- 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: US deaths surpass 100,000; the UK launches a mass testing and contact tracing program; WHO launches a new foundation; and how Facebook's remote working policy could transform Silicon Valley.
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 affecting the globe
- Confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 5.6 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 355,000 people have died from the virus, while over 2.3 million have recovered.
- US deaths topped 100,000.
- The UK will begin a mass testing and contact tracing program on Thursday.
- South Korea re-tightened restrictions amid an uptick in cases.
World Health Organization (WHO) officials announced the launch of the WHO Foundation on Wednesday. The legally separate body will help expand the agency’s donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public, a source it hasn't typically tapped.
"This is a historic step," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
While some leaders have been hesitant to move forward with contact tracing apps, a second wave could force their hand, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a virtual meeting of the Forum's COVID Action Platform on 27 May.
"I’ve stringently avoided this tech because I think there is more harm to our civil liberties than benefit. But what do you do if you're going to be faced with a second wave that can claim untold numbers of deaths? My guess is that we’ll have no choice but to find a way to introduce it," Netanyahu said.
4. How Facebook's remote working plan could transform Silicon Valley
Facebook's workforce can choose to make remote work permanent. However, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained last week, their pay would be adjusted to reflect the local cost of living at the home base they choose.
Silicon Valley is notoriously expensive and, as Reuters reported, some tech workers dreamed of logging on to work from tropical locations, or even more affordable Midwestern locales. Facebook said it will check where employees access its VPN in an effort to ensure they abide by local tax laws.