Novel Coronavirus Outbreak - January 2020

Update 12/03/2020

To stem the outbreak of coronavirus, our Shanghai and Hong Kong offices will be delaying their reopening after Chinese New Year 2020 until Monday 23 March, with staff working from home during this period.


On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. A novel coronavirus was identified as the causative virus on 7 January 2020.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.


Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend any restriction of travel or trade - although this may change as the situation progresses and at the time of writing Chinese authorities are set to suspend all outbound transport from Wuhan.  Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the International Health Regulations (2005).

WHO Recommends the following to prevent infection spread include:

  • regular hand washing,
  • covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing,
  • thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
  • avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Advice for Members

The Club is in close contact with the Thomas Miller offices in Asia and Network Partners and is monitoring the situation. This is a fast changing situation and Members are advised to check local current advice. Conditions may change on a daily basis during a contagious disease outbreak.

Additional Resources

World Health Organisation:

Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection:

Staff Author

TT Club