As coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, here are some of the latest headlines and resources to help you arm yourself with the best information.

COVID-19’s impact around the globe

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

A new strain of Coronavirus, COVID 19, is spreading around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy.

Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum has created the COVID Action Platform, a global platform to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.

"Act fast and do whatever it takes’ say leading economists
Leading economists from around the world are calling for radical action to fight the economic fallout and blunt both the health impact and economic impact of the virus. In an eBook from the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), they urged governments to act quickly and consider a range of out-of-the box measures, including:

  • ‘Helicopter money,’ where everyone gets a no-strings-attached handout.
  • Eurozone countries issuing debt together rather than individually.
  • State investment banks providing unlimited emergency lending to firms.

“This is the time to bring out the big artillery; this is not a time to be timid, but to do whatever it takes, fast,” they write. Read more here.

Containment measures flatten the infection curve, but steepen the recession curve.
Image: Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

UK lock-down

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday night, outlining increased measures and restrictions to tackle the spread of the virus. As of Tuesday, all non-essential shops will be shut and people are to stay at home. Residents will only be allowed out to go shopping for essentials; one form of exercise a day; any medical need or helping a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work if absolutely necessary.

Two children watch British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's press conference as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Hertford, Britain March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge - RC2WPF9UHAE4
Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday night.
Image: REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Libraries, playground and places of worships are also closed, with all social events - except funerals - cancelled.

Read more here.

The pandemic is accelerating: WHO Director-General
At a briefing on Monday, World Health Organization officials stressed the need for aggressive measures to fight the virus. Countries need to combine physical distancing and other defensive measures with offensive tactics such as strategic testing of suspected cases, aggressive isolating of each confirmed case, and the efficient development new therapeutic treatments.

The Director-General noted the virus' quick acceleration, pointing out that it took just 4 days for cases to rise from 200,000 to 300,000. "You can’t win a football game only by defending. You have to attack as well." Read more here.

Image: WHO

Protecting the world's most vulnerable - what's needed
As nations such as the United States and Italy struggle, experts worry that greater troubles loom for those with fewer resources, like the 900 million people who fall under the UN’s Least-Developed Country (LDC) status.

Preventable deaths can be avoided, however, if concerted efforts are taken to expand hospital capacity, to increase the manufacture of personal protection equipment, and ensure equitable access to vaccines when they are available. Read more here.

Fighting COVID-19 Myths: Nasal spray

COVID-19 saline.
The WHO continues to update its health advice.
Image: WHO