At the end of December 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. This virus was identified as a novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 (previously referred to as 2019-nCoV), this organism belongs to a family of viruses, which includes the common cold, as well as SARS and MERS viruses.
By the end of January, it was reported that more than 7,000 people had been infected by the virus. WHO reports that China is the most heavily affected country. Outside of China, a smaller number of cases have also been reported in; Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, USA, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, UK and UAE. The severity of 2019-nCoV infection is under scrutiny via the CDC and WHO and it was declared a public health emergency on 30 January.