Health and Healthcare Systems

7 top things to know about coronavirus today

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks through St. Mark's Square after the Italian government imposed a virtual lockdown on the north of Italy including Venice to try to contain a coronavirus outbreak, in Venice, Italy, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri - RC2GGF952R50

A street in St. Mark's Square is nearly emptied after the Italian government imposed a virtual lockdown on the north of Italy including Venice to try to contain a coronavirus outbreak. Image: REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri - RC2GGF952R50

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  • In this roundup, find coronavirus news updates, tips and tools to help you stay informed and protect yourself.
  • Top stories include updates from the World Health Organisation, lessons from an outbreak simulation and first-hand accounts from doctors in Italy.

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

1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) updated its guidance for countries.

During the WHO Briefing on Monday 9 March, the WHO consolidated its guidance for different countries to help address different needs, depending on whether the virus can be isolated or must be managed. Countries fall into four different categories: those with no cases, those with sporadic cases those with clusters; and those with community transmission. The overall goal for each is the same: stop the transmission and spread of the virus.

"Let hope be the antidote to fear.”

Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, at Monday's briefing

“It’s not about containment or mitigation,” says Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General. “It’s about both.”

2. The WHO also shared updated numbers on the scale of the outbreak.
  • There are now more than 100,000 reported cases of coronavirus across 100 countries.
  • 70% of reported cases in China have recovered and been discharged.
  • Four countries have 93% of all reported coronavirus cases.
3. One chart shows how fast action is critical.

One chart, shared widely on Twitter Saturday by Carl T. Bergstrom, a University of Washington researcher and expert on fighting coronavirus misinformation, helps demonstrate the importance of fast action in minimizing coronavirus impact. The upshot? Controls will be key to slow the spread of the virus and ensure that healthcare systems aren’t overwhelmed. Read more here.

The flattened curve shows how a reduced rate of coronavirus infection could reduce the impact on hospitals and the wider healthcare system Image: Esther Kim, Carl T. Bergstrom
4. A simulation last fall showed we weren't prepared for an outbreak.

A response to a hypothetical global health emergency by 16 leaders from governments, businesses and international organizations who met in New York last fall showed the world was unprepared for an outbreak like coronavirus. Drawing on those lessons, the World Economic Forum's Borge Brende and Ryan Morhard make the case for acting on facts, not fear; involving the business community; and coming together for a systemic, coordinated response.

5. Doctors in Italy share what it’s like to work at a hospital battling coronavirus.

In first-hand accounts, doctors in Italy are taking to social media to explain the situation at their hospitals and offer advice.

From Dr Daniele Macchini's post, translated by Dr Silvia Stringhini: "The staff is exhausted. I saw the tiredness on faces that didn't know what it was despite the already exhausting workloads they had."

6. Track the spread of coronavirus around the world.
This GIF, taken from the World Economic Forum's COVID-19 map, shows how the virus has spread in Asia. Image: World Economic Forum

Follow the spread of the coronavirus around the world with this map from the Forum's Strategic Intelligence team.

7. Learn how scientists across three continents developed the Ebola vaccine.

A feature from StatNews shows how the Ebola Vaccine was made by scientists across three continents against all odds. It could have potential lessons as scientists race to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.

Bonus: Stay up-to-date with helpful tips and coronavirus facts from the World Health Organization.

Public health tips, like this one, can help fight misinformation regarding how the virus spreads.
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