On 31 December 2019, WHO was alerted to a cluster of pneumonia patients in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. One week later, on 7 January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a novel (new) coronavirus as the cause of the pneumonia (figure 1). The proposed interim name of the virus is 2019‐nCoV. Since the first cases were reported, WHO and its partners have been working with Chinese authorities and global experts to learn more about the virus, including how it is transmitted, the populations most at risk, the spectrum of clinical disease, and the most effective ways to detect, interrupt, and contain human‐to‐human transmission.
This strategic preparedness and response plan outlines the public health measures that the international community stands ready to provide to support all countries to prepare for and respond to 2019‐nCoV. The document takes what we have learned so far about the virus and translates that knowledge into strategic action that can guide the efforts of all national and international partners when developing context‐specific national and regional operational plans.