• 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: Europe continues to ease lockdown; Canada hikes wages of essential workers; and how COVID-19 also attacks the gut.

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 surpassed 4.1 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 280,000 people have died from the virus, while over 1.4 million have recovered.
  • European countries continue to ease lockdown restrictions, including the UK, Switzerland, Spain and France, where people will be able to venture outside without a permit for the first time in weeks.

The Canadian government has announced that it will be hiking wages for essential workers across the country who have been on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If you are risking your health to keep this country moving and you're making minimum wage, you deserve a raise," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week, making good on a promise to increase salaries.

Trudeau's government will spend more than $3 billion to raise wages for essential workers making less than about $1,800 a month.

When we think of the symptoms of coronavirus, we think of the lungs – people on ventilators or with nasty coughs, struggling to breathe. That’s because a COVID-19 positive patient often presents with fever, persistent cough, muscle pain and fatigue.

But the molecule that the virus attacks in our bodies – Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 or ACE2 – is present not just in our lungs, but also in our gastrointestinal tract, potentially leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

There are a number of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
There are a number of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
Image: King's College London

While COVID-19 is dominating headlines, another kind of emergency is threatening the lives of millions of people around the world: food insecurity.

"The two are very much intertwined, however. By the end of 2020, authorities estimate that upwards of 265 million people could be on the brink of starvation globally, almost double the current rate of crisis-level food insecurity," writes Imam Ghosh for Visual Capitalist.