- This daily roundup brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
- Today's top stories: Confirmed cases above 4.8 million globally; Trump threatens to permanently freeze funding to WHO; India's mental health crisis; and life as a contact tracer.
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.
1. How COVID-19 is impacting the globe
- Confirmed coronavirus cases have climbed above 4.8 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 318,000 people have died from the virus, while over 1.7 million have recovered.
- President Trump on Monday threatened to permanently freeze US funding to the World Health Organization.
- Twenty-two European countries say returning to school has not harmed students or teachers.
- Travelers without a work reason to visit Norway will be sent back.
- A COVID-19 recovery plan was backed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
COVID-19 has fueled mental health challenges around the world - and India is no exception. The country has already reported a 20% drop in mental wellness, a number that is sure to fall more steeply as India's most vulnerable suffer the impact of unemployment, debt and domestic violence.
Healthcare entrepreneur Ashwin Naik recently outlined steps that could help the country grapple with these challenges. They include de-stigmatizing mental illness and creating mental wellness programs targeting young people.
3. Here are the 5 ways your working life will change after the pandemic
Wondering how work might change in the months to come? Anthropologist Dave Cook shared his predictions on the topic this week. We likely won't be back in the office for months, he says. And in the meantime, communication and email etiquette will be key.
Cook also believes that two trends popular before the pandemic will gain new momentum. He predicts that more workers will become digital nomads as workplaces get increasingly comfortable with remote teams. And with many homes not prepared for remote work, co-working will return with some modifications. Cook believes that smaller, local co-working companies will have an advantage: "Independent co-working spaces in some areas were thriving before COVID-19 - they may become more mainstream if they survive lockdown."
4. What's life like as a contact tracer?
An article from StatNews digs into what it's like to work as a contact tracer. These tracers, often volunteers or medical students, perform a sort of detective work to identify the names of people with whom infected patients might have been in contact. While some tracing is conducted electronically, through surveys, some is handled by phone through a series of questions ranging from where patients have eaten breakfast to when they last got a haircut. While scripts are provided, tracers sometimes must modify them on the fly to fit a range of unexpected situations.