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News: Coronavirus Update

18 February 2020

More than 300 Americans have been evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Yokohama, Japan to military bases in California and Texas, where they will begin a 14-day mandatory quarantine period. Sixty U.S. citizens remained in Japan and are being monitored by the U.S. State Department.

WHO urges caution in interpreting the reported slowdown in new cases of COVID-19 appearing in China, warning it is too early to tell if declines will continue and declining trends can change as the disease enters new populations. As at 10:00 CET on 18 February 2020 there are 73,332 confirmed cases globally. Of those, 72,528 confirmed cases are in China, while 804 confirmed cases are in 25 countries outside of China.

In the past 24 hours, there have been no new countries reporting cases of COVID-19. WHO have changed their reporting criteria for cases. They had previously only reported laboratory-confirmed cases but beginning 17 February 2020, they will report both laboratory-confirmed and clinically diagnosed cases.

The WHO advice to reduce the risk of transmission includes the following:

- Avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections;

- frequent hand-washing;

- avoid unprotected contact with animals, both farm and wild.

At this time, WHO does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers.

If members have any questions in relation to this publication they should not hesitate to contact the authors or their usual club contact.