On 1 February Huanggang, Hubei implemented a measure whereby only one person from each household is permitted to go outside for provisions once every two days, except for medical reasons or to work at shops or pharmacies. Many cities, districts, and counties across mainland China implemented similar measures in the days following, including Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Harbin, and the whole of Jiangxi Province.
On 2 February, the WHO declared there was a "massive infodemic" accompanying the outbreak and response, citing an over-abundance of reported information, accurate and false, about the virus that "makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it." The WHO stated that the high demand for timely and trustworthy information has incentivized the creation of a direct WHO 24/7 myth-busting hotline where its communication and social media teams have been monitoring and responding to misinformation through its website and social media pages.
Kenin opened the 2020 seasons by playing the Premier-level events at Brisbane and Adelaide, falling in the second round of both tournaments to Osaka and compatriot Danielle Collins respectively. She also played doubles with Mattek-Sands in Adelaide, but the pair fell in the semifinals to the eventual champions Nicole Melichar and Xu Yifan. Seeded 14th at the Australian Open, Kenin recorded straight-set wins over qualifiers Martina Trevisan and compatriot Ann Li to reach the third round for the first time. She then overcame a double break deficit in the first set to defeat 2016 quarterfinalist Zhang Shuai and advance to the fourth round, where she defeated Coco Gauff to reach the quarterfinals. Kenin went on to defeat Ons Jabeur in straight sets, advancing to her first semifinal at a Grand Slam championship. She then defeated the top seed Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to reach the final, where she defeated Garbiñe Muguruza in three sets to claim the trophy. Eventually, she entered the Top ten worldwide by ranking 7th on Feb 3, 2020.
On February 4, 2020, at the conclusion of President Trump's State of the Union, Pelosi tore up her official copy of his speech. Her stated reason for doing so was "because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternatives. It was a such a dirty speech." She was criticized for this by President Trump and Republicans.
On 4 February 2020, two more cities in Zhejiang province restricted the movement of residents. The city of Taizhou, three Hangzhou districts, and some in Ningbo began to only allow one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, city officials said. More than 12 million people are affected by the new restrictions.
On February 5, Trump was acquitted of both charges in a vote nearly along party lines, with Republican Mitt Romney being the only senator – and the first senator in U.S. history – to cross party lines by voting to convict on one of the charges.
On 8 February 2020, it was announced that a Japanese and an American died due to the virus in Wuhan. They are the first foreigners killed by the virus. By that day the WHO announced the confirmed cases is now 34 886 cases and the number of deaths is 724.
On 12 February, the Hubei government adopted a broader definition of confirmed cases, which now includes clinically diagnosed patients diagnosed by their symptoms and CT scans but without a nucleic acid test, which can take days to process and delay treatment. "Using CT scans that reveal lung infection would help patients receive treatment as soon as possible and improve their chances of recovery," the provincial health commission said. This new methodology accounts for the sharp increase in Hubei's daily confirmed cases: 13,332 of the 14,840 newly confirmed cases in the province on 12 February were diagnosed clinically under the new definition.
The Lombardy outbreak came to light when a 38-year-old Italian tested positive in Codogno, a comune in the province of Lodi. According to his wife, he had met an Italian friend who had returned from China on 21 January, who subsequently tested negative. On 14 February, he felt unwell and went to a doctor in Castiglione d'Adda. He was prescribed treatments for influenza.
Egypt reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on the 15th of February. This is the second country in the WHO EMRO region to confirm a case and the first reported case from the African continent. WHO was informed by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population.
On 16 February, as the 38-year-old man's condition worsened, he went to Codogno Hospital, reporting respiratory problems. Initially, there was no suspicion of COVID-19, so no additional precautionary measures were taken, and the virus was able to infect other patients and health workers. Later, the patient, his pregnant wife, and a friend tested positive. Three more cases were confirmed on the same day after the patients reported symptoms of pneumonia. Thereafter, extensive screenings and checks were performed on everyone that had possibly been in contact or near the infected subjects.
On 25 February, the WHO declared that "the world should do more to prepare for a possible coronavirus pandemic," stating that while it was still too early to call it a pandemic, countries should nonetheless be "in a phase of preparedness." In response to a developing case of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran, the WHO has sent a Joint Mission Team there on the same day to assess the situation in the country.
On February 25, 2020, Netflix formed partnerships with six Japanese creators to produce an original Japanese anime project. This partnership include manga creator group CLAMP, mangaka Shin Kibayashi, mangaka Yasuo Ohtagaki, novelist and film director Otsuichi, novelist Tow Ubutaka, and manga creator Mari Yamazaki.
The Ministry of Health announced new guidelines for reporting cases on 27 February in response to the previous blanket testing that caused case numbers to surge and inflamed public panic. It would no longer report asymptomatic cases (swabs taken from patients which tested positive but were not showing symptoms) which counted as 40 to 50% of all reported cases at the time. These people would undergo isolation at home and would be followed up with new tests until they were negative.
On 28 February, WHO officials said that the coronavirus threat assessment at the global level will be raised from "high" to "very high," its highest level of alert and risk assessment. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergency program, warned in a statement that "This is a reality check for every government on the planet: Wake up. Get ready. This virus may be on its way and you need to be ready. You have a duty to your citizens, you have a duty to the world to be ready," urging that the right response measures could help the world avoid “the worst of it." Ryan further stated that the current data does not warrant public health officials to declare a global pandemic, saying that the declaration would mean "we’re essentially accepting that every human on the planet will be exposed to that virus."