COVID-19 situation: 6 May 2020

To view images in this newsletter, please allow images and html options. 

View this email in your browser
 

Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 6 May 2020

Welcome to this special issue of the newsletter where we highlight latest research and policy news and literature on COVID-19 situation

Please send your feedback, articles and reports, or questions you would like to share to Dr. Chadia Wannous via email  cwannous@yahoo.com  

Wishing you useful reading!
Chadia

COVID-19 Outbreak Situation 

 
Situation updates:
 
WHO situation report by 5 May 2020

  • Every year on May 5 we celebrate Hand Hygiene Day to mobilize people around the world to increase adherence to hand hygiene practices in healthcare facilities. In his media briefing, the Director-General reminded us that ‘around the world, fewer than two-thirds of healthcare facilities are equipped with hand hygiene stations, and 3 billion people lack soap and water at home’. Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said that ‘Effective infection prevention and control measures, including hand hygiene, are crucial to ensuring health facilities do not become hubs of COVID-19 transmission’.
  • A WHO COVID-19 mission has arrived in Tajikistan to support the country’s response to the pandemic.
  • Today also marks the International Day of the Midwife. Midwives provide life-saving services to pregnant women, ensuring healthy outcomes for women and their babies. As the Director-General said in his media briefing, ‘They’re risking their lives to give lifeto others.’ WHO Regional Office for Europe has released a news article of the experiences of a midwife in Italy.
  • Yesterday leaders from 40 countries around the world came together to support the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a WHO initiative to support the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics against COVID-19. Some €7.4 billion were pledged, in what the Director-General described as a ‘powerful and inspiring demonstration of global solidarity

 
Situation in Numbers
Total (new cases in last 24 hours)

  • Globally 3517345 cases (81454) 243401 deaths (3797)
  • Africa 32570 cases (2036)1112 deaths (27)
  • Americas 1477447 cases (43691) 79590 deaths (1763)
  • Eastern Mediterranean 213376 cases (7077) 8115deaths (144)
  • Europe 1566684 cases (22539) 145602 deaths (1615)
  • South-East Asia 72688 cases (5015) 2682 deaths (219)
  • Western Pacific 153868 cases (1096) 6287 deaths (29)

 
WHO Risk Assessment
Global Level    Very High
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200430-sitrep-101-covid-19.pdf 
 
Dashboard https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
 
Links to the COVID-19 dashboards for most up-to-date figures:
WHO COVID-19 situation dashboard
WHO COVID-19 alerts in African Region
WHO COVID-19 readiness dashboard in African Region
WHO COVID-19 situation dashboard in European Region
WHO COVID-19 weekly surveillance dashboard in European Region
WHO COVID-19 situation dashboard in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
PAHO COVID-19 alerts in the Region of the Americas
 
All information about COVID- 19 can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
 
Latest updates - Live press conference (Geneva)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
===================

Situation update for the EU/EEA and the UK as of 5 May 2020
As of 05 May 2020, 1 174 446 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: Spain (218 011), Italy (211 938), United Kingdom (190 584), Germany (163 860), France (131 863), Belgium (50 267), Netherlands (40 770), Portugal (25 524), Sweden (22 721), Ireland (21 722), Austria (15 621), Poland (14 006), Romania (13 512), Denmark (9 670), Norway (7 847), Czechia (7 819), Finland (5 327), Luxembourg (3 828), Hungary (3 065), Greece (2 632), Croatia (2 101), Iceland (1 799), Estonia (1 703), Bulgaria (1 652), Slovenia (1 439), Lithuania (1 419), Slovakia (1 413), Latvia (896), Cyprus (874), Malta (480) and Liechtenstein (83).
As of 05 May 2020, 137 761 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: Italy (29 079), United Kingdom (28 734), Spain (25 428), France (25 201), Belgium (7 924), Germany (6 831), Netherlands (5 082), Sweden (2 769), Ireland (1 319), Portugal (1 063), Romania (803), Poland (698), Austria (600), Denmark (493), Hungary (363), Czechia (252), Finland (240), Norway (208), Greece (146), Slovenia (97), Luxembourg (96), Croatia (80), Bulgaria (78), Estonia (55), Lithuania (46), Slovakia (25), Cyprus (20), Latvia (16), Iceland (10), Malta (4) and Liechtenstein (1).
https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea
 
