Novel Coronavirus Infects Hospital Workers in France and Saudi Arabia

Since the beginning of May, a total of 21 cases and nine deaths have been reported form the outbreak linked to a healthcare facility in Saudi Arabia. From September 2012 to date, the WHO has been informed of a global total of 40 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including 20 deaths, from 6 countries–France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom.

The WHO has also issued a press release in which they state:

At this point, several urgent actions are needed. The most important ones are the need for countries, both inside and outside of the region, to increase their levels of awareness among all people but especially among staff working in their health systems and to increase their levels of surveillance about this new infection. In Saudi Arabia, we have seen the importance of better surveillance. When new cases are found, as is likely, it is critical for countries to report these cases and related information urgently to WHO as required by the International Health Regulations because this is the basis for effective international alertness, preparedness and response.

The press release goes on to suggest that “one of the reasons why more cases have been identified in [Saudi Arabia] may be because they have gone ahead to strengthen their surveillance system and lab capacities and network.”