Geneva, 22 January 2020 : First meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee on the Novel Coronavirus in China was held on Wednesday 22 January 2020, at 12:10 at WHO Geneva HQ.
Emergency Committee meeting was convened by the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Novel Coronavirus 2019 Situation Summary
The full text of WHO Director-General’s statement on IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus is as follows.
“Good evening to everyone in the room, and to everyone online.
I’m really sorry that we’re so late. Thank you all for your patience.
As you know, this is an evolving and complex situation.
I’d like to thank Dr Houssin for his leadership of the Emergency Committee, and all the members of the committee, the advisors, and those who made presentations earlier today.
I was very impressed by the detail and depth of China’s presentation.
I also appreciate the cooperation of China’s Minister of Health, who I have spoken with directly during the last few days and weeks. His leadership and the intervention of President Xi and Premier Li have been invaluable, and all the measures they have taken to respond to the outbreak.
There was an excellent discussion during the committee today, but it was also clear that to proceed, we need more information.
For that reason, I have decided to ask the Emergency Committee to meet again tomorrow to continue their discussion, and the Chair, Dr Houssin, has agreed with that request.
The decision about whether or not to declare a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously, and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence.
Our team in China working with local experts and officials to investigate the outbreak.
We will have much more to say tomorrow.
Thank you very much, and we would be glad to answer any questions you have.
Before that, I would like to hand over to the chair of the Emergency Committee, Dr Houssin, to say a few words about the committee’s deliberations.