Daily updates on the emerging novel coronavirus from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
The Center for Health Security will be analyzing and providing updates on the emerging novel coronavirus. If you would like to receive these daily updates, please sign up here and select “2019-nCoV.” Additional resources are now available on our website .

January 29, 2020 - Afternoon Update

Correction: This morning’s edition incorrectly reported that Australian researchers used a technique known as de novo synthesis to obtain samples of 2019-nCoV. The virologists instead used traditional culture methods to grow the virus. 

EPI UPDATES The Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering estimates 6,165 confirmed cases and 133 deaths as of 4:18pm EST. Official case counts will be released this evening. A situation report released by the WHO today reports 68 confirmed cases in 15 countries outside of China.

A tourist in Finland with a recent travel history to Wuhan has been diagnosed with nCoV. The patient, a 32 year old woman, traveled to Finland on January 23rd and became symptomatic on the 26th. She is being cared for in isolation, even though her case is described as mild.   

WHO TO RECONVENE EMERGENCY COMMITTEE  Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, announced today that he will reconvene the Emergency Committee (EC) tomorrow. The EC will make a recommendation to Dr. Tedros about whether to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The group previously met twice last week and although opinions were split, the committee ultimately decided not to recommend a PHEIC declaration, due in part to a lack of human to human transmission outside of mainland China.

GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN Per CNBC Beijing Bureau Chief Eunice Yoon’s Twitter feed , companies in Hubei province will not resume work until February 13th at the earliest. Workers in neighboring Anhui province will not return to work until February 9th. 

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS The WHO has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, which is described as a “Market Network that seeks to provide a platform for data sharing, market visibility, and operational coordination and connecting.” WEF reports that the network will "provide input into WHO's development of the disease commodity packages" and "operationalise a mechanism/multistakeholder platform to support coordination and visibility into availability, and strategic allocation of strategic commodities, services, and other critical resources essential to managing large outbreaks of international concern."

NCOV DONATION Alibaba founder Jack Ma will donate $14.4 million to support vaccine research and the ongoing public health response to 2019-nCoV. Other philanthropies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have also recently announced funding to support preparedness and response activities in China, Africa and the United States.

REPORT ON NCOV CLINICAL, EPIDEMIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS Chinese researchers published a Lancet article today that describes a 99 patient cohort diagnosed with nCoV-associated pneumonia. The authors concluded that “the infection of 2019-nCoV was of clustering onset, is more likely to infect older men with comorbidities, and can result in severe and even fatal respiratory diseases such as [ARDS].”

HUBEI PRESS CONFERENCE Details about the latest response activities in Hubei Province were shared ( alternate link , post 196) in a press conference held yesterday. Highlights include: (1) movement restrictions are still in effect; (2) shortages of masks and goggles (note: this may also refer to face shields) continues; (3) in response to concerns about the persistently low number of recovered patients reported, the discharge criteria was summarized as (machine translated): “the body temperature returned to normal for more than 3 days, the respiratory symptoms improved significantly, pulmonary imaging showed significant absorption of inflammation, two consecutive negative respiratory pathogen nucleic acid tests were negative (sampling interval of at least 1 day).”