunues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak as it evolves.

We will work in close cooperation with state Government authorities and our international partners to coordinate our response and keep Australians safe.

February 29, 2020: NBC News posted an article titled: “Washington state man becomes first U.S. death from coronavirus”. It was written by Nicole Acevedo. From the article:

Health officials in Washington state said on Saturday a coronavirus patient has died, marking the first death in the U.S. from COVID-19, the illness associated with the virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s responding to “the first possible outbreak” of the respiratory illness in a long-term care center in Washington. The death was not associated with that facility.

Health officials in Washington said 27 patients and 25 staff members at the center have symptoms associated with COVID-19.

The Life Care Center of Kirkland said in a statement that new patients and visitors were being turned away, and patients and staff “with symptoms or who were potentially exposed are quarantined.”

The person who died was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, and there was no evidence he contracted the virus through travel, health officials said. They suspect domestic “community spread” of the disease, a new phase for the United States that began this week on the West Coast…

…The patient who died was among new cases reported Friday in Washington state, as well as Oregon and California. Among the new confirmed or presumptive cases, three were contracted from an unknown source, bringing the total number of what could be community spread cases in the United States to four…

…The patients from these four cases have no known travel history or exposure to someone who had traveled or been infected. Not all four have been confirmed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing, but they tested positive locally.

The CDC adjusted its testing guidelines this week to include people with symptoms but with no identified source of exposure.

The first case of COVID-19 in the United States that may involve community spread was confirmed by a CDC test on Wednesday. That patient is at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, and is a woman from Solano County, officials said.

President Donald Trump said a the news conference Saturday that “there’s no reason to panic” and the American public does not need to change their daily routines…

February 29, 2020: NYC, The Official Website of the City of New York, posted a statement titled: “Statement from Mayor Bill de Blasio And Commissioner Barbot On Coronavirus Testing”. From the statement:

Statement from Mayor de Blasio:

“Today, the FDA approved our application to develop our own test for the Coronavirus. That is not the only good news: after asking the CDC for weeks, they have finally sent us new kits that will allow us to run the CDC’s test locally. This means we will soon, within the coming week, have the ability to get results back in a matter of hours, not days. Quick detection is vital to stopping the spread of the virus, and this development will help the experts to do their job to protect New Yorkers.”

Statement from Health Commissioner Barbot:

“We are pleased to learn our advocacy efforts on behalf of new Yorkers have paid off and that we will soon be able to test for COVID-19 here in New York City. Having tests available will significantly reduce the amount of time we have to wait to know whether someone has the virus that causes COVID-19. This is a big step and one that was possible through our strong partnership with the State Health Laboratory.”

February 29, 2020: New York State website posted news titled: “Video, Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Delivers Update on Coronavirus”. From the rushed transcript:

Governor Cuomo: Yeah President Trump put Vice President Pence in charge of a taskforce on the federal level. I spoke to the Vice President – obviously the State is working in coordination with the federal government. My concern was, in many ways the first step of this process, the step that we need to get right, we need to get results quickly, and you want to be able to handle the volume of tests that we may be faced with.

The current system was we had to send every test to Washington to the CDC and then wait a couple days to get the test back, and CDC was having an issue dealing with the volume that they were getting from all across the country.

Here in New York we have the capacity to run our own tests, and we have the sophistication in terms of research facilities to run our own tests, so we had been asking CDC, “Let us run our own tests in New York.” It will take a burden off the CDC and get us answers faster. I spoke to the Vice President abotu that the other day. He said he’d look into it. CDC informed us today our test is approved, we can do our own testing. That is a big step forward…

February 29, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted a periscope link. The image in the tweet shows him on a stage at CPAC 2020.

February 29, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted: “THANK YOU @CPAC! #CPAC2020”. The tweet included four photos of President Trump at CPAC2020. One is a close-up. The other three show the crowd of people seated around the stage.

February 29, 2020: The White House posted a proclamation titled: “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus”. From the proclamation:

On January 31, 2020, I issued Proclamation 9984 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures to Address This Risk). I found that the potential for widespread transmission of a novel (new) coronavirus (which has since been renamed “SARS-CoV2” and causes the disease COVID-19)… by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security. Because the outbreak of the virus was (and is) centered in the People’s Republic of China, I suspended and limited the entry of all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a component of the Department of Health and Human Services, has determined that the virus presents a serious public health threat and continues to take steps to prevent its spread. But CDC, along with State and local health departments, has limited resources, and the public health system could be overwhelmed if sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus occurred in the United States. Sustained human-to-human transmission has the potential to have cascading public health, economic, national security, and societal consequences.

CDC has determined that the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) is experiencing sustained person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2. As of February 28, 2020, Iran had 388 cases of COVID-19, a significant increase from prior days. In response to that increase, on February 28, 2020, CDC raised its infectious disease alert to level 3, its highest level, which recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Iran. According to the World Health Organization, as of February 28, 2020, 97 COVID-19 cases have been exported from Iran to 11 other countries…

…The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from Iran threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security. Given the importance of protecting persons within the United States from the threat of this harmful communicable disease, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, bu the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America… hereby find that the unrestricted entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would, except as provided for in section 2 of this proclamation, be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. I therefore hereby proclaim the following:

Here is who this proclamation does NOT affect:

  • Any lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • Any alien who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • Any alien who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Any alien who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Any alien who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  • Any alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus
  • Any alien traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;
  • Any alien seeking entry into the United States pursuant to one of (a bunch of different types of) visas;
  • Any alien whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;
  • Any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the CDC director or his designee;
  • Any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces

Here are some more key points from the proclamation:

Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to affect any individual’s eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws and regulations of the United States.

  • Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that any alien subject to this proclamation does not board an aircraft traveling to the United States.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security may establish standards and procedures to ensure the application of this proclamation at and between all United States ports of entry.
  • Any alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • This proclamation will remain in effect until terminated by the President. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall, as circumstances warrant and no more than 15 days after the date of this proclamation and thereafter on the first and fifteenth day of each calendar month, recommend that the President continue, modify, or terminate this proclamation and any other proclamation suspending or limiting the entry of foreign nationals into the United States as immigrants because of the threat posed by the virus.

February 29, 2020: Avril Lavigne tweeted: “IMPORTANT TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT”. The tweet included an image with the word ASIA, art from her tour, and the following information:

I am so sad to announce that we are unable to tour the Asian markets due to the continuous outbreak of coronavirus. My band, crew and I have been working so hard to bring this tour worldwide and are completely bummed out. Please everybody take care of yourselves and stay healthy. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and we are hoping to announce rescheduled shows soon.

February 29, 2020: U.S. Department of State posted a South Korea Travel Advisory. From the travel advisory:

Travel Advisory February 29, 2020

South Korea – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Level 4 – Do Not Travel to:

Daegu due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures.

A novel coronavirus is causing an outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The South Korean government has reported cases of the COVID-19 in the country and has upgraded its response level to “grave”, Its highest response level. On February 24, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Travel Warning Avoid Non-essential Travel for South Korea. Travelers should review and follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for theprevention of coronavirus if they decide to travel to South Korea. if suspected to have COVID-19 (coronavirus) in South Korea, you may face travel delays, quarantine, and extremely expensive medical costs.

If you travel to South Korea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals take the following steps:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Discuss travel to South Korea with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more severe disease.
  • Clean your hands often for at least 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

If you spent time in South Korea during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals:

  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel to South Korea, and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often for at least 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty…

February 29, 2020: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a news release titled: “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Issues New Policy to Help Expedite Availability of Diagnostics”. From the news release:

Today, as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing and aggressive commitment to address the coronavirus outbreak, the agency issued a new policy for certain laboratories seeking to develop diagnostic tests for coronavirus in order to achieve more rapid testing capacity in the U.S…

…The new policy is for certain laboratories that develop and begin to use validated COVID-19 diagnostics before the FDA has completed review of their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) requests. The FDA can issue an EUA to permit the use, based on scientific data, of certain medical products that may be effective in diagnosing, treating or preventing a disease or condition when there is a determination, by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), that there is a public health emergency or a significant potential for a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of U.S. citizens, and a declaration that circumstances exist justifying the medical products’ emergency use…

…The guidance issued today describes a policy enabling laboratories to immediately use tests they developed and validated in order to achieve more rapid testing capacity in the U.S…

…The immediately in effect guidance issued today describes the circumstances where the FDA does not intend to object to the use of these tests for clinical testing while the laboratories are pursuing an EUA with the FDA. Importantly, this policy only applies to laboratories that are certified to perform high-complexity testing consistent with requirements under Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments

…The FDA guidance provides recommendations for test developers, including information regarding test validation, FDA notification and interim confirmatory clinical testing.

Following the completion of their test validation, laboratories should communicate with the FDA, via email, in order to notify the agency that the test has been validated. Laboratories should submit a completed EUA request within 15 business days of notification…

February 29, 2020: BBC posted an article titled: “Coronavirus: Three more people test positive in England”. From the article:

Three more people from England have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of UK cases to 23.

Two of the patients had recently returned from Italy, while the other had come back from Asia, chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said.

The cases are from Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.

An infant school in Berkshire has issued a statement saying one of its members of its staff had tested positive for the virus…

…It comes as health officials try to discover how a man from Surry caught the virus, after he became the first person to be infected within the UK.

The man, who is being treated at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital in central London, had not been abroad recently – unlike the other cases in the UK.

Officials are trying to trace people who had contact with him. Haslemere Health Centre, which he had attended, has now repoened after “deep cleaning”.

A pub in Haslemere, called the Prince of Wales, also closed for a deep clean as “a precautionary measure”. A sign outside the pub said that “a customer who visited us has tested positive for coronavirus.”

February 29, 2020: Willow Bank Infant School tweeted: “We have issued a message to all of our parents as per the attached picture. We are following advice from Public Health England and Wokingham Borough Council at this time.” The tweet included a picture with the following :

Whole School – Important information regarding the Coronavirus Covid 19

Dear Parents,

We regret to inform you that we were told today that one of our members of staff has tested positive for the Coronavirus Covid 19.

We understand that this will worry many of you, and can reassure you that we have taken advice from Public Health England, who have released the attached statements. We have also attached some FAQs which will hopefully answer some of the questions you may have.

We apologise that it has taken some time to officially inform you, however we have first had to preform the necessary checks and procedures that follow such an incident, which has taken most of today. Please can we ask that you remain calm and follow the recommended hygeine procedures. The school will be shut for some days to allow for a deep clean and to ensure the risks of infection remain low. We will be in contact to ensure that you are kept updated.

I am sure you will join me to wish the affected member of staff all the very best for a speedy recovery…

THIS BLOG POST WILL BE UPDATED WHEN ADDITIONAL CREDIBLE INFORMATION IS FOUND.

A Timeline of COVID-19 – February 2020 is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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Posted in Out of Spoons, Public HealthTagged