As of 21 January 2020, Chinese health officials have reported six confirmed deaths due to the outbreak in Wuhan, China, of a new strain of SARS-like coronavirus. In a separate statement, authorities noted that at least 16 health care workers have been hospitalized for exhibiting symptoms of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to convene an emergency meeting on 22 January to determine whether to classify the outbreak as a “public health emergency of international concern.”
For nearly a month, Chinese and WHO officials had reported that the primary method of transmission appeared to be animal-to-human. As of late, health authorities note that “limited human-to-human” transmission has also occurred. Health authorities in Asia and the U.S. have implemented additional screening procedures at airports to test individuals arriving from Wuhan and elsewhere ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year travel holidays — which represent the world’s largest annual human migration. Furthermore, Singapore authorities announced they would quarantine individuals who recently traveled to China and had pneumonia-like symptoms. Authorities at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (VABB/BOM), as well as those at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport (YSSY/SYD), announced heightened screening procedures for travelers from Wuhan. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently maintains a Level 1 – “Practice Usual Precautions” – health advisory regarding the outbreak; additional information can be found here.