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The World Health Organization’s director-general cautioned Saturday that transmission of the new coronavirus outside of China may increase and countries should prepare for that possibility.

“It’s slow now, but it may accelerate,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference in Geneva. “So while it’s still slow there is a window of opportunity that we should use to the maximum in order to have a better outcome, and further decrease the progress and stop it.”

Tedros’s warning came after health authorities in Singapore announced they had diagnosed the infection in a man with no travel history to China and no known link to other cases in Singapore.


Singaporean authorities suggested — but did not order — that large public events be canceled or deferred. If public events are held, temperature screening of attendees should be conducted and people who are unwell should be turned away, they said.

In Germany, health officials announced the 12th case in a cluster of transmission of the new virus — known provisionally as 2019-nCoV — that began when a Chinese woman who works for a German car parts supplier traveled to the company’s head office in Bavaria for meetings. The latest case is the wife of an employee of the company, who himself was confirmed as having the infection last week.


Also on Saturday, British health officials announced that five Britons who were at a ski resort in France were infected. The five — four adults and a child — had been in contact with a British man who had recently been in Singapore. That man was confirmed as a case on Thursday.

As of Saturday, there have been 34,598 confirmed cases in China and 288 cases reported by 24 countries outside of China, Tedros said. There have been roughly 730 deaths, most in China. It was reported Saturday that an American man who had been infected with the virus and treated in China had died.

The WHO has been insisting that containment of the virus — stopping the outbreak — was still the goal of the response. China has used unprecedented measures to try to stop the spread, including quarantining entire cities that are home to tens of millions of people.

The WHO has pointed to the fact that although cases of infection with this coronavirus have been detected outside of China, transmission of the virus in other countries has been limited.

During the press conference on Saturday, the head of WHO’s health emergencies program, Dr. Mike Ryan, said at this point it’s not clear why little transmission has occurred outside of China.

“The question remains as to whether we’re in a lag phase and the rate of infection [outside China] may pick up, or whether we’re seeing what is the natural history of the disease. It’s way too soon to tell,” Ryan said.

Infectious diseases expert Michael Osterholm warned that it is unwise to conclude that just because the world hasn’t yet seen outbreaks in other countries they won’t happen. It takes several generations of transmission — an imported case passed on to two others, who then infect two others and so on — before an outbreak takes off, he said.

“What we’re watching is the public health community trying to catch up to the speed of the virus,” said Osterholm, who is the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy.

  • Just heard a very interesting interview with a Diamond Princess passenger who tested positive. She experienced almost no symptoms, only a slight cough on January 31 when the ship was docked in Taiwan. She took a tour in Taiwan. She was younger, maybe mid-30’s.

    Her husband has so far tested negative. The evidence in this case points to asymptomatic or only lightly symptomatic patients being less infectious or not infectious at all.

    • This case might lend support to the “super-spreader” hypothesis. I think super-spreader is probably someone who is highly symptomatic and not taking care to minimize risk to others.

  • I work in restaurants and SMOKER’S COUGH is filled with pheumonia
    this COVID 19 will blow the roof on alcoholic food service smokers who
    take their co workers for granted and infect healthy people with their alcoholic smoking addictions

    • Exposure to second-hand smoke could be a problem. It will be interesting to see if the spouses of infected smokers are more susceptible than the spouses of infected non-smokers.

  • This could very well be a test to see how fast a virus would spread world wide.Also we do not yet know how long it will last or if it can combine with another virus later. It does seem strange that it started during the largest annual holiday when more people would be travelling worldwide. Another thing that we do not know is if it is population specific, if it turns out to be we may have a weapon in play

  • I read the ridiculous titles every day, when they inform us about the deaths of cor19 and I am amazed how they seem surprised that they surge.
    They don’t surge, actually increase slowly at a rate of 1% right?

    The death rate can be calculated with either deaths/(deaths+recovered) or
    deaths/(infections with average lag) – the lag should be around 11 days since it takes 5 days from symptoms to severe and another 5.5 from severe to death.
    This gives us a rate around 10%.

    Also, they increase at a rate of 20% of the severe cases with 5 days lag. They increase at an increasing rate every day, no I didn’t make a mistake, the rate of increase increases per day, but it decreases per infections as the infections increase faster.

    Now, since China changed the way they count infections on the 5th, the rate of infections drops, but the deaths/infections will jump in 5 days, but who cares… let the Market rally for 5 more days, people don’t think.

    Also, US OOPS made a mistake, they released someone because he tested negative, but… now is positive. How many did he infected at the meantime? 2.2 and how many did they another 2.2. (2.2^? per day??)
    Why were they so sure that the test they used was so strong that could identify positive even at the early stages? I am not a doctor, but shouldn’t they THINK – FALSE NEGATIVES and keep them in quarantine until… Well, until when? 14 days is the incubation, how sure are we about this? We KNOW NOTHING about this virus right????

