COVID-19 Update-Worldwide Health Alert

Updated on 17 February 2020



The Situation:

As of Monday, 17 February, over 71,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide and 1,775 deaths. Five deaths have been reported outside of mainland China with Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and France all reporting one each. Number of cases outside of mainland China has seen increases directly related to the number of repatriated nationals from Wuhan and surrounding areas.


The number of new cases reported in China over the past several days saw a downward trend, despite changes in the diagnostic criteria for counting new cases which began late last week.

  • Friday (14 February) – 5,090

  • Saturday (15 February) – 2,641

  • Sunday (16 February) – 2,009

  • Monday (17 February) – 2,048


The WHO stated that there’s no major shift in the pattern of the virus’ mortality or severity and that cases outside of mainland China have not seen large jumps.


The World Health Organization's Emergency Committee met 30 January and declared the outbreak a global emergency amid the recent jump in the number of infected patients and the number of countries impacted. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State announced its highest travel Alert Level 4 – Do Not Travel for all of China late the same night – joining the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. A team of international experts from the WHO arrived in Beijing Monday (2/10) evening to begin looking into the coronavirus outbreak.


Number of Confirmed Cases by Country:

**Reports on numbers are expected to change rapidly as the exact impact of the virus is still under investigation and hospitals are increasingly overwhelmed by the current demands.

  • Mainland China: 70,553 (varying number being reported as some include Hong Kong and Macau)

  • Australia: 15

  • Belgium: 1

  • Cambodia: 1

  • Canada: 8

  • Egypt: 1

  • Finland: 1

  • France: 12

  • Germany: 16

  • Hong Kong: 58

  • India: 3

  • Italy: 3

  • Japan: 65

  • Macau: 10

  • Malaysia: 22

  • Nepal: 1

  • Philippines: 3

  • Russia: 2

  • Singapore: 75

  • South Korea: 30

  • Spain: 2

  • Sri Lanka: 1

  • Sweden: 1

  • Taiwan: 20

  • Thailand: 35

  • Tibet: 1

  • U.A.E.: 9

  • U.S.: 15

  • U.K.: 9

  • Vietnam: 16

  • Diamond Princess Cruise Ship (moored in Japan): 454


Death Toll:

  • China: 1,770

  • Hong Kong: 1

  • France: 1

  • Philippines: 1

  • Japan: 1

  • Taiwan: 1


Travel Effects:

  • Chinese authorities have effectively quarantined Wuhan and 12 surrounding cities and advised its citizens not leave unless absolutely necessary

  • Many other Chinese cities have also chosen to cancel Chinese New Year festivities and major public events indefinitely.

  • Several countries, such as Japan, US and Australia, established plans to evacuate citizens from impacted areas.

  • Many countries have urged citizens to reconsider travel or avoid nonessential travel to China and avoid all travel to Hubei.

  • Airlines around the world suspended services to all or some of China

  • Several countries banned foreigners who recently traveled to China and/or are Chinese passport holders and increased health screening measure at ports of entry

  • Chinese nationals restricted from booking international flights out of the country

  • The Chinese government ordered 65 million people in Hubei Province to remain at home in an effort to contain Covid-19, allowing one family member out every three days for food and essentials and in cases of an emergencies. The use of private cars has been banned indefinitely.


Symptoms to Watch Out For:

  • Officials say the respiratory disease, is capable of spreading through human-to-human contact, droplets carried through sneezing and coughing, and germs left on inanimate objects. Chinese officials warn that the virus might spread during the incubation period – when a person has the virus but isn’t yet showing symptoms. Incubation period is currently believed to be anywhere from 1 to 14 days. Authorities have advised citizens to be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • High fever

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Cough and/or sore throat

  • Muscle Aches in some cases also being reported

  • Pneumonia (secondary infection)


Mitigating Measures to Apply:

  • Monitor local authorities for updates

  • Avoid travel to or through Wuhan

  • Avoid contact with animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat)

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t available

  • Older travelers and those with underlying health issues may be at higher risk, if traveling to Wuhan and should speak to their healthcare provider before travel

  • Avoid exposure to those presenting the above symptoms

  • Allow extra time for temperature screening at airports worldwide

  • Enroll in a Safe Traveler Program to receive warnings from your preferred embassy

  • Seek medical care immediately if you experience symptoms and have recently traveled to the infected areas; notify your healthcare provider of your recent travel




DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS™ gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS™ (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.

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