2019-nCOV situation: 29 January 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

2019-nCOV situation: 29 January 2020

Welcome to this special issue of the newsletter where we highlight latest research and policy news and literature on 2019-nCVO situation

Please send your feedback, articles and reports, or questions you would like to share to Dr. Chadia Wannous via email  cwannous@yahoo.com  

Wishing you useful reading!
Chadia
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2019-nCOV Outbreak Situation

 
Situation updates:

WHO situation report- 28 Jan 2020

  • A World Health Organization (WHO)senior leadership team, led by Director-General DrTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today met President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing. They shared the latest information on the outbreak and reiterated their commitment to bring it under control.
  • The discussions focused on continued collaboration to improve containment measures in Wuhan, to strengthen public health measures in other cities and provinces, to conduct further studies and transmissibility of the virus, to continue to share data, and for China to share biological material with WHO. These measures will advance scientific understanding of the virus and contribute to the development such as vaccines and treatments.https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/28-01-2020-who-china-leaders-discuss-next-steps-in-battle-against-coronavirus-outbreak
  • WHO is launching a Global 2019-nCoV Clinical Data Platform to allow Member States to contribute anonymized clinical data in order to inform the public health clinical response
  • WHO is continually monitoring developments and the Director-General can reconvene the Emergency Committee on very short notice as needed. Committee members are regularly informed of developments.
  • WHO RISK ASSESSMENT
    •    Very High
    • Regional Level High
    • Global Level    High

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200128-sitrep-8-ncov-cleared.pdf

Nature Update: Coronavirus infections surge past 4,500
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in China has jumped by more than 60% in the past two days and at least 100 people have died, report health authorities in China. Confirmed cases outside China have reached at least 37, but no deaths have been reported outside the country. Germany, Japan and Vietnam have become the first countries outside China to report human-to-human transmission.

Researchers are struggling to accurately model the outbreak and predict how it might unfold, because the case-report data being released by the Chinese authorities are incomplete. “What we need to identify is when people got sick, and all we’ve seen so far is when the cases were reported,” says epidemiologist Raina MacIntyre.

One number that epidemiologists want to know is how many people one person with the virus tends to infect — known as R0, or R-naught. An R0 of higher than 1 means that countermeasures such as quarantine will be needed to contain the pathogen’s spread.

On Thursday evening, after a meeting of an emergency committee responding to the outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an estimated R0 of 1.4 to 2.5. Other teams have since come up with slightly higher values — but all the estimates come with large uncertainties.

Another important unanswered question surrounding the virus’s spread is whether — and how extensively — people without symptoms can infect others.

Plenty of disinformation about the virus is spreading, too. Inoculate yourself with this list of falsehoods and unverified information. Nature | 8 min read, continuously updated & Buzzfeed News | 4 min read

UAE confirms first case of 2019-nCoV virus, four of a family infected
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/abu-dhabi/Coronavirus-UAE-confirms-first-case-of-2019-nCoV-virus-in-visitor-from-Wuhan

Malaysia records 3 additional novel coronavirus cases
http://outbreaknewstoday.com/malaysia-records-3-additional-novel-coronavirus-cases-china-case-count-nears-6000/
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Consequences of the Outbreak on Economy
 
Bosch CEO warns coronavirus could hit global auto supply chains
https://reut.rs/2O7JUnU
 
World markets have stabilized after Monday’s plunge and look set for a second day of gains on Wednesday, after more sober assessments of the economic impact of the Chinese virus, robust U.S. consumer confidence readings and upbeat results from Apple.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-europe-view-wednesday/daily-briefing-an-apple-a-day
 
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Control Measures

WHO issued “Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected”
Interim guidance, 28 January 2020
https://www.who.int/publications-detail/clinical-management-of-severe-acute-respiratory-infection-when-novel-coronavirus-(ncov)-infection-is-suspected

