• A pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China on 31 December 2019.
The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020.
On 11 February 2020, WHO announced a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19.
WHO Director-General emphasized that the virus is capable of community transmission but can be contained with the right measures.
WHO-China joint mission shares findings and recommendations
25 February 2020
The team of 25 international and Chinese experts travelled to several different provinces, with a small group going to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
Among the team’s findings was that the epidemic peaked and plateaued between the 23rd of January and the 2nd of February, and has been declining steadily since then. The team also estimates that the measures taken in China have averted a significant number of cases.
In a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday 25 February, Dr Bruce Aylward, the mission’s lead, reported back on what China has done, its impact and implications. They have found that there has been no significant change in the genetic makeup of the virus.
As of 6am on 26th February Geneva time, China had reported 78,190 cases to WHO, including 2718 deaths.