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Coronavirus Pandemic: COVID-19 Updates and Statistics

Author: Disabled World : Contact: www.disabled-world.com

Published: 2020-01-31 : (Rev. 2020-06-07)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Regular updates, statistics, warnings, and current information resources from the U.S. CDC regarding the new novel coronavirus, referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus named 2019-nCoV.

It is likely person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States. Vaccine or specific treatment for 2019-nCoV infections are still not available; care is supportive.

Main Digest

11/03/2020 : The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares coronavirus disease, COVID-19, a pandemic.

Information, updates, and statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations (UN), and other trusted authoritative sources regarding the new novel coronavirus, referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), reported as initially causing outbreak of respiratory illnesses in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and early 2020.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans - World Health Organization (WHO)

New modelling research, published in The Lancet, estimates that up to 75,800 individuals in the Chinese city of Wuhan may have been infected with 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as of January 25, 2020 - (www.thelancet.com).

COVID-19 and People with Disabilities

Official COVID-19 Coronavirus announcements and important information must be accessible to everyone. This includes making printed information, such as advice and warning notices, accessible online so that it can be read by a visually impaired person using assistive technology, or having a sign language interpreter on stage during televised information.

"Somebody with an intellectual, developmental or psychological disability may experience heightened anxiety and stress-related factors if they are isolated. People with other disabilities will surely have extra stresses due to managing disability-related life factors while under quarantine." Alex Ghenis at the World Institute on Disability in Berkley, California says, that during times of panic brought on by a public health emergency, people with disabilities could be viewed as "pariahs" due to incorrect perceptions that they inherently have compromised immune systems. If healthcare workers start to prioritize treating coronavirus patients who they determine would be "most likely to survive", a person with a mobility, sensory or cognitive impairment could be regarded as "lower on the triage list." - Alex Ghenis at the World Institute on Disability in Berkley, California. (Voice of America - voanews.com)

WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak. Limited information is available to characterize the spectrum of clinical illness associated with COVID-19. Vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 infections are still not available; care is supportive.

COVID-19 Official Informational Sources

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Clicking here
, or the above COVID-19 image (courtesy of the U.S. CDC), will take you to a CDC page featuring COVID-19 Coronavirus topics such as; Latest Updates, What You Need to Know, Resources for the Community, COVID-19 Cases in the U.S. and Information for Healthcare Professionals.

COVID-19 Timeline, Updates and Statistics

16th April 2020

Covid-19 has now infected more than 2.06 million people and killed at least 137,000 worldwide - Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has reported at least 638,000 cases, including over 30,000 deaths.

1st April 2020

Africa : 47 of the continent's 54 countries now have cases, with 5,255 in all - (Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Asia-Pacific : The epidemic is far from over in the region, Measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 are currently buying time for Asian countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions - (WHO).

England : The National Health Service (NHS) reports the death toll in England from the coronavirus outbreak has risen 29% to 1,651.

France : There are now 22,757 people hospitalized in France with COVID-19, with 5,565 of them in intensive care. Yesterday France reported its highest daily number of deaths from COVID-19, saying 499 more people had died in hospital to bring the toll to 3,523.

United States : Johns Hopkins University reports that in the US the number of deaths from the novel coronavirus has passed those reported by China, where the pandemic began in December. This brings the current toll to 3,415 deaths in the US from the virus, and 175,067 confirmed cases.

28th March 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 today. As new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. This figure comes only 2 days after the world passed half a million infections, according to John Hopkins University - (globalnews.ca/news/6745651/coronavirus-infections-world-fight/)

26th March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has now infected over 440,000 people and killed over 19,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 111,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.

Russia has reported its first deaths from the novel coronavirus infection, two elderly patients who also had underlying conditions.

Canada announced yesterday it is imposing mandatory self-isolation for those returning to the country under the Quarantine Act. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also says his government will offer $2,000 Canadian a month, for the next four months, for workers who lose their income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

22nd March 2020

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 188 countries and territories with 316,220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13,599 deaths worldwide, according www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

The virus pandemic advanced today after the U.S. and Europe reported soaring new cases, prompting a scramble in some regions to set up additional hospital beds and replenish much-needed medical supplies.

