January 29, 2020 – Update: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

UPDATED – There is urgency in China as two hospitals to house patients either with or exposed to coronavirus continues at a very fast pace. The video from South China News reports on the work as it continues.

NetNewsLedger Verified Facts

Wuhan in Lockdown

Toronto – Medical Officer Says City has Learned from 2009 SARS and Apply Lessons to Coronavirus

Ontario Confirms Second Presumptive Case

Statement from Federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu

Coronavirus Update – January 26, 2020 – China Says 56 Dead

Coronavirus – Confirmed Case in Ontario

Ontario Creates Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Website

China Faces “Grave Situation” – President Xi

Chinese officials are reporting there are more cases of suspected coronavirus than there were of SARS.

Canada

A spokesperson for Air Canada reports, “In response to the Coronavirus situation, we are canceling select flights to China to better match capacity with expected demand. Air Canada currently operates 33 flights a week to China and the resulting capacity reduction is relatively small”.

“Those customers who are affected will be notified and provided with alternate travel options.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and will adjust accordingly. Air Canada’s flexible rebooking policy for China is posted on the home page of aircanada.com, under “Read”.”

On January 28, 2020, the Government of British Columbia reported the third case of 2019 nCoV in Canada. The case occurred in a person who had been in the city of Wuhan in the 14 days prior to becoming ill. Appropriate infection prevention and control measures were followed.

How Canada is monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus infection

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with Ontario and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is in close contact with provincial and territorial Chief Medical Officers of Health to ensure that any cases of 2019-nCoV occurring in Canada continue to be rapidly identified and managed in order to protect the health of Canadians.

Risk for Canadians

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China as low for Canada and for Canadian travelers.

Just in – Toronto

Statement from Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health on novel coronavirus:
Yesterday, we received lab confirmation of the second of two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Toronto. We also learned that there is a presumptive positive case in British Columbia. This news is not unexpected as we have a very mobile population, with a lot of travel back and forth between Canada and China. I am reminding residents that at this time, the risk to our community remains low.
Inaccurate information continues to spread, and this is creating unnecessary stigma against members of our community. I am deeply concerned and find it disappointing that this is happening. Discrimination is not acceptable. It is not helpful and spreading misinformation does not offer anyone protection. I understand that when there are uncertainties people may worry. I want to remind people to check credible, evidence-based sources to get the facts when seeking information. We are updating our website as new facts are confirmed to keep you informed.
My team has set up a hotline to provide the public with a place to get information, ask questions about this virus and connect with a health professional. I encourage people who have questions to contact us at 416-338-7600.
One of our main roles in public health is to manage public health risks and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We do this each and every day. We all have a role in building a healthier community for our residents. One of the simplest ways we can do this is to not contribute to the spread of misinformation and to share evidence-based facts.  Please go to trusted information sources to get the facts, as they are confirmed.
Our advice remains the same: if you are sick, stay home and get plenty of rest and fluids to let your body recover. Only seek medical attention if you are not getting better or your condition is not improving. If you have questions, please rely on credible sources for information, including Toronto Public Health.
The risk to our community remains low. I will let you know directly if this changes. For more information, please visit http://www.toronto.ca/coronavirus.

International Response

United States

There are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. There are also 73 pending cases where the cases are currently undergoing testing.

The Center for Disease Control advises against all none essential travel to China.

Australia

The Chinese women’s football team traveled to Australia for an Olympic qualifying match on February 9, 2020, is under quarantine in Australia over fears of coronavirus. The team is currently being held in isolation in Brisbane, and are required to spend their time inside an inner-city hotel until February 5, 2020.

Statement on Novel Coronavirus on behalf of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee

AHPPC is aware of:

  • very recent cases of novel coronavirus who are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, and
  • reports of one case of probable transmission from a pre-symptomatic case to other people, two days prior to the onset of symptoms.

These data are very limited and preliminary and AHPPC still believes that most infections are transmitted by people with symptomatic disease. However, AHPPC believes that we should take a highly precautionary approach and is making the following new recommendations:

  1. People who have been in contact with any confirmed novel coronavirus cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure;
  2. Returned travelers who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their homes for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province, other than for seeking individual medical care.

Given the lower number of cases in China reported outside of Hubei province, we do not currently recommend self-isolation for travelers from other parts of China or other countries. We are closely monitoring the development of cases outside of Hubei province and will update this advice if necessary.

AHPPC recognizes that the evidence for pre-symptomatic transmission is currently limited, and this policy is highly precautionary. At this time, the aim of this policy is containment of novel coronavirus and the prevention of person to person transmission within Australia.

Further details of the extent of pre-symptomatic transmission are being monitored and may result in changes to the policy.

Summary of evidence to support the revised advice

New international evidence suggests that asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic infection can occur and that pre-symptomatic transmission has occurred in at least one case cluster.

1. German case cluster: It has been reported that participants at a workshop in Munich had contact with a woman on 21 January. This woman, who had been in Wuhan, became symptomatic on 23 January and diagnosed following return to China. Four workshop attendees, with no travel history to China, have been confirmed with nCoV and several more are under investigation.

2. A 10-year-old child reported in a case series was noted as having no fever; although it is likely that this case may have had a cough sufficient to produce PCR positive sputum.

3. A Japanese person reported as a case was a bus driver who transported Chinese passengers from Wuhan. The Japanese person had no history of travel outside Japan. None of the passengers were known cases.

4. Several Chinese language media reports have detailed transmission from pre-symptomatic cases, but no confirmatory evidence has been published.

5. WHO Sitrep (#8) states that 3 of 58 cases diagnosed outside China were asymptomatic.

Great Britain

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock updated Parliament on Wuhan novel coronavirus:

The UK is one of the first countries in the world to have developed an accurate test for this coronavirus and PHE is undertaking continuous refinement of this test. PHE has this morning confirmed to me that it can scale up this test so we are in a position to deal with cases in this country if necessary

“The Chief Medical Officer continues to advise that the risk to the UK population is “low” and has concluded that while there is an increased likelihood that cases may arise in this country, we are well prepared and well equipped to deal with them.

“As of 2pm, there are currently no confirmed cases in the UK. We are working night and day with the World Health Organization and the international community and are monitoring the situation closely. Our approach has been guided by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

“As I set out in my statement on Thursday, coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

“However, this is a new disease and the global scientific community is still learning about it. I have therefore directed Public Health England to take a belt and braces approach, including tracing people who have been to Wuhan in the past 14 days.

“Coronaviruses do not usually spread if people don’t have symptoms – however we cannot be 100 per cent certain.

“From today, we are therefore asking anyone in the UK who has returned from Wuhan in the last 14 days to self-isolate. Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people – and to contact NHS 111. If you are in Northern Ireland, you should phone your GP.

“If you develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel from the area, and are now in the UK, call your GP or ring 111 informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel to the city.

“Do not leave home until you have been given advice by a clinician.

“Public Health England officials are continuing to trace people who have arrived in the UK from Wuhan. Having eliminated those who we know have since left the country, there are 1,460 people we are seeking to locate.

“The Foreign Office is rapidly advancing measures to bring UK nationals back from Hubei Province.

“I have asked my officials to ensure there are appropriate measures in place upon arrival to look after them and protect the public.

“If you are in Hubei Province and wish to leave, please get in contact with the Foreign Office.

“The UK is one of the first countries in the world to have developed an accurate test for this coronavirus and PHE is undertaking continuous refinement of this test. PHE has this morning confirmed to me that it can scale up this test so we are in a position to deal with cases in this country if necessary.”