2019 Novel Coronavirus Situation Report #1 - January 27, 2020



  • The number of new cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus could potentially double every six days based on latest forecasting.

  • Chinese government and health authorities are reporting significant shortages in personal protective equipment for health workers.

  • Project HOPE is mobilizing a shipment of personal protective equipment to Wuhan.

Situation Overview

The outbreak of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to rapidly escalate. On January 27, HKUMed and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control released modeling estimates that nearly 44,000 people in Wuhan alone are likely to be infected, of which some 25,000 are already ill. Other updates from the Centre’s modeling include:

  • The reproduction rate of the virus has increased to 2.13 times and the number of cases could potentially double every 6.2 days.

  • The outbreak in mainland China is projected to peak in Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in April or May and potentially subside around June or July.

  • There are approximately 150,000 new suspected cases daily and the number of confirmed cases could reach 100,000.

On January 26, the Mayor of Wuhan reported more than five million people have left the city and nine million remain.

Reported Needs

The Governor of Hubei province has stated there is an urgent shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as protective clothing and masks. Multiple reports from open media have stated that medical personnel in Wuhan are unable to take water, food or bathroom breaks during eight hour shifts due to the lack of PPE supplies as they are unable to replace protective suits once removed.

Medical centers in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu are all reporting a lack of N95 masks and other PPE on social media.

Project HOPE has also received multiple requests from provincial health authorities in China for assistance with connections to international manufacturers of PPE. Health authorities are reporting sufficient funds to procure PPE; however, there is limited stock on the local market.

Project HOPE Response

Project HOPE is mobilizing an a shipment of personal protective equipment to arrive in Wuhan in the coming days. The shipment will be received by the Hubei Provincial Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in coordination with the National Health Commission for immediate distribution to frontline health workers. Distribution will be focused on Renmin and Zhongnan hospitals with Project HOPE staff in Wuhan providing monitoring and verification of last mile delivery.

Project HOPE continues to closely monitor the outbreak, with a focus on providing support to frontline health workers in Wuhan, while managing and trying to meet requests from multiple other provinces. Project HOPE’s team in Wuhan is in close contact with partner hospitals in the Hubei Province and with other provincial and national health authorities across China to meet their growing needs in this response effort.

Read more on Project Hope.