Health and Healthcare Systems

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 15 April

Travellers in protective suits are seen at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and China's epicentre of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, April 10, 2020.  REUTERS/Aly Song     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Travellers in protective suits are seen at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province. Image: REUTERS/Aly Song

Linda Lacina
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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  • In this daily round-up, we'll bring you a selection of the latest news updates on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Today's big stories: Confirmed cases reach 2 million, WHO funding cut by US, restrictions eased in Spain and Austria, while the IMF says lockdowns could shrink the global economy 3%.

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

1. How COVID-19 is impacting the globe

  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 passed the 2 million mark, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University. Over 128,000 people are known to have died from the virus.
  • US President Donald Trump cuts WHO funding.
  • IMF says lockdowns could shrink the global economy by 3%.
  • Spain and Austria ease restrictions, allowing partial returns to work.
  • Denmark becomes the first country in Europe to relax coronavirus restrictions on education, as children up to the age of 11 return to nurseries and schools.

New research from Japan shows microdroplets can remain in the air for 20 minutes in enclosed spaces, suggesting that infection could be spread by simply holding a conversation with another person.

NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, conducted an experiment with a group of researchers to capture the movement of microdroplets – particles that are less than 100th of a millimetre in size. The findings underline the social distancing message from the World Health Organization, which advises people to keep at least 1 metre apart at all times.


Coronavirus has caused a dramatic drop in energy consumption in the United States, according to analysts at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) trade group, as stay-at-home measures have closed businesses and halted industrial activity.

During the week ending April 4, power usage fell 5.7% from the same week in 2019 and was the lowest in a week since April 2004. The trade group predicts total US energy consumption to fall by 3% in 2020.

Total U.S. power consumption could decline by 3% in 2020.
Total U.S. power consumption could decline by 3% in 2020. Image: New York Independent System Operator

4. Why informal networks will be key to the COVID-19 recovery

Thanks to the scale of the pandemic, community organizations, faith groups and other informal networks will be essential to local response efforts. These groups fill gaps other groups don't, have rich understandings of their populations and have attained the trust of their communities. A swift recovery will need to empower these networks to deliver aid to people that larger organizations and federal programs might not service as efficiently.

With billions of people under some form of lockdown, many are eager for tips for how to manage boredom, frustration and tight living arrangements. Two mariners, Captain Jens-Christian Schou and Cap San Lorenzo recently shared their advice with Agenda.

  • Stay entertained. Activities such as games, quizzes, films and competitions can be key.
  • Keep busy. Maintain routines and control what you can.
  • Have empathy. Actively look out for way to boost others' morale and help others through difficult transitions to a new way of life.
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