The below information is taken from the WHO’s press conference on the 17th of Feb 2020: 

Current trajectory of the situation: The statistic reported by the team seem to be showing an obvious decline in cases and an obvious rise in recovered patient. Reported cases over the weekend until today are showing a continued trend. Director General still warns that “anything can happen” but he admits it’s a positive sign. – This is highly unusual for the WHO as they usually choose neutral words.

Here is the most recent trend reported from the WHO in real time: 

Risk of pandemic: When asked by the Japanese press if it will become a pandemic, DG says: it is still the case that within China most cases can be traced back to Wuhan and outside of China cases can be traced back to Wuhan directly via “contact tracing” without many degrees of separation.

*Note: Contact tracing is the actual physical tracing of the disease as it spread from person to person rather than gleaning that network from statistical modelling. This means the WHO knows with a high degree of certainty exactly how the disease is spreading.

On gathering data: China is now recording and reporting clinical and lab confirmed cases together in one statistic, rather than just lab confirmed cases. This means that we are looking at worst case scenario numbers. This may mean that people without corona virus are being added to the statistics.

*Note: Remember clinical confirmed cases can be people who have all the symptoms of Covid19 but they could theoretically have an entirely different cause of pneumonia like symptoms whereas lab confirmed cases actually test for the antigens specific to Covid19.

On Travel: {Journalist asked if given the risk of the situation there should be a travel ban to Asia for cruise ships}.

Response:  There is never 0 risk traveling anywhere. Wherever people are together in one place there is an element of risk. The journalist is then reprimanded for suggesting that people should steer clear of the region. He explains that when we look at the worst statistics in the worst affected areas in Wuhan itself there is only a 4/1000 attack rate (people who come into contact with the virus). Outside of Wuhan but within China the risk is still very low for infection rates, a very small fraction of what it is in Wuhan. He then stresses again that achieving 0 risk for anything is always impossible and that by suggesting against travel to certain regions in the absence of substantial risk you can put an unnecessary stigma which is also dangerous. Director General adds: “We need to take actions measured to be proportional to the situation and not take blanket measures otherwise… there can be unnecessary stigma”. There is no evidence that there should be continued travel bans.