Italy announced its biggest day-to-day increase of infections, which rose by 6,600 with nearly 800 new fatalities from the virus that causes COVID-19. The country's total death toll of more than 4,825 has surpassed the number of deaths in China, where the first cases emerged late last year.

20th March 2020

Worldwide : The number of deaths from COVID-19 is now well over 10,000 globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a strong warning to younger people during the pandemic who believe their age may protect them from the disease. "Today, I have a message for young people: You are not invincible. This coronavirus could put you in hospital for weeks, or even kill you. Even if you don't get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday.

According to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ at March 20, 2020, 18:12 GMT, the number of worldwide COVID-19 Coronavirus Cases equals:

America : The US Food and Drug Administration announced a temporary policy change Friday to allow the expanded use of "FDA-cleared non-invasive, vital sign-measuring devices" so health care workers can monitor coronavirus patients remotely. The devices include those that can measure body temperature, respiratory and heart rate and blood pressure.

Italy : COVID-19 deaths surge 18.4 per cent in one day. The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has reached 7,021 the Italian Civil Protection Agency said Friday. There have been 627 coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours. So far, 4,032 people in Italy have died from the disease.

England : UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson instructed cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close on Friday "as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow," in order to stem the tide of the coronavirus.

18th March 2020

Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have now topped 200,000 worldwide, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. border with Canada closed to non-essential traffic in effort to slow coronavirus spread.

On Wednesday U.S. markets nose-dived with the Dow falling 1,300 points as U.S. White House plans to bail out embattled industries and cut checks to Americans failed to quell investor fears about devastating economic impact of the coronavirus.

A new study now reports the highly contagious novel coronavirus that has exploded into a global pandemic can remain viable and infectious in droplets in the air for hours and on surfaces up to days - (https://globalnews.ca/news/6694257/coronavirus-surfaces-air-study/).

Illustration, created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals the ultrastructural morphology displayed by Coronavirus 2019-nCoV (2019-nCoV) as seen under an electron microscope. Note the tacks that dot the external surface of the virus - and which give it the appearance of a crown surrounding the virion. This virus has been identified as the cause of a respiratory disease epidemic first recorded in Wuhan, China.
Illustration, created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals the ultrastructural morphology displayed by Coronavirus 2019-nCoV (2019-nCoV) as seen under an electron microscope. Note the tacks that dot the external surface of the virus - and which give it the appearance of a crown surrounding the virion. This virus has been identified as the cause of a respiratory disease epidemic first recorded in Wuhan, China.

15th March 2020

Today, different parts of America are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. Nationally the U.S. is currently in the initiation phases, but states where community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.

There are now at least 3,010 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US CDC. There are 70 cases from repatriated citizens. There are 2,940 cases in 49 states, Washington, DC, and territories, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 3,010.

Kaiser's Michaud acknowledged U.S. government health officials may have been "flying blind at first" but the inability to test and identify cases has put them behind. "We're trying to catch up. But we can't catch up at this point."

In total, 61 people in the US have died. When asked if hundreds of thousands of Americans could die from coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said "it could happen, and it could be worse."

14th March 2020

On March 13, 2020, US President declared the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration for all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia pursuant to section 501 (b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the "Stafford Act"). State, Territorial, Tribal, local government entities and certain private non-profit (PNP) organizations are eligible to apply for Public Assistance.

Britain - Millions of Britons will need to contract COVID-19 for 'herd immunity' - Sir Patrick Vallance tells Sky News about 60% of people will need to become infected in order for the UK to enjoy "herd immunity". Herd immunity is the resistance to a contagious disease within a population because enough people have become immune, and so it is harder for it to spread.

France - French authorities have warned that widely used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may worsen the coronavirus. The country's health minister, Olivier VĂ©ran, who is a qualified doctor and neurologist, tweeted on today: "The taking of anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, cortisone etc. could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor's advice."

