Health and Healthcare Systems

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 27 August

A Saudi trader wears a mask as he monitors stock information at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia August 25, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2ZKI9ZVQ2W

A new Reuters poll looks at what's next for the stock market. Image: REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
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COVID-19

  • This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: India reports record daily rise; South Korea urges work from home; global stock market performance.
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1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now reached more than 24.1 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 825,000.

India has reported a record daily rise in coronavirus infections of 75,760 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3.31 million.

Global stock markets are set to close 2020 below pre-pandemic highs, according to Reuters polls of market experts. The outlook comes on the back of strong gains in stock markets since March.

stock market outlook reuters poll
Bullish? Image: Reuters

Britain will pay low-income residents to self-isolate, if they can't work from home. People who test positive will get £130 for their 10-day self-isolation period.

An early study suggests Moderna's experimental COVID-19 vaccine induced similar immune responses in older adults as in younger participants.

France has registered a record post-lockdown daily case rise of 5,429 new infections. More than a quarter of a million people have been infected overall.

Spain reported 3,594 new infections on Wednesday, as the country tackles a resurgence in cases. More than 400,000 cases and 28,000 deaths have been reported overall.

Abbott Laboratories said yesterday it had won US marketing authorization for a portable antigen test. It can deliver results within 15 minutes and sell for $5, Reuters reports.

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2. Cases rise in South Korea

The country reported 441 new cases as of Wednesday - the highest number of daily infections since early March.

Authorities are warning about the possibility of clusters in densely-staffed workspaces.

“Please carry out thorough checks of risk factors at workplaces, where the work environment is especially vulnerable to infection, such as call centres and logistics warehouses,” said Health Minister Park Neung-hoo.

“To reduce transmission within workplaces, please reduce the number of staff through flexible work hours, work from home and working staggered hours.”

3. 'Strong health systems a matter of national security' - Ethiopian PM

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has called for stronger health systems as the continent continues to grapple with the global pandemic.

Speaking at the 70th session of the World Health Organization's Regional Committee for Africa, attended by Ministers of Health and officials from 47 Member States, Prime Minister Abiy said:

“This virus has not only affected our health, but also tested our way of living, societal norms and economies at large. In Africa we quickly felt the impact of the pandemic due to our weak health systems coupled with the highest disease burden in the world.

“COVID-19 has taught as that strong health systems are a matter of national security and survival."

The continent has recorded more than 1.1 million cases of COVID-19 since February and African governments have reinforced response measures, such as enhanced surveillance, detection and movement restrictions.

A WHO progress assessment found Member States in the region have gaps in different capacities, with the most acute seen in poor physical and financial access to services, and low resilience of health systems.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has proven once again the importance of investing in health systems, enhancing equitable access to care and improving readiness to prevent and control outbreaks.

“Recovering from this pandemic will be incomplete without strong measures to bolster health systems. We must seize the opportunity and make the leap for a better tomorrow.”

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