COVID-19 situation: 9 March 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 9 March 2020

Welcome to this special issue of the newsletter where we highlight latest research and policy news and literature on COVID-19 situation

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

Wishing you useful reading!

COVID-19 Outbreak Situation 

Situation updates:
WHO situation report no 49 on 9 March

  • 3 new countries/territories/areas (Bangladesh, Albania and Paraguay) have reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
  • WHO continues to support Samoa and Tokelau with preparations for COVID-19.
  • WHO Operations Supply and Logistics (OSL) continues to support COVID-19 emergency operations where global demand for critical items continues to outpace global supply availability.Since the beginning of the outbreak, OSL have shipped more than 584,000 surgical masks, 47,000 N95 masks, 620,000 gloves, 72,000 gowns and 11,000 goggles to 57 countries.

Situation in Numbers
Total and new cases in last 24 hours

  • Globally 109 577 confirmed (3993 new) 3809 deaths (225 new)
  • China80 904 confirmed (45 new) 3123 deaths (23 new)
  • Outside of China 28 673 confirmed (3948 new) 686 deaths (202 new)
  • 104countries/territories/ areas (3 new)

WHO Risk Assessment
China   Very High
Regional Level Very High
Global Level    Very High
All information about COVID- 19 can be found here:

China’s National Health Commission 9 March: Daily briefing
On March 8, 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 40 new cases of confirmed infections, 60 new cases of suspected infections, and 22 deaths (21 in Hubei province and 1 in Guangdong province). 1,535 patients were released from hospital after being cured. 3,802 people who had had close contact with infected patients were freed from medical observation. Serious cases decreased by 153.

Latest developments in epidemic control on 9 March
— Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan extended greetings to women fighting the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the frontline on March 8, the International Women's Day.
— China has sent 415 psychological counselors to Hubei province to offer mental counseling services to patients and medical workers fighting in the center of the COVID-19 outbreak.
— Lactating women diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are advised not to breastfeed their infants, a Chinese obstetrician said on March 8 at a news conference.
— Wuhan has suspended the operation of 11 makeshift hospitals, which were converted from public facilities for the treatment of patients with mild symptoms in the city.
— A total of 28,000 female medical workers have been sent to the central Chinese province of Hubei, including its capital Wuhan, to help battle the COVID-19 epidemic.
Up to now, China has sent 346 medical teams with 42,600 medical staff to Hubei.
— Two production lines of meltblown non-woven fabric went into operation in Beijing on March 8, according to Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co Ltd.
— A total of 44 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 27 deaths were reported on March 7 on the Chinese mainland. The deaths were all reported in Hubei province.
— The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 80,695 by the end of March 7, including 20,533 patients who were still being treated, 57,065 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,097 people who had died of the disease.
— China's transport system is expected to see millions of migrant workers finish their return to their workplaces in early April after a prolonged Spring Festival break due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The latest official data showed that 78 million migrant workers have already returned to their jobs. In the provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang, 70 percent of migrant workers from other provinces had made it back to their workplaces.
— The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said March 7 that more will be done to ensure that the country's livestock and poultry businesses will meet their output and supply targets this year despite the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Imported illness a growing problem
Risks of infectious disease imported from overseas have been increasing, with the capital reporting 13 such cases since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak in December through March 7.
In a recent example, Beijing police are investigating people who arrived from Italy. Several infected patients had concealed their symptoms of fever and dry cough before boarding a flight to Beijing.

Coronavirus spread could last into next year, but impact could be blunted, CDC official says
Control Measures
Airlines suspend flights due to coronavirus outbreak

Why airport screening won’t stop the spread of coronavirus
PAHO to deploy extra COVID-19 support to weaker regional health systems
The U.N. has announced that it will not hold physical climate-related meetings in Bonn and other places in the lead up to COP26 over coronavirus fears.

How touching your face can spread viruses — and why you’re so bad at avoiding it

How To Master The 20-Second Hand-Wash

Measures being implemented to care for medics across China: official

Wuhan expects to close all makeshift hospitals around March 10

China sends 415 psychological counselors to epidemic center Hubei
Other Countries

Covid-19 cases prompt drastic measures in Italy
With more than 7,300 cases so far, the country announced a sweeping quarantine in its northern regions that would affect 16 million people, more than one-quarter of its population. Areas including Milan and Venice are on lockdown until April 3.  

Trump Seeks to Halve U.S. Funding for World Health Organization as Coronavirus Rages
Trump administration has proposed slashing the US government’s core contribution to the WHO from $123 million now to just $58 million next year.

CDC urges readiness as US COVID-19 count passes 600
Most Americans will be exposed to the novel coronavirus this year or next, a CDC official says.
More »
FTA advises on transit cleaning, little guidance on system shutdowns due to virus

President Trump floated the idea of a payroll tax cut and help for hourly wage earners affected by measures to control the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr. Trump announced on Monday that he would work with Congress on measures to bolster the economy, following the steepest market drop in more than a decade, fueled by fear over the coronavirus outbreak.
Read the latest
Italy needs drastic measures to fight COVID-19

Italy expands COVID-19 lockdown to whole country
Also, WHO officials carefully weigh their messaging, stopping short of calling the epidemic a pandemic.
More »

UK government to fund coronavirus rapid diagnostic test
Scientific publications and reports and news
Statement given today, 9 March, by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros AdhanomGhebreyesus during a video press conference on COVID-19 at WHO, as well as audio links to the VPC. The press conference transcript will be available by Monday. 

