• 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: 3 in 4 new cases in Spain diagnosed in just 2 cities. Chile announces free life insurance for healthworkers.

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

coronavirus covid-19 global cases
A global view of confirmed coronavirus cases
Image: John Hopkins University

An article in the New York Times reported that while global case numbers have risen steadily since December, infections are below what's needed for herd immunity. According to their review of a number of studies, "The vast majority of people still remain vulnerable to the virus."

3. How AI and machine learning are helping to fight COVID-19
Machine learning technology is playing a key role in helping people and commerce adjust to the changes wrought by coronavirus, wrote Amazon's Web Services Swami Sivasubramanian in this week's Agenda. Among the unique ways it's being leveraged:

  • Chatbots that distribute health information to the public (relieving strains on hospitals).
  • An AI-based predictive COVID vulnerability index that identifies people most at-risk of severe complications from COVID-19.
  • A crop-monitoring solution that assesses satellite images of crops and flags issues to farmers and retailers to better manage food supplies

Cyber risks are growing under COVID-19. To foster better conversations between business leaders and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), Charles Blauner suggested these key questions that tech leaders should be asking:

  • Have roles and responsibilities related to cybersecurity been clearly defined and communicated at every level of the organization up to the CEO and Board?
  • Do business leaders understand the cybersecurity risks they are accepting?
  • Are technology solutions designed, integrated and operated with security and privacy in mind?
  • Does the business incentivize the adoption of secure-by-design and default practices on the businesses and products in which it invests?
  • Are third-party risks managed effectively?