Canada - In Canada, Patty Hajdu, the federal health minister, said COVID-19 could infect between 30% and 70% of Canada's population. That would mean somewhere between 11.3 million and 26.3 million people in Canada could get sick, with varying severity.

11th March 2020

The World Health Organization officially declares the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, a pandemic. WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday 11th March 2020. There are now more than 121,000 cases in 118 countries, according to statistics from researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Over 760 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed across the United States as the coronavirus continues to spread across the country. At least 27 people have died from the virus; 23 in Washington State, 2 in Florida and 2 in California. New York State, Oregon, Washington State and California have all declared states of emergency.

U.S. Federal officials have noted that the American public should prepare for "more cases in the community" as the country improves its ability to track and diagnose the disease. (Numbers from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, accurate as of March 10, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. EDT.)

The stock markets suffered stunning declines Monday as the threat of a coronavirus fueled oil war and ongoing panic about the spreading disease grew and triggered a rare forced halt to trading early in the session. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 2014 points.

9th March 2020

The global number of reported cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 100,000, and over 100 countries have now reported laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID19.

8 new countries/territories/areas (Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Maldives, Malta, Martinique, and Republic of Moldova) have reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

WHO is urging all countries to prepare for the potential arrival of COVID-19 by readying emergency response systems; increasing capacity to detect and care for patients; ensuring hospitals have the space, supplies and necessary personnel; and developing life-saving medical interventions.

The four transmission scenarios for COVID-19 as defined by WHO:

5th March 2020

There are now over 90,000 cases worldwide with more than 3,000 deaths.

Coronavirus is mutating: Chinese scientists find second strain - COVID-19 has mutated and evolved into a far more aggressive disease, there are at least two types of the virus now - dubbed L and S types - with two major lineages - it is possible to be infected with both - (https://academic.oup.com/nsr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nsr/nwaa036/5775463)

There are reports in China that it is possible to catch it twice, and that could be through different strains, or it could be the person was not properly cured in the first place. Researchers say the different strains were likely caused through a mutation of the ancestral version of the virus. And that could mean more are coming....

Face Masks Don't Work:

Wearing a face mask is certainly not an iron-clad guarantee that you won't get sick -- viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate masks. However, masks are effective at capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus, and some studies have estimated a roughly fivefold protection versus no barrier alone (although others have found lower levels of effectiveness).

4th March 2020

Deaths outside China now exceed those inside the China for the first time since the start of the outbreak.

WHO has shipped nearly half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries, but the global supply is rapidly depleting. Shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other front-line workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the CDC would lift all restrictions on testing for the coronavirus and would release new guidelines to fast-track testing for people who fear they have the virus, even if they were displaying mild symptoms. The guidelines "make it clear that any American can be tested, no restrictions, subject to doctor's orders," Pence told reporters at the White House.

3rd March 2020

Warnings from officials with the CDC, NIH, and other agencies urged the public on Today - (3/3/2020) - to prepare for the "inevitable" spread of the coronavirus within the United States, escalating warnings about a growing threat from the virus to Americans' everyday lives. "Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in the United States. It's not a question of if this will happen, but when this will happen, and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses," Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.

Health officials in Washington state America, said Sunday night a second person had died from the coronavirus. The deceased was a man in his 70's from a nursing facility near Seattle Washington where dozens of people were sick and had been tested for the virus. Researchers said earlier the virus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state which now has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Both people who died from the Coronavirus had underlying health conditions, and both were being treated at a hospital in Kirkland, Washington, east of Seattle.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) stated it will maintain preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games despite concern over the spread of coronavirus in Japan. "Preparations by the IPC and Tokyo 2020 (organizers) for this summer's Paralympic Games continue as planned," IPC Director of Media and Communications Craig Spence said in a statement. In addition, the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games currently will not be canceled despite COVID-19. The 2020 Olympics are set to take place between 25th July - 9th August, followed by the Paralympics between 25th August - 6th September. The Olympics have only been canceled three times in it's history - all during wartime.

