WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned yesterday that China’s Wuhan coronavirus, or COVID-19, is the “public enemy number one”. And, “viruses can have more powerful consequences than any terrorist action.” The first vaccine is estimated to be 18 month from now. AT this point, Tedros said there have been 92 cases of human-to-human transmission in 12 countries outside China. But the WHO had not seen sustained local transmission yet, except in specific cases like the Diamond Princess liner.

Some experts estimated that each infected person would transmit the virus to about 2.5 other people. That would result in an attack rate of 60-80%. Prof Gabriel Leung, the chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, said in London that “60% of the world’s population is an awfully big number.” He added: “We need to get a clear view of the contagion and plug the holes in our understanding of the disease to inform public health decisions that affect hundreds of millions of lives.”

According to China’s National Health Commission, on February 18, Wuhan coronavirus cases added 1749 to 74185. Death tolls added 136 to 2004.

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