Novel coronavirus (56) Healthcare information for the general public (12)

24 February, 2020

Dear Tusharkanti and all,

1. WHO and the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness convened 'participants from the global scientific community, public health and regulatory bodies, member states, research funders and bioethical organizations to attend the “Global research and innovation forum: towards a research roadmap for the 2019 novel Coronavirus” held on February 11-12 , 2020, at WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland'. The summary report is available here:

The report notes: 'The global imperative for the research community is to maintain a high-level discussion platform which enables consensus on strategic directions, nurtures scientific collaborations and, supports optimal and rapid research to address crucial gaps, without duplication of efforts.'

Dr Tedros WHO Director General, WHO Director-General, is quoted as saying: “We need our collective knowledge, insight and experience to answer the questions we don’t have answers to, and to identify the questions we may not even realize we need to ask.”

The wording 'maintain' suggests such a platform already exists, but I could not find a link to it in the report and I was unable to find such a discussion platform through a Google search. Is anyone on HIFA aware of a professional global discussion forum on coronavirus (or disease outbreaks in general) with whom we could collaborate?

2. You asked about incubation period. The WHO website states: The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.

However, there is the possibility that the maximum incubation period may occasionally be longer than this, as suggested by this report yesterday:

3. More information on the Basic Reproduction Number (an epidemiologic metric used to describe the contagiousness or transmissibility of infectious agents) is given here:


Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: