Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak Revised Emergency Appeal n° MDR00005 [EN/AR/RU/ZH]

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This Emergency Appeal seeks a revised total of 32 million Swiss francs to enable the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support its membership to deliver assistance and support to communities affected or at risk of being affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak, with a focus on risk communication and community engagement, service provision and National Society preparedness. IFRC will work closely with National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies in countries where transmission has taken place and on preparedness measures for all countries, with emphasis on those most at-risk. The planned response reflects the current situation and information available at this time and will be adjusted based on further developments and more detailed assessments.


31 December 2019: The Government of China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, Hubei Province.

9 January 2020: WHO announces that the outbreak in Wuhan is caused by a previously unknown type of coronavirus. The virus is temporarily called 2019-nCoV. 11 January 2020: The first death of 2019-nCoV Acute Respiratory Disease is declared by Chinese health authorities.

13 January 2020: The virus spreads cross borders for the first time as Thailand and Japan announce their first cases, in individuals who travelled from Wuhan.

19 January 2020: First reports of infection in healthcare workers caring for patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV.

20 January 2020: China's National Health Commission confirms that human-to-human transmission of the virus has been observed.

23 January 2020: Emergency Committee of the WHO is convened under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and determines that the event does not yet constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

30 January 2020: The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee reconvenes and declares the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

31 January 2020: CHF 1 million allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF); IFRC issues preliminary Emergency Appeal for CHF 3 million.

As of 10 February, 40,554 cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease have been reported globally, with more than 99 per cent of those identified in China (40,235). Up to 910 deaths have been reported (all except one in China), along with more than 6,000 severe cases. The outbreak has since spread to 24 countries outside China, including 12 countries in Asia Pacific, nine in Europe, two in the Americas, and one in the Middle East and North Africa: Singapore (43 cases),
Thailand (32 cases), Japan (26 cases), Republic of Korea (27 cases), Malaysia (18 cases), Australia (15 cases), Germany (14 cases), Viet Nam (14 cases) and United States of America (12 cases) have recorded the highest cases outside China.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the public health risk is very high in China, high in Asia Pacific and the rest of the world. The WHO declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January formally recognized the gravity of the global threat posed by 2019-nCoV; recognized China’s leadership and commitment to contain the outbreak; and called for greater global, regional and national efforts to prevent further spread of 2019-nCoV and to adequately respond to cases. The number of cases continues to grow, and the threat of further spread within the region and globally remains high.

The 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive “infodemic” that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and evidence based guidance when they need it. Understanding of this virus and the resulting outbreak is rapidly evolving. Information gaps have led to misconceptions, rumours and uncertainty that is currently partially filled by speculation in scientific and public communities, contradicting evidence based health information and, in extreme cases, stopping people from protecting themselves and undermining the correct health seeking behaviours