11 February 2020 – Ministry of Health releases guidelines for early detection and control of possible introduction of the new coronavirus

Type of Intervention: Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health
Level of Jurisdiction: National
Lead People/Agency: Ministry of Health and The Health National Institute (INS for its name in Spanish)

Overview: Guidelines for early detection, control, and attention to the possible introduction of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and the implementation of preparedness and response plans for this risk.

Target audience: Governors, mayors, departmental, district and municipal health secretaries, Departmental Public Health Directors, Departmental and District Public Health Surveillance Coordinators, Institutions that Provide Health Services, Employers, Contracting and Workers, Port and Airport Operators.

Intended Effect: Given the epidemiological situation due to the new coronavirus, declared a public health emergency of international importance by the WHO on January 30, 2020, instructions are given on the actions to be followed for active surveillance, preparation and containment measures for an eventual introduction of the virus into the national territory.

Full details here: https://www.ins.gov.co/Noticias/Coronavirus/Circular%20No.005%20de%202020.pdf

Type of Justification: Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee, Scientific Evidence (e.g. academic paper, report)
Source of Evidence or Justification: World Health Organisation, International – government
Evidence/Justification: The identification of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was confirmed by the Chinese authorities on January 7, 2020 and around 40,553 cases have been reported globally, distributed as follows: China (40,224), Japan (26), Thailand ( 32), Singapore (43). Republic of Korea (27), Malaysia (18), Vietnam (14), United Arab Emirates (7), India (3), the Philippines (3), Cambodia (1), Nepal (1), Sri Lanka (I), Germany (14), France (11), Italy (3), United Kingdom (4), Russia (2), Belgium (1), Finland (1), Spain (2), Sweden (1), United States (12 ), Canada (7) and Australia (15); Additionally, 910 deaths have been recorded in China and one (1) in the Philippines; however, no case has been reported in South America.

The new virus behaves similarly to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses, in which the transmission mechanisms have been identified as: 1) respiratory drops when coughing and sneezing , 2) indirect contact by inanimate surfaces and 3) aerosols by microdrops.
According to the WHO, there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the coronavirus (2019nCoV) is transmitted from person to person; being able to cross geographic borders through infected passengers; symptoms are usually nonspecific, with fever, chills, and muscle pain, but can lead to severe pneumonia and even death.