The World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, which was scheduled to take place from 11-22 March, has been canceled. The decision was taken following discussions with the UAE national health authorities amid concerns related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Al Ain World Cup was not a qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and is set to take place again in March 2021.

2nd March 2020

WHO Director-General stated over 20 vaccines are in development globally, and several therapeutics are in clinical trials.

UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock released US$15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to WHO and UNICEF to help fund global efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus. The grant will also help countries with fragile health systems boost detection and response operations. In addition, the grant will help fund essential activities including monitoring the spread of the virus, investigating cases, and the operation of national laboratories.

29th February 2020

World Health Organization warns countries to prepare for the spread of COVID-19, suggesting that the disease could soon be declared a pandemic.

Coronavirus outbreaks inside two South Korean medical facilities reveal the vulnerability of people with disabilities to the disease that appears poised to become a global pandemic. On Tuesday, South Korean local media reported that 11 of 30 residents of a private, care center for the disabled in North Gyeongsang province have contracted COVID-19. An additional 10 employees, half of whom also have a disability, also tested positive for the pneumonia-like virus. The Korea Center for Disease Control (KCDC) said by midday on Wednesday that more than1000 people have been infected with COVID-19 - (https://www.voanews.com).

26th February 2020

List of countries and regions reporting COVID-19 cases as of 26th, February 2020:

  • Afghanistan
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam

23rd February 2020

China's National Health Commission today reported 648 new cases, up from 397 reported yesterday, for an overall outbreak total of 76,936. Health officials also reported 97 more deaths and 509 fewer serious cases, putting those totals at 2,442 and 10,968, respectively.

Two new countries (Lebanon and Israel) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours - (WHO)

Iran's health ministry today reported 15 more cases today, 3 of them fatal, raising its outbreak total to 43, including 8 deaths. Of the new cases, 7 are from Qom, a holy city that is the outbreak's epicenter.

Italian cases pass 100 - In the last 24 hours, the Italian Ministry of Health confirmed an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, including two deaths, clustered in two regions in Northern Italy as well as single cases in other regions in Northern Italy. Italian authorities have announced public health measures for containment, including suspension of mass gatherings, suspension of childcare and schools, and access to essential public services conditioned to the use of personal protective equipment.

South Korea's president said today that he was putting his country on its highest alert for infectious diseases and ordered officials to take "unprecedented, powerful" steps to fight a soaring viral outbreak that has infected more than 600 people in the country.

20th February 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak grows in China and abroad, new studies attempt to answer questions on how the virus is shed and the range of clinical outcomes, with two studies indicating that shedding, and therefore transmission, likely occurs via multiple routes.

WHO is working with an international network of statisticians and mathematical modelers to estimate key epidemiologic parameters of COVID19, 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 parameters are provided in this Situation Report as a summary of currently available evidence. These values should be considered preliminary and parameters will likely be updated as more information becomes available. Modelling can support decision-making but needs to be combined with rigorous data collection and a comprehensive analysis of the situation - (WHO - www.who.int).

17th February 2020

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) description of pandemic phases, coronavirus is only a step away from being a pandemic. If we start seeing sustained community-level outbreaks in multiple parts of the world, then it will be a pandemic.

Several clinical trials have been launched in China to test if existing antiviral drugs, such as Gilead's remdesivir and AbbVie's Kaletra, could help fight the epidemic.

The World Health Organisation said this week it may be 18 months before a vaccine against the coronavirus is publicly available - www.sciencealert.com/who-says-a-coronavirus-vaccine-is-18-months-away

China is reportedly using traditional medicine to treat patients with Covid-19 caused by the novel coronavirus, which emerged in the country in December last year - pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/covid-19-china-traditional-medicine/

According to China's National Health Commission (NHC), about 80% of those who died were over the age of 60 and 75% of them had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes - bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51368873

16th February 2020

U.S. CDC confirms 15th case of Coronavirus at Texas quarantine facility, this brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15.

