By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

China cities shut down

In what is being called unprecedented, Chinese officials have essentially put the city of Wuhan, with the population of 11 million, on lock down.


According to officials (computer translated): On January 23, 2020, the city’s urban bus, subway, ferry, and long-distance passenger transportation will be suspended; for no special reason, citizens should not leave Wuhan, and the airport and train station from the Han corridor will be temporarily closed. Recovery time will be announced separately.

The public and passengers are kindly requested to understand and support!

In addition, the government is planning to shut down other cities Friday to include Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi and Zhijiang.

The New York Times reports: “It’s an unbelievable undertaking,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan, adding that he had never heard of so many people being cordoned off as a disease-prevention measure.

Still, “people are going to get out,” he said. “It’s going to be leaky.”

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In Beijing, a city with a population of 22 million, officials  (computer translated) canceled “major events” indefinitely, including traditional temple fairs that are a staple of holiday celebrations, in order to “execute epidemic prevention and control.”

Outbreak did not constitute a PHEIC

For a second day in a row, the Emergency Committee convened regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus 2019.

The Committee’s role is to give advice to the Director-General, who makes the final decision on the determination of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted:

I am not declaring the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern today. The Emergency Committee was divided over whether the outbreak represents a PHEIC. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency.

This should not be taken as a sign that WHO  does not think the situation is serious. WHO is following this new coronavirus outbreak every minute of every day, at country, regional and global level. I will not hesitate to reconvene the committee at a moment’s notice if needed.

Case count and estimates

According to Tedros, 584 cases have been confirmed , 575 of them reported in China where 17 people have died. The other 9 cases are distributed in Japan (1), South Korea (1), Singapore (1), United States (1), Vietnam (1) and Thailand (4). All patients had recently traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter city of the outbreak.

Concerning estimates of the outbreak, The Imperial College London  published a second report on estimating the potential total number of novel coronavirus cases in Wuhan City, China, which they say: We estimate that a total of 4,000 cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan City (uncertainty range: 1,000 – 9,700) had onset of symptoms by 18th January 2020.