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Report to Congress on Coronavirus Global Response

The following is the Congressional Research Service March 5, 2020 report, COVID-19: Global Implications and Responses.

From the report

As of March 4, 2020, the novel coronavirus that began sickening patients in Wuhan, China, in early December 2019 had spread to over 75 countries, including the United States. Daily new cases and deaths related to the virus outside China now exceed those reported in China, where the epidemic appears to be coming under control. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the new virus “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease that it causes “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). WHO has declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and raised its global risk assessment to “Very High.” It has refrained from labeling the outbreak a “pandemic,” however. Doing so, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said, could “signal that we can no longer contain the virus, which is not true.” On March 5, Tedros told countries, “This is not the time to give up.” Rather, “This is a time for pulling out all the stops.”

The Virus

Coronaviruses are a large family of zoonotic viruses— viruses transmissible between animals and humans—that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most common symptoms among confirmed COVID-19 patients include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. As of March 5, 2020, WHO reported more than 95,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, including more than 3,200 deaths. Nearly 85% of cases and more than 90% of deaths have been in mainland China, overwhelmingly in Hubei Province, whose capital is Wuhan. About 80% of cases outside China are in three countries: South Korea, Italy, and Iran.


Download the document here.