COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 24 May

A volunteer checks the temperature of Muslims before they enter a mosque to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Pattani province, Thailand, May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Surapan Boonthanom - RC2RUG9IH9VI

Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in the shadow of COVID-19 Image: REUTERS/Surapan Boonthanom

Ross Chainey
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  • This daily round-up 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: How Germany contained coronavirus; South America becomes the new COVID-19 epicenter; global fiscal support during COVID-19, in one chart.

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

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

"Germany is often referred to as a positive example of how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. We were successful in preventing the overburdening of our health system. The curve of infections is clearly flattening. And the proportion of severe cases and fatalities is lower in Germany than in many other countries. But this makes us humble, rather than overconfident," writes Jens Spahn, the country's health minister.

Spahn lists three reasons why he believes Germany has navigated the pandemic relatively well.

"First, the German health-care system was in good shape going into the crisis; everyone has had full access to medical care," he says.

"Second, Germany was not the first country to be hit by the virus, and thus had time to prepare. While we have always kept a relatively large number of hospital beds available, particularly in intensive-care units, we also took the COVID-19 threat seriously from the beginning.

"Third, Germany is home to many laboratories that can test for the virus, and to many distinguished researchers in the field, which helps to explain why the first rapid COVID-19 test was developed here."


Governments have put forward swift and significant emergency lifelines to protect people in response to the pandemic.

But just how much, exactly?

"The total is about $9 trillion, or $1 trillion more than the estimates just over a month ago," write IMF economists Bryn Battersby, W. Raphael Lam and Elif Ture.

"The breakdown looks like this: direct budget support is currently estimated at $4.4 trillion globally, and additional public sector loans and equity injections, guarantees, and other quasi-fiscal operations (such as non-commercial activity of public corporations) amount to another $4.6 trillion."

Here's a handy IMF chart which shows just where these financial lifelines have come from.

Fiscal situation during coronavirus lockdown - International Monetary Fund

From old antibodies to new vaccines, they've selected some of the biggest coronavirus-related science stories you may have missed last week.

And don't forget to listen to the latest edition of our podcast, World vs Virus, which features an in-depth interview with the IMF's Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath.

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