In January, as it became clear that the virus was spreading rapidly across Asia, countries got ready by setting up quarantine centers, ordering more medical supplies in advance, and organizing cross-departmental government emergency response committees.
Taiwan formed an epidemic response command center and in late January; that same week, the island confirmed its first case. Other preemptive measures included preparing more than 1,000 beds in isolation wards, conducting drills at hospitals and facilities for infection control, and stocking up on medical supplies to counter rumors of shortages.
Some countries like the US and UK have begun adopting similar measures.
San Francisco declared a state of emergency -- allowing the city to get reimbursed by state and federal governments for money it spends on preparedness.
And New York has been preparing for weeks. In February, the city distributed about 1.5 million face masks, and asked for an additional minimum of 300,000 masks, and has prepared at least 1,200 hospital beds for potential coronavirus patients.