• 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 headlines: WHO says the global situation is "worsening"; the US is officially in recession; the WHO has given guidance to protesters.

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

2. WHO gives guidance to protesters

At its media briefing on 8 June, the World Health Organization expressed its support for the global protest movement, following the death of George Floyd.

Michael J. Ryan, Chief Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. clarified that simply attending a mass gathering would not necessarily require self-quarantine afterwards.

A contact, said Ryan, is someone who has been in prolonged close contact with a confirmed carrier of COVID-19. "Someone who has just been at a mass gathering doesn't necessarily meet the definition of a contact in that context."

The WHO reminded protesters to keep COVID-19 basics in mind, such as hand-washing and physical distancing.

Regarding risk of exposure and staying safe, officials explained that protesters should look to local guidelines.

They also said local public health officials could advise people on the need for quarantine or testing after mass gatherings, depending on the scientific data around transmission rates.

Activities people will avoid when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Image: Statista

3. How COVID-19 could shape Africa's economic future

There are 3 mega-trends emerging that will impact how well Africa is able to recover from the coronavirus crisis, says Martyn Davies, Managing Director of Emerging Markets & Africa, Deloitte Africa.

  • De-globalization: Macro trends in world trade - which could collapse by as much as a third this year - will marginalize African economies even more. Particularly as the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been postponed to next year.
  • Debt and fiscal sustainability: Facing rising fiscal deficits, over 100 developing countries have applied to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for emergency funding, but the burden of debt will grow.
  • Digitalization: COVID-19 has been an impetus for many companies to adopt remote working, but this could impact economies that are ill-prepared for rapid tech-driven change - and delay recovery. Rwanda is one exception - seeking to set itself up as a tech-enabled services economy.