WHO Releases Strategic Response Plan For Novel Coronavirus, Calls For ‘Evidence-Based’ Prevention Approaches; Researchers Model Potential Growth Of Outbreak

Devex: Tedros addresses criticism against China coronavirus response
“World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called on the international community to focus on taking actions to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak, instead of speculating on what China did or did not do in the early days of the outbreak. … Tedros said if something was hidden, the world would have witnessed more cases spilling outside its borders, given how connected China is to the rest of the world. But the number of cases outside China is ‘very small,’ he said. … But he said an after action review led by scientists can determine and reveal the truth. … In the meantime, he urged the international community to focus its actions toward investing in epidemic prevention and control…” (Ravelo, 2/6).

The Hill: WHO develops strategic response plan as Belgium reports first case of coronavirus
“The World Health Organization (WHO) released a global strategic preparedness and response plan Wednesday to the growing outbreak of the coronavirus. The fundamental framework of the plan will consist of six objectives: limiting human-to-human transmission; identifying and isolating patients in early stages; identify and reduce transmission from the animal source; address crucial unknowns; communicate critical risk information; and minimize social and economic impacts through multi sectoral partnerships…” (Kelley, 2/5).

Science: ‘This beast is moving very fast.’ Will the new coronavirus be contained — or go pandemic?
“…Two months after 2019-nCoV emerged — and with well over 20,000 cases and 427 deaths as of 4 February — mathematical modelers have been racing to predict where the virus will move next, how big a toll it might ultimately take, and whether isolating patients and limiting travel will slow it. But to make confident predictions, they need to know much more about how easily the virus spreads, how sick it makes people, and whether infected people with no symptoms can still infect others. … With the limited information so far, scientists are sketching out possible paths that the virus might take, weighing the likelihoods of each, and trying to determine the fallout…” (Kupferschmidt/Cohen, 2/5).

The Telegraph: Countries urged to avoid ‘blanket approach’ to contain surging coronavirus outbreak
“The World Health Organization has warned countries to take an ‘evidence-based approach’ when responding to the threat of the coronavirus after the U.K. urged its citizens to leave China. In a veiled criticism of the Foreign Office, which advised British residents to quit China if possible, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, said ‘blanket approaches’ were not helpful. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he pointed out that 80 percent of China’s cases of the coronavirus were in just one province — Hubei in central China…” (Gulland, 2/5).

Additional coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and response is available from Bloomberg, Bloomberg Quint, Devex, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Reuters, Scientific American, The Telegraph, VOA, and Vox.