Situation dashboard: latest available data
https://qap.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/COVID-19.html
 
=====================

UK deaths pass Italy's total; Russia's surge continues
The United Kingdom's deaths from COVID-19 have now passed Italy, making UK fatalities the highest in Europe. The UK's death toll today rose to 29,427, with Italy's number at 29,315. The only country with a higher fatality count is the United States.
The UK's foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the real verdict on how countries responded to their outbreaks won't be fully available until the pandemic is over, CNN reported. Last week, the UK government began adding data on deaths outside of hospitals.
Meanwhile, Russia's surge of cases continued today, with 10,102 more illnesses reported, down slightly from 10,581 yesterday, according to Reuters. Tomorrow at a meeting with officials President Vladimir Putin is expected to consider a list of recommendations for easing the country's lockdown, the Moscow Times reported.

Sharp rises, widespread transmission in Africa
For the week ending May 3, COVID-19 cases in Africa increased by 41%, with the region's total rising to 29,463 cases and 1,079 deaths, the
Ten countries account for 80% of Africa's cases, and transmission is widespread in seven of them. Overall, the five hardest hit countries include South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. And so far, 826 healthcare worker infections from 27 countries have been reported. Deaths rose by 25% last week, and six countries have very high case fatality rates, with Liberia the highest at 11.4%.
WHO African regional office weekly update.
 
Mysterious deaths in Nigeria's Kano state have been linked to COVID-19
based on an investigation by the country's presidential task force,
More than 640 people had died from an unidentified illness, and state health officials initially denied that they were related to COVID-19. Officials expect to issue a report on the deaths in the next week.
the online newspaper Report Afrique reported on May 3.

Covid-19's three potential futures: small outbreaks, monster wave, or ongoing crisis 
What will Covid-19 bring for the U.S. this summer and beyond? While there are points of contention among public health experts, three likely scenarios have emerged: one where the current large wave of infection is followed by smaller waves of infection every few months; another where there is a second, bigger wave than the current one later this year; and, finally, a scenario where the outbreak now lasts in its current magnitude through 2022. Despite these different visions, many experts seem to agree that the world we knew before Covid-19 is unlikely to return anytime soon.
More here
 
================================

Control Measures

Where are the health workers? New data efforts aim to answer big coronavirus questions
Two data dashboards released by the U.N. Development Programme last week highlight the connection between countries’ level of development and the increased risks associated with coronavirus preparedness and financial losses.
The average country with low human development has limited capacity to accommodate a surge of COVID-19 patients in hospitals, with an average of 7 hospital beds, 2.5 physicians, and 6 nurses per 10,000 people, the digital data dashboard shows. That stands in contrast to the 55 hospital beds, over 30 physicians, and 81 nurses per 10,000 people available in an average country with more development.
https://www.devex.com/news/where-are-the-health-workers-new-data-efforts-aim-to-answer-big-coronavirus-questions-97150

Combining strategies could be most effective COVID-19 response for Africa
A combination of self-isolation, moderate physical distancing and shielding high risk individuals in ‘green zones’ could reduce economic damage yet save many lives.
Learn more →

When easing lockdowns, governments should open schools first
The costs of keeping them closed are too high
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/04/30/when-easing-lockdowns-governments-should-open-schools-first
 
WHO says no to travel bans.
The organization has advised against travel bans and trade restrictions. Experts say these measures lack a public health justification and present political problems for the multilateral organization.
https://www.devex.com/news/why-who-doesn-t-like-travel-bans-97149
 
Vaccines
Funding boost for coronavirus vaccine.
An EU-convened conference fell short of the €7.5 billion ($8.2 billion) target set by organizers. But the virtual event was celebrated as a crucial step forward for global solidarity — despite the absence of the U.S. government.

