COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 22 May

A woman wearing a face mask walks past sweets for sale, ahead of the upcoming holiday of Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sidon, southern Lebanon May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Aziz Taher - RC21TG9IU7D9
In today's round-up: Quarter of Americans wary of COVID-19 vaccine; thermal scans at London Heathrow Airport; cyclone hits eastern India.
Image: REUTERS/Aziz Taher
  • 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: One quarter of Americans hesitant about a COVID-19 vaccine; thermal scans begin at London Heathrow airport; cyclone hits eastern India.

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

The COVID-19 crisis highlights the challenges faced by the jobless people, especially those not eligible or not yet in receipt of their unemployment benefits. New data from University of Southern California finds newly out-of-work Americans are at heightened risk for running out of funds and food. The USC Dornsife Understanding Coronavirus in America Study said one-fifth of the jobless surveyed were either ineligible for benefits, had not applied or had been rejected.

While many Americans received stimulus checks, these checks have had a marginal impact on economic security for the jobless. Says USC: "Receiving unemployment insurance payments is associated with a 23-percentage-point increase in one’s ability to handle an unexpected expense of $2,000, compared to a 3-point increase with a stimulus check."

US jobless USC
How eligibility for benefits affects economic security.
Image: USC Center for Economic and Social Research

The World Economic Forum's last risk report, published in January, saw threats like climate change top worries among business leaders. The World Economic Forum''s latest COVID-19 Risks Outlook report, A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications, was informed by 350 senior risk professionals and shows a new set of concerns. Among them a prolonged recession, a surge in bankruptcies and an uptick in cyberattacks.

risks covid business survey
It's the economy, but also cybercrime and further health scares.
Image: World Economic Forum/Marsh & McLennan/Zurich Insurance Group

5. How we'll survive the Great Lockdown: IMF's Gita Gopinath on this week's World Vs Virus

The downturn caused by COVID-19 is unprecedented and requires a different and bigger response, the International Monetary Fund's Gita Gopinath tells the podcast this week.

Crises often lead to larger roles for the public sector, Gopinath says. But the problems brought with this global crisis have a scope not seen in previous downturns or calamaties. Says Gopinath: "I believe it's very important for countries to recognize that there are some essential services that need to be provided in terms of healthcare, in terms of education, in terms of good governance, in terms of social security, social safety - that cannot be compromised on."

"This is a virus that doesn't respect borders," she adds. "This requires global cooperation to deal with it."

Find all previous episodes of World Vs Virus here.

Subscribe on Apple, Soundcloud or Spotify.