• 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 headlines: A third of COVID-19 patients have reported neurological symptoms; What sport could look like after lockdown.

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

COVID-19 is a serious disease and causes a wide range of problems from gastrointestinal disease (diarrhoea and nausea) to heart damage and blood clotting disorders. As one virologist pointed out for Agenda this week, it can also cause neurological symptoms in some patients.

Some patients have experienced brain inflammation or even stroke. According to other reports, COVID-19 patients have suffered from Guillain–Barré syndrome, a neurological disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks nerve cells, resulting in muscle weakness and eventual paralysis.

While more research is needed, these symptoms drive home the importance of taking this disease and its long-term effects seriously. Virologist Jeremy Rossman said this information also "highlights the continued importance of preventing viral transmission and identifying those who are, and have been, infected."

Public areas and urban environments could be transformed by coronavirus, according to a Reuters article. Social distancing could create green mazes in public parks while cities could be designed to be more compact to ensure that residents can access goods and services more easily.

"We are in a very experimental stage," said architect Harm Timmermans. "There will be a lot of trial and error, but the notion of the local will definitely be very important."

Parc de la Distance, a new design for a public park by Austrian architecture firm Studio Precht, enables citydwellers to exercise and enjoy nature as Covid-19 lockdowns ease while still maintaing physical distance.
Parc de la Distance, a new design for a public park by Austrian architecture firm Studio Precht.
Image: Studio Precht, VIA Reuters

Baseball and soccer have returned to South Korea and the measures taken there can provide a glimpse into what might be needed to resume other sports in the months ahead. These might include barely-filled stadiums, crowd noise pumped in through loud speakers, and athletes that trade handshakes for fist bumps.

Truly safe mass events will need something else: a contained virus. South Korea is one of the first countries to contain COVID-19 and other countries will need to follow suit or risk future outbreaks.

Local league baseball has restarted in South Korea, but live audiences aren’t permitted.
Local league baseball has restarted in South Korea, but live audiences aren’t permitted.
Image: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Has working from home left you exhausted? You're not alone, explained one expert for the Conversation this week. The self-control needed to manage the demands of working from home can deplete both your mental and physical energies. Finding ways to detach yourself from work can help you you get back on track.

  • Develop easy routines - like a coffee to start the day - that you can keep to naturally and without effort.
  • If possible, try to work in a different space than where you spend the rest of your time.
  • Divvy up responsibilities for child and pet care.
  • Find activities after work that absorb you completely - and keep you off email.