A Coronavirus quarantine in america could be a giant legal mess - America's defense against epidemics is divided among more than 2,000 individual public-health departments, which makes implementing a national strategy very difficult.

14th February 2020

As of February 14, 2020, 7 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada.

The Government of British Columbia reported their fifth case of COVID-19. The province has sent the presumptive positive samples to the National Microbiology Lab for further testing. If confirmed by the laboratory, this would be Canada's eighth confirmed case.

12th February 2020

COVID-19 is now the official name for the COVID-19 disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now identified an official name for the coronavirus previously known as: 2019_nCoV or nCoV19 and nCoV2019. The official name now is: COVID19. The name was adopted by a group of virologists who examined the taxonomy of this virus and followed WHO's naming guidance.

COVID-19

CO = Corona
VI = Virus
D = Disease
19 = Year the outbreak was first identified

The incubation period for people infected with COVID-19 could reach up to 24 days, states an academic paper published by renowned Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan. Previously, the longest incubation period was believed to be 14 days. COVID-19 can stay alive on surfaces for 5 to 20 days. Chinese money is now being disinfected to prevent money circulation spreading the virus.

At least 500 Wuhan medical staff infected with COVID-19, multiple medical sources have confirmed, leaving hospitals short-staffed and causing deep concern among health care workers who say they have been told not to release the full picture to the public - (www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3050077/least-500-wuhan-medical-staff-infected-coronavirus)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) 'could infect 60% of global population if unchecked', according to Hong Kong's leading public health epidemiologist. To date China has reported 42,708 confirmed cases, including 1,017 deaths - (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/11/coronavirus-expert-warns-infection-could-reach-60-of-worlds-population)

9th February 2020

With 26 countries confirming coronavirus cases, and eight countries reporting suspected cases, the outbreak has already placed the world on a public health high-alert.

The novel coronavirus appears to be very infectious, health care workers are at especially high risk, and we urgently need more information about just how infectious the virus is. The virus might well be impossible to contain - just as the common cold and influenza can't be stopped... (CNN)

The next few days and weeks will determine:

Until this information is known, no-one will be able to assess just how bad this novel coronavirus is going to get - and which control measures have the best chance of slowing spread...

8th February 2020

A Chinese newborn has been diagnosed with the new coronavirus 36 hours after birth, the youngest confirmed case so far, official media reported. It is not confirmed if the disease was transmitted in the womb or after the birth. The baby was born on February 2 in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, from a mother who tested positive for the virus before giving birth.

Chinese Netizens and Expert Suspect Wuhan Bioresearch Lab is the Source of the Coronavirus (www.ntd.com/the-origin-of-the-coronavirus-report_431784.html). A Chinese scholar (Wu Xiaohua, with a Ph.D. in biological related fields according to his WeChat profile), recently challenged Wuhan's P4 lab to explain how the proteins of the novel coronavirus seem to have been precisely engineered to enable the virus to bind onto human cells. He also disclosed unethical and unprofessional practices he previously observed in China's bioresearch labs.

A P4 lab handles level 4 biosafety pathogens, the highest level and most dangerous, which have high fatality rates and no known treatments, such as, the ebola and SARS viruses. When it opened in 2017, U.S. scientists expressed concerns that, considering China's opaque administrative structure, if one of those killer viruses "escaped" from the lab, it could cause a doomsday disaster...

According to Wuhan-based Yangtze Daily, Shi Zhengli, Deputy Director of Wuhan's P4 Lab, publicized a statement on Feb. 2 saying: "I pledge with my life that the 2019 novel coronavirus has nothing to do with our lab. This virus is a punishment imposed on mankind from nature, to condemn mankind's uncivilized way of living. Those of you who believe rumors or so-called scientific analysis by unqualified researchers, I advise you to shut your damn mouths!"

7th February 2020

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China has risen to 636, according to the country's National Health Commission. The majority of new cases reported are in Hubei and its provincial capital Wuhan. Some 31,161 infections have now been reported across China.

