Global & Disaster Medicine

The Center for Health Security & COVID-19

February 17, 2020


EPI UPDATES China’s National Health Commission reports 2,048 new confirmed cases, 1,563 suspected cases, and 105 deaths (including 100 in Hubei province). There have been 70,548 confirmed cases, and 1,770 deaths across 31 provincial regions in mainland China. A total of 150, 539 individuals are now under medical observation.


WHO reports a total of 683 confirmed cases outside of China across 25 countries and 3 deaths.

France has reported its first death in an 80-year Chinese tourist, becoming the first fatality in Europe from COVID-19.

Japan reports that 454 individuals have tested positive on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, including 189 asymptomatic cases. Japan also reported an additional 38 cases in the country.

Singapore has also confirmed a total of 77 cases, with 103 cases pending test results. Among the new cases reported in the country today, one came from Wuhan and one was linked to a previous case.




US STATEMENT ON REPATRIATION OF DIAMOND PRINCESS PASSENGERS The US State Department undertook voluntary repatriation of over 300 US citizens and immediate family members from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. During the evacuation, US officials were notified that 14 passengers had tested positive for the virus. These individuals, who were asymptomatic, were isolated on the aircraft. The flight will land at Travis Air Force Base or Joint Base San Antonio and individuals will remain under quarantine for 14 days.



COMPLEX SUPPLY CHAINS Supply chain disruptions and access to critical commodities such as personal protective equipment continues to be a primary concern during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The challenge rests not only in the manufacturing of final product goods, but in the access to raw materials needed for manufacturing. For the United States, even if a commodity is manufactured domestically, it is likely that at least some component comes from a foreign supplier. So while economic projections may be estimating the impact epidemic in one way, understanding of supply chain complexities suggests that the indirect impacts may be far greater. Currently Chinese manufacturers of masks are operating at 76% capacity, producing approximately 15.2 million masks daily. However, projections of mask demand are estimated to be 50-60 million resulting in global runs on face masks and the implementation of rationing procedures by the Chinese government.



WHO RESPONSE TEAM ON THE GROUND IN CHINA The multidisciplinary international team of experts responding on behalf of the World Health Organization arrived in China and is beginning meetings with Chinese officials to discuss response strategies. The team is currently in Beijing and scheduled to visit Guangdong and Sichuan. The question remains on whether the team will visit Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic. Without visiting the epicenter of the outbreak it is unclear how well the team will be able to fully understand the current situation on the ground.



EMERGING CRITICISM OF RESPONSE IN CHINA Some news media have been critical of China’s home quarantine policy in Wuhan, citing the deaths of four family members while self-quarantining in their home.

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