On 31 December 2019, Wuhan Municipality in Hubei Province, China reported a cluster of pneumonia cases with unknown etiology. By the 9th of January 2020, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention identified a novel coronavirus COVID-19 as the causative agent of this outbreak. On 30 January 2020, with more than 9,700 confirmed cases in China and 106 confirmed cases in 19 other countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), accepting the advices of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee.
On 11 February, following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practices for naming of new human infectious diseases, WHO has named the disease, COVID-19, short for “coronavirus disease 2019.”
Global Situation Summary
Between 31 December 2019 and 14 February 2020, a total of 49,070 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, though majority of the cases continue to be reported from China (99%). In China, health care workers account for 1, 716 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including six deaths. Of the total 1,383 deaths reported to date, 1,381 are from China (1 in Hong Kong SAR) and the remaining two are from the Philippines (1) and Japan. Outside China, 25 countries reported a total of 523 confirmed cases of which at least 170 had a travel history to China and 218 are related to outbreak on a Cruise Ship. The latest country to confirm a COVID-19 case outside of China is Egypt.
On 12 February 2020, China announced that the case definition for confirmed cases in Hubei Province (only) would be changed to include clinically diagnosed cases as well. Between 12 and 13 February, Hubei Province reported 16,427 clinically diagnosed cases. WHO has formally requested additional information on the clinically diagnosed cases and will continue to report on both.