- 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: Confirmed cases have passed 2 million in the US; India has lifted its export ban on hydroxychloroquine; and COVID-19 and seasonality.
1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe
- Confirmed cases in the US have passed 2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, while global confirmed cases stand at just over 7.36 million.
- The Indian government has lifted its export ban on hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug being used as a prophylactic against COVID-19. Research into its effectiveness is still ongoing.
- Japan is planning to allow entry to 250 foreign visitors per day from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, as it eases travel restrictions.
2. COVID-19 and seasonality
In a media briefing on 10 June, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it's too early to say whether COVID-19 might follow similar seasonal cycles as the influenza virus.
Responding to a question about the onset of winter in the southern hemisphere, the Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Mike Ryan said:
“Right now, we have no data to suggest that the virus will behave more aggressively, or transmit more efficiently, or not."
He said the same was true of summertime conditions, and added: "At this point, just to be clear, we have no indication as yet how the disease will behave in future.”
3. 3 actions for redesigning our food systems in the post-COVID world
The coronavirus crisis has been a "stress test" for global food systems - and they are failing, write Sara Farley, Managing Director, Food Initiative, Rockefeller Foundation, and Sara Scherr, President and Chief Executive Officer, EcoAgriculture Partners.
World leaders and experts will come together for the Food Systems Summit of 2021 to articulate and adopt an actionable, integrated plan for food systems transformation.
Here are three actions to reimagine global food systems:
1. Re-think supply chains for a diverse and healthy diet.
Supply chains must be redesigned with health and nutrition in mind, to reduce diet-related disease, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke, which increase the risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
2. Build strong connections between environment and food policy.
The way farmers produce food determines the fertility of their soils and the health of the planet. The food systems of tomorrow must embrace the One Health vision and advance positive interactions between human health, livestock health, wildlife health and ecosystem health.
3. Strengthen, democratize and localize food systems planning.
While national policy-makers can provide critical perspectives and frameworks for change, local and regional stakeholders must be able to shape their own food systems to reflect local values, resources and priorities.