Royal Caribbean Cruises said on Friday it would ban guests holding China, Hong Kong or Macau passports from boarding its ships.

As at 4.00 am, 8 February 2020, there are 15 cases of COVID-19 in Australia: 5 in Queensland, 4 in New South Wales, 4 in Victoria, and 2 in South Australia.

The US will offer up to $100 Million to China and other impacted countries to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

WHO warns against hoarding of protective gear as demand for masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear rises by up to 100 times, and prices have soared due to the coronavirus, producing a "severe" disruption in supply, WHO's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

6th February 2020

As of 10 a.m. Central European Time on 5 February, 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.

The World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency, saying if funds are not allocated now to tackle the outbreak, nations would pay for it later. WHO is also convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

To fight further spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China and globally, and protect states with weaker health systems, the international community has launched a US$675 million preparedness and response plan covering the months of February through to April 2020.

Although the virus has spread overseas, with confirmed infection in some 25 nations, there have so far been only two deaths outside mainland China - one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines. Hubei province, the worst hit by the virus, has switched off lifts in high-rise buildings to discourage residents from going outside.

5th February 2020

Columbia University epidemiologist Dr. Ian Lipkin, says the epidemic in China is "very close" to growing into an international pandemic - (CBSnews.com)

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to climb in China, rising to 490. Hubei Province has been hardest hit by the virus, and is home to the majority of deaths (479) and infections (16,678). More people have now died in this epidemic than in the SARS outbreak of 2002-3 in mainland China. During that outbreak, 349 people died in the mainland - (nytimes.com)

Over 5,300 people are quarantined on 2 cruise ships off Hong Kong and Japan amid concerns that passengers and crew were exposed to the Wuhan coronavirus by infected passengers. The Diamond Princess is anchored off the coast of Yokohama, near Tokyo, with 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers on board. The World Dream, is docked at Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal with 1,800 people on board. The second ship, the World Dream, is docked at Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal with 1,800 people on board, the city's Department of Health said Wednesday.

Emergency wards have been shut down and surgeries postponed as healthcare workers in Hong Kong strike for the 3rd day over government action on the coronavirus. Strikers and union members are demanding closed borders with mainland China, and have accused the Hong Kong government of inadequate action during the coronavirus outbreak - (CNN)

A fourth case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the Australian state of Queensland, bringing the country's total to 14 - (CNN)

3rd February 2020

The Wuhan coronavirus has spread throughout the world since the first cases were detected in central China in December. At least 360 people have died and more than 17,000 people have been infected, as the World Health Organization (WHOdeclared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry accuses the US government of responding inappropriately to the outbreak and feeding mass hysteria. "...some countries, the US in particular, have inappropriately overreacted, which certainly runs counter to WHO advice." - Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying. (CNN)

The US has issued a level 4 travel advisory warning residents not to travel to China, adding that most commercial air carriers have reduced or suspended flights to and from the country.

U.S. Travel Warning Levels Chart
Level and ColorAdvisory
Level 1 = Blue Exercise Normal Precautions
Level 2 = Yellow Exercise Increased Caution
Level 3 = Orange Reconsider Travel
Level 4 = Red Do Not Travel

China's National Health Commission has confirmed the virus can be transmitted from person to person through "droplet transmission", (where a virus is passed on due to an infected person sneezing or coughing), as well as by direct contact.

January 31st, 2020

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus named COVID-19.

The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the U.S. The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020.

CDC will update the following U.S. map daily. Information regarding the number of people under investigation will be updated regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and the U.S. More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It's also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States. CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.

Also on January 31st, 2020:

December 31st 2019

On December 31st 2019 several people in Wuhan, the capital and largest city in Hubei province, reported symptoms caused by a virus that is later tied to the Huanan Seafood Market, which sells primarily fish and shellfish, but also wild game like beavers, porcupines and snakes. It's still not clear in what animal COVID-19 originated.

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