Coronavirus Breakthrough As 2019-nCoV Is Grown in Lab Outside China for First Time: 'Game Changer'
https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-breakthrough-2019-ncov-grown-lab-china-first-game-changer-1484548
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Countries measures
 
China:

China allocates 4.4 bln yuan for coronavirus control
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/29/c_138740046.htm

Second batch of medical workers depart to Wuhan
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/29/c_138741512.htm

Wuhan's second makeshift hospital to accommodate more patients
The hospital in Wuhan, named Leishenshan Hospital, is expected to expand to 60,000 square meters and accommodate over 2,000 medical staff.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/29/c_138741365.htm

MIIT, Red Cross Society to ensure supplies for pneumonia prevention
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/29/c_138740043.htm
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Other Countries

EU Civil Protection Mechanism activated for the repatriation of EU citizens
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_142
 
US
https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-issues/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

US developing vaccine against 2019-nCoV: officials
https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/01/29/20/us-developing-vaccine-against-2019-ncov-officials

United States debates transparency of risky disease experiments
An expert panel met in the United States last week to debate whether there should be more transparency around federally funded ‘gain-of-function’ studies — when viruses in the lab are deliberately made more dangerous to help scientists hone their preparations for a real outbreak. Some say that working with potential pandemic pathogens necessitates more public disclosure than other research. Others argue that opening up the secretive review process to the wider community means “there’s a 100 percent chance nothing will get approved”. The discussion is the latest chapter in a long-standing debate about the value of potentially dangerous biological research in the United States.
Nature | 5 min read

Russia Ramps up Controls, Shuts China Border Crossings Over Virus Fears
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-01-28/russian-regions-in-far-east-close-border-with-china-amid-coronavirus-fears-tass
 
British Airways suspends all of its flights to Mainland China.
This happens after the advice of the UK Foreign Office to only make trips to China when strictly necessary.

Philippines now has capability to test samples for novel coronavirus
https://www.rappler.com/nation/250501-duque-says-philippines-now-has-capability-test-samples-novel-coronavirus
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Scientific publications and reports and news

Breaking down of the healthcare system: Mathematical modelling for controlling the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Wuhan, China
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.27.922443v1
 
Don’t Blame Bat Soup for the Wuhan Virus
As news of the Wuhan virus spread online, one video became emblematic of its claimed origin: It showed a young Chinese woman, supposedly in Wuhan, biting into a virtually whole bat as she held the creature up with chopsticks. Media outlets from the Daily Mail to RT promoted the video, as did a number of prominent extremist bloggers such as Paul Joseph Watson. Thousands of Twitter users blamed supposedly “dirty” Chinese eating habits—in particular the consumption of wildlife—for the outbreak, said to have begun at a so-called wet market that sold animals in Wuhan, China.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/27/dont-blame-bat-soup-for-the-wuhan-virus/
 
Can an anti-HIV combination or other existing drugs outwit the new coronavirus?
 When a frightening new virus emerges in humans, scientists spend many months, if not years, developing and testing a vaccine. Finding new treatments, too, takes a long time, but there is another option: Try existing drugs to see whether they have activity against the new virus.
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/can-anti-hiv-combination-or-other-existing-drugs-outwit-new-coronavirus

ECDC statement following reported confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in Germany
https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/ecdc-statement-following-reported-confirmed-case-2019-ncov-germany
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WHO Technical guidance
 
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance

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Training course:
WHO “Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV: methods for detection, prevention, response and control” now available
You can access the course through the following link:https://openwho.org/courses/introduction-to-ncov
By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental principles of emerging respiratory viruses and how to effectively respond to an outbreak.

There are two modules, as follows:

  • Module A: Introduction to Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV
  • Module B: Detecting Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV: Surveillance and Laboratory investigation

The course will take approximately 1 hour to finish.
Web: https://openwho.org
 
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Knowledge Sharing

Thank you for reading. If you have thoughts, feedback, story ideas, or questions you would like to share or interested in partnering with us on a special event coverage, please send a note to Chadia Wannous via email cwannous@yahoo.com  

 

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