As coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, here are some of the latest headlines, resources and stories to help you arm yourself with the best information.
1. Trump declares national emergency
In the US, Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday. He told reporters that the ban on European travel to the US could be extended to include the UK. “Their numbers have gone up fairly precipitously over the last 24 hours," he said. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump is staying at home after being exposed to an Australian minister infected with the virus.
2. Apple closes stores outside China
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook has decided to temporarily close all stores outside Greater China until 27 March. He said the company must "do all we can" to minimize transmission of the virus. Closing its doors was a way to "reduce density and maximize social distance". It comes after Apple cancelled the in-person aspects of its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, now moving online.
3. WHO Official: Fast is better than perfect
At a briefing Friday, WHO officials explained that there were now more than 137,000 reported infections and that epicentre for the virus had moved to Europe. Still, they stressed, action can still be taken. As Dr. Michael J. Ryan, WHO Executive Director of Health Emergencies learned from his time tackling the Ebola virus, “The greatest error is not to move," said Ryan. “Be fast and have no regrets.” Read more here.
4. How South Korea uses data to battle coronavirus
South Korea is using data to help fight infections. Since the government has wide authority to access everything from GPS tracking data from phones and cars to credit card transactions, the authorities can then make some of this public so anyone who may have been exposed can get themselves - or their friends and family members - tested.
People found positive are placed in self-quarantine and monitored remotely through a smartphone app, or checked regularly in telephone calls, until a hospital bed becomes available and an ambulance can pick them up. Read more here.
5. How epidemiologists are helping the Federal Reserve
With markets in constant flux, the Fed is turning to new methods to assess how the likely spread of the virus could impact the economy. Those methods include monitoring everything from credit card transactions, to consumer sentiment to talking to city and county executives. The Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan even said he was talking to epidemiologists since he says the number of new cases will be a key indicator as he heads into the central bank’s policy meeting next week. Read more here.
What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic 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.
Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19.
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.
6. Coronavirus highlights deepening inequalities
Africa registered its first coronavirus death this week and the number of cases in the continent has “mushroomed” since according to the BBC. The growing number of infections there are a reminder of the many vulnerable populations who are less likely to get the proper care they need. Even wealthy countries such as the United States, poorer people are more likely to work in delivery, food-service or other “in-person” jobs, often without adequate health insurance. Read more here.
7. Beyond the headlines: A reason for hope
Economists explain in one recent article, that in every affected region, the spread of the virus is slowing and stabilizing. They say that for every million people in the global population, 10-100 seem likely to catch the virus in an observable form. While these deaths are still tragedies, they are far from the disaster movie scenarios that could be sparking panic. Read more here.
8. Want to help? Give to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
Launched by the UN, WHO and other partner organizations, this fund’s donations will go toward purchasing medical supplies (gloves, gowns and masks) and investing in medical research. Learn more here.