Pfizer, BioNTech launch US trial for novel COVID-19 vaccine
The phase 1 and 2 trial for the BNT162 vaccine program is designed to determine the safety, immunogenicity, and optimal dose levels of four mRNA vaccine candidates simultaneously.
May 5 Pfizer/BioNTech press release

 
 
Treatment

With remdesivir, Gilead finds itself at strategic crossroads, with its reputation (and far more) at stake
https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/05/remdesivir-gilead-strategic-crossroads-reputation-far-more-at-stake

Convalescent serum treatment on the rise
Treating people with the antibody-laden blood of those who have already survived an infection is a century-old approach to battling viruses. Evidence for its efficacy against COVID-19 is thin on the ground, but it has two big advantages over new treatments: it’s available now and it’s relatively safe, as long as the blood is screened. In the United States and the United Kingdom, major efforts have begun to spur plasma donations from survivors. And large pharma companies are joining forces to develop antibody products purified from the pooled plasma of donors, or produced in genetically modified cattle.
Nature Biotechnology | 10 min read
Read more: How blood from coronavirus survivors might save lives (Nature, from March)
 
Portraits of a viral enzyme could aid the hunt for drugs
Molecular snapshots of a key SARS-CoV-2 enzyme in action provide clues to how drugs, including the experimental therapy remdesivir, attack the virus. Two teams looked at the action and structure of a viral enzyme called an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.
Reference: bioRxiv preprint & Science paper

Intubation boxes: an extra layer of safety or a false sense of security?
Scientists caution that intubation boxes — file-crate-sized boxes that physicians can place on patients’ shoulders while they are intubated — may seem like they could protect against potential infections, but this invention may do more harm than good.
https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/05/intubation-boxes-extra-layer-safety-or-false-sense-security
 
Testing
Serological Testing
The US FDA revised its policy regarding the use of serological tests for SARS-CoV-2. In light of the increased number and availability of serological tests in the United States, the FDA announced that companies developing serological tests are now required to seek Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the tests, which will include submitting relevant validation data.
 
Current demand for COVID-19 tests could shift production from other infectious diseases diagnostic tests such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.
[The Guardian]
 
Immunity Certificates
highlights technical barriers, including uncertainty regarding the degree and duration of immunity conferred by SARS-CoV-2 infection and the impact of false positive and negative test results. Additionally, a variety of social and economic factors could introduce incentive for individuals to deliberately infect themselves or introduce opportunity for corruption and increased socioeconomic inequities.
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31034-5/fulltext
 
What policy makers need to know about COVID-19 protective immunity
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30985-5/fulltext
 
A video explains how the body creates "memories" of infections to fight them in the future, how just having antibodies isn't enough, and how the protection conferred by these proteins varies from disease to disease.
Watch the video here
 
Immune system shows abnormal response to COVID-19
The immune response to SARS-CoV-2 differs from the response prompted by other respiratory viruses, according to an analysis of infected cells, ferrets and humans. The results suggest an immune imbalance: low levels of interferons reduce a cell’s ability to limit viral replication, and the activation of less-specific immune responses promotes inflammation.
Reference: Cell paper
 
SARS-Cov-2 Antibody Targets
A recent study (preprint) evaluated patients' COVID-19 antibody response to various SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Using specimens collected from 15 COVID-19 patients from Hong Kong, the researchers were able to detect antibody responses to 11 of 15 SARS-CoV-2 antigens tested, including the identification of several novel immunogenic targets. Based on the results, a serological test based on a combination of 3 antigens—ORF3b, ORF8, and N—could have 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity as early as 4 days after the onset of symptoms, whereas a test targeting antibodies to the S protein would not.

Feasibility of controlling COVID-19 outbreaks by isolation of cases and contacts
In most scenarios, highly effective contact tracing and case isolation is enough to control a new outbreak of COVID-19 within 3 months. The probability of control decreases with long delays from symptom onset to isolation, fewer cases ascertained by contact tracing, and increasing transmission before symptoms. This model can be modified to reflect updated transmission characteristics and more specific definitions of outbreak control to assess the potential success of local response efforts.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214109X20300747
===========================
 
Countries measures
 
How China stopped the outbreak
Drastic social distancing in Shanghai and Wuhan was enough to bring the epidemic under control in the two cities. Modelling work suggests that, in Shanghai, school closures alone would not have stopped the epidemic — but they did lower the number of new infections per day at the epidemic’s peak, which relieved stress on hospitals. Another study shows that quick detection and isolation of infected people were the most effective steps for containing COVID-19 in China. But even with those efforts in place, the number of cases would have soared if officials hadn’t restricted travel and social interactions.
Reference: Science paper & Nature paper

Despite steps to reopen, most in US still wary of COVID-19 risks
Of those polled, 78% say they would be uncomfortable in a sit-down restaurant.
More »

