Talk:Viruses and mitochondrial medicine

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News: Coronavirus - COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV

  • 2020-03-20 WHO Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 59: "The number of confirmed cases worldwide has exceeded 200 000. It took over three months to reach the first 100 00 confirmed cases, and only 12 days to reach the next 100 000.


  • COST: European Cooperation in Science and Technology - Statements to the COVID-19
From: Christophe Peeters <Christophe.Peeters@cost.eu>
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2020 12:16
To: Christophe Peeters <Christophe.Peeters@cost.eu>
Subject: CORONAVIRUS - COST activities
Importance: High
Dear Grant Holders,
Due to the evolving situation and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we would like to update you concerning the actions put in place by the COST Association to deal with the outbreak of coronavirus and its consequences .
Considering the measures made by most of the EU Member States and other States as of yesterday and the scope of those measures for our activities, the COST Association recommends the following measures, which will be enforced, as a minimum until 03 April:
- The suspension of physical meetings occurring within the framework of COST activities
- The cancellation of Training schools and STSMs
To mitigate the disruption to your Action, the following measures are encouraged:
- Video conferences
- The continuation of networking tools, including dissemination tools, that do not require physical meetings
Please instruct all your participants invited to meetings to:
- cancel their transport tickets and accommodation ;
- get reimbursement where possible via cancellation insurances or other available means. Otherwise non-refundable expenses will be covered by the grants of the COST Actions by requesting a derogation approval.
- inform any participants currently attending events that they should follow the national and host institutions’ instructions.


In practice, those measures mean the following:
- Physical meetings’ suspension;
- Video conferences are encouraged;
- All networking tools, including dissemination tools, that do not require physical meeting should continue as much as possible;
- Upcoming Training schools and STSMs should be cancelled;
- STSMs and Training Schools currently taking place should follow the national and Host institutions’ instructions;
- Participation in Conferences and external meetings should follow the instructions of the organisers.
We understand the concern that this situation is creating amongst our community and we ask COST Actions Participants for patience in dealing with their claims arising out of those cancellations.
Yours sincerely
Christophe Peeters | Administrative Officer
COST Association | Avenue Louise 149, 1050 Brussels | Belgium

  • February 27, 2020 15:52 - Subject: Information about COST activities in the context of Coronavirus outbreak. Teresa Oliveros | Financial Controller | COST Association
  • Following the communication released on Tuesday 25 February 2020, COST follows the advice of public health authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national Ministries.
The COST Association is fully dependent and bound to the contractual agreement with the European Commission. As per rules in this agreement, cases of force majeure will be applicable only where participants are forced to cancel their travel due to circumstances out of their control (e.g. national decisions to quarantine specific areas, block borders…). In such cases, “force majeure” will be used to cover otherwise non refundable amounts.
Decisions to cancel travels due to fear of infection, may not be considered as force majeure.
Should the instructions from public health authorities evolve and the European Commission (our funder) make a general decision to cover globally the current situation under force majeure, then force majeure will apply to all cancellations. This is not the case as of now.
National authorities do provide instructions on how to handle suspicious cases. Those instructions must be followed in all cases.
With regards to the conduct of activities in the frame of the COST Action, common sense prevails to decide to continue with an activity, to modify its venue or to postpone it. For the moment, there is no provision to suspend activities or extend period nor to carry forward unspent funding due to potential cases of COVID-19.

2019-nCoV (WHO), SARS-CoV-2 (International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses)
  • As of February 27, 2020, more than 82 000 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2) and 2800 deaths have been reported, of which approximately 95% of cases and 97% of deaths are in China.1 Cases have now been reported in 49 other countries.
  • The reproductive number (R0) (the expected number of secondary cases produced by a single infected person in a susceptible population) for SARS-CoV-2, although still preliminary, is estimated between 2 and 3, suggesting a higher pandemic potential than SARS.
  • The data surrounding the biology, epidemiology, and clinical characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been growing daily, with more than 400 articles listed in PubMed.
  • Named 2019-nCoV by the WHO and SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, this virus is a new human-infecting Betacoronavirus that, based on its genetic proximity to 2 bat-derived SARS-like coronaviruses, likely originated in chrysanthemum bats.
  • Although a great deal of attention has been given to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, it is most severe in one area of China and appears to have limited clinical ramifications outside of that region. Lost in the discussion about COVID-19 is the fact that the US is experiencing a severe influenza season that has already resulted in more than 16 000 deaths.


  • Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) have long been considered inconsequential pathogens, causing the “common cold” in otherwise healthy people. However, in the 21st century, 2 highly pathogenic HCoVs — severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) — emerged from animal reservoirs to cause global epidemics with alarming morbidity and mortality. In December 2019, yet another pathogenic HCoV, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), was recognized in Wuhan, China, and has caused serious illness and death. The ultimate scope and effect of this outbreak is unclear at present as the situation is rapidly evolving.
  • The emergence of yet another outbreak of human disease caused by a pathogen from a viral family formerly thought to be relatively benign underscores the perpetual challenge of emerging infectious diseases and the importance of sustained preparedness.
  • China rapidly isolated the novel coronavirus on January 7 and shared viral genome data with the international community 3 days later.
  • The sheer scale of China’s cordon sanitaire across Hubei Province is unprecedented.
  • The health system should facilitate and encourage individuals to promptly seek testing and treatment, as well as to cooperate with containment measures such as isolation and contact investigations.
  • The 2019-nCoV outbreak is currently not under control, with a high risk of spread in China and globally. Managing the outbreak requires international cooperation using traditional public health strategies that ultimately succeeded with SARS. The scientific community must fully characterize 2019-nCoV; epidemiologists must conduct intensive contact investigations; researchers should move rapidly toward development of medical countermeasures; and supply chains must mobilize to meet human needs for food, water, and medicine.