Two new countries (Lebanon and Israel)reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
The role of environmental contamination in the transmission of COVID-19 is not yet clear. On 18 February, a new protocol entitled “Surface sampling of coronavirus disease (COVID-19): A practical “how-to” protocol for health care and public health professionals” was published. This protocol was designed to determine viable virus presence and persistence on fomites in various locations where a COVID-19 patient is receiving care or isolated, and to understand how fomites may play a role in the transmission of the virus.
The WHO Director-General briefed the emergency ministerial meeting on COVID-19 organized by the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Australia confirmed three more cases, bringing the total number to 22.
Hong Kong confirmed one more case, bringing the total number to 70.
Iran confirmed 10 more cases, bringing the total number to 28. A fifth death was also confirmed.
Italy confirmed 59 more cases spread across three different administrative regions, bringing the total number to 79, making Italy the European country with the biggest number of cases of coronavirus infections. The second death was also confirmed, an Italian woman from Lombardy.
Japan confirmed 26 more cases, bringing the total number to 135.
Singapore confirmed three more cases, bringing the total number to 89.
South Korea confirmed 229 more cases, bringing the total number to 433. Concerns are raised that 9 tourists from South Korea may have caused a widespread exposure in Israel.
The United Arab Emirates confirmed two more cases, bringing the total number to 13.
The urine sample of a patient tested positive.
A genome analysis indicated that the virus in Huanan Seafood Market originated from outside.
Source: Wikipedia and The World Health Organization