National Action Plan for Expanding and Adapting the Healthcare System for the Duration of the COVID Pandemic
This report addresses a broad scope of issues facing US health systems during the COVID-19 epidemic, including supply chain vulnerabilities, health system funding, workforce needs (including mental health services and sick leave), increased use of telemedicine capabilities, infectious disease screening and diagnostic capabilities, and the need to resume routine services and deferred procedures.
https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/publications/national-action-plan-for-expanding-and-adapting-the-healthcare-system-for-the-duration-of-the-covid-pandemic
 
Arriving Traveler Testing
The Vienna Airport (Austria) is now offering SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests for arriving and departing travelers. Austria currently only permits entry for travelers arriving from the Schengen area, which largely covers European countries. Travelers arriving in Austria are required to either provide a certificate confirming a recent negative SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test (issued within 4 days of arrival) or undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. The test performed at the airport can be used to provide the documentation that the individual is not currently infected, so s/he can forgo the mandated quarantine. The test costs approximately US$200, and results are available within 3 hours. Travelers are required to make an appointment in advance to ensure that the testing site is able to maintain appropriate social distancing for travelers and staff. Positive tests results will be reported both to the individual and Austrian health authorities.
 
-------------------------------
 
Scientific publications and reports and news
 
“Strengthening Preparedness for COVID-19 in Cities and Urban Settings.
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331896/WHO-2019-nCoV-Urban_preparedness-2020.1-eng.pdf
 
Simulation Exercise package for urban settings.
The purpose is to facilitate discussions around critical issues in urban environments addressing different phases of the pandemic. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/training/simulation-exercise
 
Profile of a killer
The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has an array of adaptations that make it much more lethal than the coronaviruses humanity has met so far. Unlike close relatives, SARS-CoV-2 can readily attack human cells at multiple points, with the lungs and the throat being the main targets. Once inside the body, the virus makes use of a diverse arsenal of dangerous molecules. And genetic evidence suggests that it has been hiding in nature possibly for decades. But there are many crucial unknowns about this virus, including how exactly it kills, whether it will evolve into something more — or less — lethal and what it can reveal about the next outbreak from the coronavirus family.
Nature | 14 min read
 
SARS-CoV-2 might hijack its host’s immune defences
The new coronavirus invades human cells after one of its proteins binds with ACE2, a protein found in cells in many human organs. Researchers studied airway cells from people with influenza (influenza virus also invades the respiratory tract), and found that signalling molecules called interferons — which normally fend off viruses — switch on the host genes encoding the ACE2 protein. The result suggests that the body’s defences against viral attack drive the activation of the gene for ACE2.
Reference: Cell paper
 
Would most covid-19 victims have died soon, without the virus?
A new study suggests not
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/05/02/would-most-covid-19-victims-have-died-soon-without-the-virus
 
Atypical presentation of COVID-19 in young infants
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30980-6/fulltext
 
Pediatric Inflammatory Condition in Children
Reports from New York City and Europe describe new cases of a rare multisystem inflammatory syndrome in some pediatric COVID-19 patients. In New York City, 15 children, aged 2-15 years, have presented symptoms consistent with a rare pediatric condition called Kawasaki disease. Four of these patients tested positive for active SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 6 had positive serological tests, indicating previous infection. The Paediatric Intensive Care Society alerted its members of this condition in late April, and public health officials in New York and elsewhere are distributing notices to local health systems to inform pediatricians of the potential connection between the condition and SARS-CoV-2. 
 
Young children are not immune to COVID-19
Children are as likely as adults to contract SARS-CoV-2 after close contact with an infected person, according to a study in Shenzhen, China. Researchers analysed nearly 400 cases of COVID-19 and 1,300 people who were ‘close contacts’ of the infected people. Seven per cent of close contacts younger than age 10 became infected — roughly the same as in the population overall. The researchers also found that just 9% of original cases — the ‘superspreaders’ — were responsible for 80% of infections detected in close contacts.
Reference: The Lancet Infectious Diseases paper
 
Remdesivir for COVID-19: challenges of underpowered studies
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31023-0/fulltext
 
Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial
In this study of adult patients admitted to hospital for severe COVID-19, remdesivir was not associated with statistically significant clinical benefits. However, the numerical reduction in time to clinical improvement in those treated earlier requires confirmation in larger studies.
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31022-9/fulltext
 
Considering BCG vaccination to reduce the impact of COVID-19
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31025-4/fulltext
 
Researchers in South Africa have launched a trial to see if the BCG vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis is effective against COVID-19.
The trial involves 500 healthcare workers, and half will get the BCG vaccine and half will get placebo. The WHO has said that there is not evidence that the vaccine protects against COVID-19.
BBC report.
 
Australia's Trialing a TB Vaccine Against COVID-19, And Health Workers Get It First
https://www.sciencealert.com/australia-is-trialling-a-tb-vaccine-for-coronavirus-and-health-workers-get-it-first
 
Developing Vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 and Future Epidemics and Pandemics: Applying Lessons from Past Outbreaks
Read Now
 
Study: COVID-19 detected in France in late December
The man was treated on Dec 27, 2019—4 days before a COVID-19 cluster was identified in Wuhan, China.
More »
 
WHO: Traditional treatments need research proof
WHO's African regional office said yesterday that traditional medicine has a long history and an important role in Africa. However, it added that medicinal plants that are being considered as possible treatments, such asArtemesia annua, should be tested for efficacy and possible side effects.
 
Respiratory Protection Considerations for Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Read Now
 
In the face of a pandemic: Ensuring safety and health at work
This report highlights the occupational safety and health (OSH) risks arising from the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It also explores measures to prevent and control the risk of contagion (p. 14), psychosocial risks (p. 19), ergonomic and other work-related safety and health risks associated with the pandemic (p. 26).
https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---safework/documents/publication/wcms_742463.pdf
 
Access to water and COVID-19
Handwashing is the most effective measure for preventing the spread of COVID-19, provided the poor and vulnerable have access to clean water. 
Read more.
 
Epidemiology and transmission of COVID-19 in 391 cases and 1286 of their close contacts in Shenzhen, China: a retrospective cohort study
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30287-5/fulltext
 
Impact of contact tracing on SARS-CoV-2 transmission
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30357-1/fulltext
 
Pooling of samples for testing for SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic people
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30362-5/fulltext
 
Progressive respiratory failure in COVID-19: a hypothesis
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30366-2/fulltext
 
Hypoxaemia related to COVID-19: vascular and perfusion abnormalities on dual-energy CT
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30367-4/fulltext
 
SARS-CoV-2: Jumping the Species Barrier, Lessons from SARS and MERS, Its Zoonotic Spillover, Transmission to Humans, Preventive and Control Measures and Recent Developments to Counter This Pandemic Virus
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340375762_SARS-CoV-2_Jumping_the_Species_Barrier_Lessons_from_SARS_and_MERS_Its_Zoonotic_Spillover_Transmission_to_Humans_Preventive_and_Control_Measures_and_Recent_Developments_to_Counter_This_Pandemic_Virus
 
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak from a one health perspective
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352771420300185
 
Protecting apes from COVID-19
The coronavirus can probably infect great apes — putting endangered animals in Africa and Asia at risk. Tourism in African parks has been stopped, and researchers who observe chimpanzees in Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire are taking extra precautions, such as wearing masks and changing their clothes, to prevent animal infections. If these measures fail and apes get too sick to defend themselves from leopards and poachers, researchers plan to sleep nearby to protect them. On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, an orangutan-conservation programme has moved some of the island’s orangutans to another site to reduce the risk to the whole population.
Science | 6 mins
 
Funding cut for bat coronavirus research
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has taken the unusual step of suddenly cutting the funding for a US-China project that investigates how coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, move from bats to humans. The NIH declined to comment on why it canceled the grant, which was in its sixth year. The project seems to have fallen victim to a conspiracy theory about the origin of the virus. “This is cutting off your face to spite your nose,” says infectious-disease researcher Gerald Keusch, a former director of the NIH’s Fogarty International Center. “This is the worst kind of thing that political interference can cause in a democracy.”
Science | 9 min read
 
COVID-19 & food safety                                
http://www.fao.org/2019-ncov/q-and-a/food-safety/en/
 
Food safety related guidance on COVID-19 from various partners can be found here: https://www.standardsfacility.org/stdf-partnership-updates-covid-19
 