    How many more did they release with FALSE NEGATIVES? US and UK? and everyone else, who from the FEAR of not causing PANIC and destroy the economy, they decided to destroy us?

    Now, they will start hunting the FALSE NEGATIVES to find who is POSITIVE… Now, they will have to trace chains of people from the beginning…
    Now the problem is the Super Spreaders…Now they have to ACT… before it is too late?

    What is the definition of a Super Spreader? Is a teacher a potential Super Spreader if he infects dozens? I see 140 students and 10-20 colleagues per day… Everyone does. I work closely with at least 10-20 students per day, different ones. Do I have the same rate with a person who works in an office and sees the same 5 people per day? Then probably all teachers are super spreaders… Let’s wait for one to pop up and then ACT! OOPs we didn’t think that teachers see tens of people per day… Are we serious?

    Are waiters super spreaders by definition??? What about one of them gets infected? How will you identify the chains of people that has served? I do not remember servers giving me my silverware wearing gloves…

    Is it the virus or our STUPIDITY and ARROGANCE responsible for the threat???

    I cough, I sneeze, I self-isolate… I do not assume I have the cold and everything is alright. I do not assume that this is just another virus, because this is not JUST another virus. It is SMARTER than us, and the SOONER we act the better.

    Now, they say that 60-80% of the Global population may be infected if they do not act, NOW???? We are in day 30!

    We have at least 5 more epicenters… We have opened the PANDORAs box, and we need to deal with it.

    And NO, we shouldn’t focus on who is responsible… We are all and we need to stay alert, careful, work together and pay attention, ALL of us, until we either get immunity, or that Retreiven works and can be produced at massive quantities in the next 1.5 month.
    Otherwise, pray that warm temperatures are not good for this and the death rate stays lower until April.

    For those who see Market Opportunities and worry for their money and stocks… good luck finding someone to sell them on April. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for the delays we see, and for the threat that we imposed ourselves at.

    For the rest of us, stay healthy and keep your immune system strong.

    And NO, I am not panic-ing. I just see the numbers and the prediction curves. Because those published are scaled linear and they do not show the complete picture, this is the growth rate of deaths and infections projected for the next 2 months.
    This is where the data take us in the next 60 days with the precautions taken until now.
    Can you see where they go? Yes this is exactly what you approximated to be.

  • Shamful that our public state officials and government are not publicly addressing this issue with the American Public. Rather one must watch the “news” or go online to try and find info. I totally agree that we are late to the party. My state is clueless.. so one must become a prepper in advance, and ignore the government.. and slow to respond rate. Frightening

  • WHO, the useless organization that should be dissolve. The POS director general of WHO keeps on praising China, yet people who post about what is the real situation on Wuhan keeps on disappearing.

    The family of Chen Quishi said he was forcibly quarantine for covering the actual happening on the ground in Wuhan. It is a dead sentence and a criminal act to quarantine some who is not sick with NCOV-2019 with ncov-2019 patient just to silence him. That quarantine places are lacking in medical care. As local people said, it is place where one are left to die. Imagine the concentration of virus is such a big closed space with beds after beds of infected people. Situation like that cause people to die in Spanish Flu.

    It was said the police call his family to tract Chen Qiushi. It was very disgusting how the inhumane officials in Wuhan had fallen so low.

    Currently, if you don’t have China ID card, you cannot buy sim card. This make local people trackable.

  • The incompetence of the WHO screams for drastic improvements. Of course the Chinese were aware of the spread of this China Corona Virus, but it took a Dr. Li (bless his departed soul) to force action. Of course the WHO should have assumed that the spread was bigger than disclosed. Yet the WHO was naive / corrupt / worried about economic effects – and the WHO failed to do its No. 1 task = global health. The death toll will run out of control eventually until there is a treatment or vaccine. The WHO must immediately implore on governments to fund R&D to all capable large drug / vaccine companies, in a competitive race with huge rewards for success in developing vaccines and treatments. If this does not happen, then the China Corona Virus that now seems to sort of feast on those of Asian decent will mutate, to spread to more victims in other cultures and countries. This is Darwin’s Evolution Theory at work : either the virus wins, or we humans do.

    • Actually, is some article. WHO was asking for $600 something Million for donations with %60M going to WHO.

      If I am the donors, I would donate directly to the body that needed the money and not go thru WHO or China Red Cross. There was an article that the medical doctors in Wuhan did not received the donated mask, PPE. There was a video showing a car with gov’t licensed plate loading mask from China Red Cross. It says one government official get fired. It seems Red Cross is not free of corruption either.

  • The Brit who went to Singapore, became infected there, then infected people in France, would never have been discovered had Singapore not contact-traced him. I really don’t see how this thing can be stopped.

  • Occasionally a clinical trial is stopped because the treatment is so clearly of benefit that it becomes unethical to deny the placebo patients the treatment. There’s a chance that could happen here if, for instance every placebo patient is dying and every remdesivir patient is not. Outside chance.

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