Link to DG remarks:
Listen and download:

On the origin and continuing evolution of SARS-CoV-2
The study, published in the Chinese Academy of Science’s National Science Review, compared 103 publicly available genomes of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They report that one of the strains spreads faster and replicates more rapidly inside the body than the other, leaving to more severe illness—and they believe China’s lockdown of Wuhan may have restricted the spread of the more infectious variety beyond that area.

Why does the coronavirus spread so easily between people?
Researchers have identified microscopic features that could make the pathogen more infectious than the SARS virus — and serve as drug targets.

First cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brazil, South America (2 genomes, 3rd March 2020)

Coronavirus mutations ‘no cause for alarm’

To develop a coronavirus vaccine, synthetic biologists try to outdo nature
While some scientists are racing to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus using established techniques, others are turning to synthetic biology to help answer the urgent call for a vaccine. That's because even the most cutting-edge vaccines have some pitfalls: They take years to develop and manufacture, the pathogen they aim to combat may evolve and render the vaccine obsolete, and the immune response these vaccines induce can still be weak. Synthetic biology is such an integral part of the push for a vaccine against the virus that causes Covid-19 that President Trump's visit to the NIH last week to look at their vaccine efforts included showing him a mock-up of what the technology can do: Designing protein nanoparticles with viral molecules attached in a repetitive array so that, when the whole thing is packed into a vaccine, it can make people resistant to the new coronavirus.
more here

With $115 million, more than 80 Boston researchers will collaborate to tackle COVID-19
How to self-quarantine during coronavirus outbreak

You might be buying a hand sanitizer that won’t work for coronavirus. 
There is a ‘tipping point’ before coronavirus kills. 
Lessons for dealing with coronavirus: A tale of two cities—and smallpox
The US Constitution makes public health a state and local responsibility. Two cities' very different handling of smallpox outbreaks can teach us a lot about local response to disease and how (or how not) to handle a potential epidemic. 
Read more.
COVID-19: the gendered impacts of the outbreak
The Lancet (commentary)
Coronavirus ‘highly sensitive’ to high temperatures, but don’t bank on summer killing it off, studies say
South China Morning Post
Quarantined at home now, U.S. scientist describes his visit to China’s hot zone
People ‘shed’ high levels of coronavirus, study finds, but most are likely not infectious after recovery begins
People who contract the novel coronavirus emit high amounts of virus very early on in their infection, according to a new study from Germany that helps to explain the rapid and efficient way in which the virus has spread around the world.
At the same time, the study suggests that while people with mild infections can still test positive by throat swabs for days and even weeks after their illness, those who are only mildly sick are likely not still infectious by about 10 days after they start to experience symptoms.

Journalism in the time of the coronavirus

PHOTOS: In A Coronavirus Crisis, Delivery Workers Can Be A Lifeline
Consequences of the Outbreak on Economy
European stocks plunged in early trading, with London down 8 percent, as the coronavirus shook confidence in the world’s growth prospects.
Global financial markets are beginning a perilous week, as the relentless spread of the coronavirus and a clash among the world’s biggest oil producers rattle investors.
Read the latest

U.S. telehealth companies brace for demand spike as coronavirus spread accelerates

Covid-19 is foisting changes on business that could be beneficial
CEOs should be aware of the potential opportunities
Coronavirus to drive European airline industry shakeout
Coronavirus update: COVID-19 likely to cost economy $1 trillion during 2020, says UN trade agency
Apart from the tragic human consequences of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, the economic uncertainty it has sparked will likely cost the global economy $1 trillion in 2020, the UN’s trade and development agency, UNCTAD, said on Monday.
Updated WHO Myth buster
Fake news epidemic: Coronavirus breeds hate and disinformation in India and beyond
Scammers, conspiracy theorists, and political propagandists are exploiting a deadly outbreak to maximum effect around the world. Check out one of the most popular articles in the Bulletin's coronavirus coverage.
Read more.
WHO Technical guidance
List of WHO guidance by topic  


New guide: Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19
Responding to community spread of COVID-19
This document provides technical guidance for government authorities, health workers, and other key stakeholders to guide response to community spread. It will be updated as new information or technical guidance become available. For countries that are already preparing or responding, this document can also serve as a checklist to identify any remaining gaps.
- Access the document
Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions
WHO has defined four transmission scenarios for COVID-19:
1. Countries with no cases (No cases);
2. Countries with 1 or more cases, imported or locally detected (Sporadic cases);
3. Countries experiencing cases clusters in time, geographic location and/or common exposure (Clusters of cases);
4. Countries experiencing larger outbreaks of local transmission (Community transmission).
This document describes the preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19 for each transmission scenario.
- Access the document
Lancet Coronavirus Resource Centre
This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All content listed on this page is free to access.
Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

CIDRAP COVID-19 Resource Center
CIDRAP has created a one-stop comprehensive compilation of the most current, authorititive information available on the novel coronavirus. Visit the Resource Centeroften, as the outbreak is constantly evolving

Training course:
Emerging respiratory viruses, including COVID-19: methods for detection, prevention, response and control
Simplified Chinese course
The English version of this course is available here:
La versión en español de este curso está disponible aquí :
La version française de ce cours est disponible sur :

COVID-19 Micro learning 
ECDC has produced series of micro learning activities (5-30 minutes) related to COVID-19.
The short e-learning courses provide guidance on the application of non-pharmaceutical countermeasures and include the following:
1. Introduction to COVID-19 NPC
2. Personal protective equipment against COVID-19
3. Environmental countermeasures against COVID-19
4. Social distancing countermeasures against COVID-19
5. Travel related countermeasures against COVID-19





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  


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