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
- Globally, confirmed cases reach 531,860.
- Total number of those who have recovered is 122,203.
- US unemployment cases jump by a record-breaking 3 million in just one week.
- US now has the most coronavirus cases in world, currently 85,991.
- Australia to quarantine returning citizens in hotels.
- Beijing orders airlines to reduce international flights as imported cases rise.
British Prime Minister tests positive
Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, has announced he's tested positive for coronavirus. He says he's only experiencing mild symptoms and will continue to work while self-isolating.
India announces $22.6 billion stimulus plan
To help billions of poor impacted by the virus and a recent nationwide lockdown, India announced an aid program that includes direct cash payments and food measures, such as the delivery of 5 kilograms of wheat or rice for people free of cost. The aid package also included plans for medical insurance designed for health workers such as doctors and nurses. 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.
Tech workers from Apple, Amazon and Google build coronavirus tracker
COVID Near You was built by a group of tech volunteers to help the public easily report COVID-19 symptoms or testing activity. Using these reports, the tracker maps this information to provide local and national views of the illness. The site is a sister tool of Flu Near You, a brainchild of Ending Pandemics and Boston Children's Hospital. Read more here.
G20 summit convenes over video conference
Leaders promised at a virtual summit today to infuse more than $5 trillion into the global economy, and do “whatever it takes" to minimize the negative impact of the coronavirus. Read more here.
Sick pay and the challenge of work under coronavirus
The International Trade Union Congress surveyed its members in 86 countries around the world to monitor government and employer responses to the pandemic. According to the study, only one in five countries provide sick leave for all or some workers. Those polled represent some of the world's most powerful economies, including 28 out of 36 OECD countries and 15 G20 countries. Countries without sick leave policies will have a harder time containing the virus as people are forced to work to provide for their families, said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC Read more here.
How COVID-19 has impacted major illnesses (like cancer)
Hospitals are struggling to keep pace with coronavirus admissions, and many have deferred elective surgeries and cancelled or postponed non-critical outpatient clinic visits. Thanks to lockdowns, many people are also deferring their health checks, including screening tests. As a result, many patients are not being identified as being in need of urgent medical attention and the window of opportunity for seeking early or effective treatment may be closing. For more surprising ways coronavirus is challenging society, read more here.
Boosting productivity while working from home
To stay productive, as psychologist Fuschia Sirois explained this week, think about the possible interruptions you might encounter, and then rehearse how you will respond. For example, Sirois suggested, when mum calls you might prepare to say: “Sorry, I’d love to chat but I’m actually working right now. Can I call you back after work?” For more tips, read more here.
Episode 2, World vs Virus Podcast
This week's edition of World vs Virus, a weekly podcast from the World Economic Forum, features: A chat with a World Health Organization official on how long the lockdowns could last; a conversation with YouTuber Molly Burke on what coronavirus is like for a blind person; and a Q&A with the International Trade Union Confederation on potential job loss from the virus. Read more here. Listen on Spotify here.