China: Steep Rise in Novel Coronavirus Cases


31 January 2020


The increase in confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases has accelerated sharply in recent days.

In China, on 27 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 2741 confirmed cases and 80 deaths.  As of today (31 January 2020), the number of confirmed cases on mainland China has risen to 9,810 and the death toll has hit 213 according to China's National Health Commission.

Chinese experts estimate that the Novel Coronavirus outbreak could peak in ten days, but some researchers estimate that the outbreak will peak in late April or early May.  It has been proved that the virus is contagious during the incubation period and this suggests that asymptomatic people could be spreading the disease undetected.

Today, WHO declared the new coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

For the time being, based on the information currently available, WHO does not recommend any international travel or trade restrictions.

China has imposed travel restrictions in the Hubei province of which Wuhan is the capital.

In an attempt to contain the epidemic, the Chinese government has also extended the national New Year holiday to 3 February 2020.  Furthermore, in all the major cities of China, it is suggested that people work from home to reduce the risk of infection in public areas.

Major airlines such as British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Air Canada and American Airlines, have suspended their flights to and from mainland China and this may create delays in crew changes or medical evacuations.

To date, no confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases have occurred on board any sea going vessels but two suspected cases were excluded from cruise ships.  Fortunately, their test results proved negative.

Chinese seaports are intensifying checks at port entry points and this may also result in delays.  Nevertheless, Budd China’s staff and surveyors in all the main Chinese ports remain on hand to assist vessels.

Vessels calling in Chinese ports are advised that crew members should avoid physical contact with people ashore and immediately report any suspected case of Novel Coronavirus (i.e. any person with fever, coughing or breathing difficulties) to the port authorities.


Information provided by Budd China
Mobile: +86 150 0193 4853


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