SEAR RAPID ALERT updated version June 2020
A novel coronavirus (now named SARS-CoV-2, with the resulting illness named COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. WHO declared a global health emergency on 30 January 2020, and the epidemic has now spread to all populated continents, with a global pandemic declared on 11 March 2020.
A particular feature of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rapid progression, variety and extent of public health measures around the world. Travel restrictions in particular are presenting major challenges in logistics and transport. Meanwhile there remains no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is transmissible via blood or haemopoietic progenitor cells from a donor who has no symptoms of COVID-19.