COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 23 May

A woman wearing a face mask as a protective measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks past a closed currency exchange shop, in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina May 22, 2020.
A woman wearing a face mask as a protective measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks past a closed currency exchange shop, in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Image: REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
  • 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: South America is a new epicenter for coronavirus; China drops mention of annual growth target for first time; disrupted vaccine programs could put millions of children at risk; and how a SARS antibody could help fight COVID-19.

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

Eighty-million children, in both rich and poor countries around the world, could face infections from diseases such as measles and polio as resources are redirected at COVID-19 and existing vaccine programs are disrupted, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said at a briefing in Geneva on Friday.

According to data collected by the WHO, UNICEF, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the impact is wide, affecting children under one-years-old in 68 countries.

A discovery from researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that an antibody from the blood of a SARS-survivor could help fight COVID-19.

The 2003 SARS outbreak was caused by a coronavirus, and the new peer-reviewed study indicates that although the two viruses are distinct, the newly identified antibody - which they’ve named S309 - can recognise and block both infections.

Two award-winning teachers have co-authored a book to help guide and support children. The book, backed by the Lego Foundation, tells the stories of six children around the world, and how they deal with challenges. The book, by Armand Doucet and Elisa Guerra, has been translated into around 30 languages and is available as a free ebook.