The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020. Read more here.
With the information currently available on novel coronavirus, WHO advises that measures to limit the risk of exportation or importation of the disease should be implemented, without unnecessary restrictions on international traffic. WHO technical guidance on detection and management of ill travellers suspected of COVID-19 infection, including at ports, can be downloaded here.
The executive Heads of the World Health Organization (WHO) and IMO have issued a joint statement on the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, available in the six official languages of the United Nations system.
IMO has issued the following circular letters:
The following links also provide advice to seafarers and shipping (non-exhaustive list):
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people. One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus has been named COVID-19.
WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.
Because this is a coronavirus, which usually causes respiratory illness, WHO has advice to people on how to protect themselves and those around them from getting the disease.
WHO provides Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) travel advice here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice