Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection
- The abrupt appearance of SARS-CoV-2 as a novel lethal zoonotic pathogen causing COVID-19 disease in humans in late December 2019 (WHO, 2020), and its explosive global spread (Hui et al., 2020) caught health authorities worldwide by surprise and exposed the ill-preparedness of global public health systems to deal with the appearance of a new pathogen. Apart from generic prevention and control issues of public health and lockdown measures to limit epidemic spread, specific issues of Mass Gathering sporting and religious events came under specific spotlight (Alzahrani et al., 2020; Memish et al., 2020; Baloch et al., 2020; McCloskey et al., 2020; Petersen et al., 2020b).
- The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has made national governments worldwide to mandate several generic infection control measures such as physical distancing, self-isolation, and closure of non-essential shops, restaurants schools, among others. Some models suggest physical distancing would have to persist for 3 months to mitigate the peak effects on health systems and could be required on an intermittent basis for 12 to 18 months (Flaxman et al., 2020).
- The city of Wuhan in China is the focus of global attention due to an outbreak of a febrile respiratory illness due to a coronavirus 2019-nCoV. In December 2019, there was an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, Hubei province in China, with an epidemiological link to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where there was also sale of live animals. Notification of the WHO on 31 Dec 2019 by the Chinese Health Authorities has prompted health authorities in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to step up border surveillance, and generated concern and fears that it could mark the emergence of a novel and serious threat to public health (WHO, 2020a; Parr, 2020).