COVID-19 makes universal digital access and cooperation essential: UN tech agency
As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes the way in which we work, keep in touch, go to school and shop for essentials – across the world – it has never been more important to bridge the digital divide for the 3.6 billion people who remain off-line.
Full story on UN News
 
Coronavirus and climate: how much impact is the current lockdown really having on our environment?
https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/13/covid-19-and-climate-how-much-impact-is-the-current-lockdown-really-having-on-our-environm
 
How our responses to climate change and the coronavirus are linked
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/climate-change-coronavirus-linked/
 
5 honest truths about climate change and COVID-19
http://www.acclimatise.uk.com/2020/04/28/5-honest-truths-about-climate-change-and-covid-19/
 
===============================================
Consequences of the Outbreak on society and Economy
 
Redefining vulnerability in the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(20)30757-1.pdf

The COVID-19 response for vulnerable people in places affected by conflict and humanitarian crises
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31036-9/fulltext
 
Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: A Guidance Note for the UN System prepared by the UN Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues
https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2020/04/Indigenous-peoples-and-COVID_IASG_23.04.2020-EN.pdf

UN humanitarian chief: After COVID-19, it’s in everyone’s interest to help the world's poorest countries
He noted that the downstream effects of the pandemic on national economies and health systems could potentially double the number of people worldwide who face starvation. An estimated US$90 billion is needed to protect the most vulnerable 10% of the global population.
https://www.unocha.org/story/un-humanitarian-chief-after-covid-19-it%E2%80%99s-everyone%E2%80%99s-interest-help-worlds-poorest-countries
 
Modelling the pandemic’s financial fallout
Physicist-turned-economist Arthur Turrell tells Nature how Bank of England researchers are fusing economics and epidemiology to study the complex effects of the pandemic. Two of the most pressing topics: the interaction between the macroeconomy and the progression of the disease, and how people’s economic choices might change the risk that they come into contact with the virus.
Nature | 5 min read

Economic renewal needs more than tweaks
The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing and exacerbating inequalities around the world. Read against this backdrop, economist Thomas Piketty’s latest book is timely, but inadequate, says reviewer Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven.
Nature | 5 min read
 
Coronavirus hits development pros' livelihoods
A recent Devex survey questioned more than 500 global development professionals about the impact of COVID-19 on their work.
The majority believe it poses an existential threat to their careers and organizations. Over half the respondents are concerned their organization will not financially survive the pandemic. At a personal level, 57% are concerned they will lose their job, with 24% reporting a loss of employment or income.
https://www.devex.com/news/exclusive-coronavirus-hits-development-pros-livelihoods-97143

The experiences of health-care providers during the COVID-19 crisis in China: a qualitative study
The intensive work drained health-care providers physically and emotionally. Health-care providers showed their resilience and the spirit of professional dedication to overcome difficulties. Comprehensive support should be provided to safeguard the wellbeing of health-care providers. Regular and intensive training for all health-care providers is necessary to promote preparedness and efficacy in crisis management.
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30204-7/fulltext

Covid-19 has shuttered labs. It could put a generation of researchers at risk
Among the scores of disruptions brought on by Covid-19 are the unprecedented shuttering of scientific labs around the world. Scientists are having to contend with losing data from months- or even years-long experiments and uncertainty over when they will be able to resume their work. Early-career scientists, whose moving up in the world of academia depends on quickly gathering data to publish in prestigious journals, are being hit particularly hard. Without additional support — in the form of pausing tenure clocks or more funding — these up-and-coming researchers worry that the delays caused by Covid-19 may be too big to overcome.
More here
 
Disabled, elderly going without home care amid shortage of protective gear and tests. 
Politico
 
-----------------------------
Risk Communication
 
Updated WHO Myth buster
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
 
WHO WhatsApp health alert launches in Arabic, French and Spanish
https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-health-alert-brings-covid-19-facts-to-billions-via-whatsapp
 
WHO hand hygiene campaign day - 5 May
WHO’s Hand Hygiene Day is fast approaching on 5 May. In light of COVID-19, advocating for support to build infrastructures and promoting proper infection, prevention and control measures has never been more important.
https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/5may2020/en/

Q&A on Climate Change and COVID-19
Where can I find the latest information on COVID-19?
Do weather and climate determine where COVID-19 occurs?
Will climate change make COVID-19 worse?
Have measures to contain COVID-19 reduced air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases?
How does water scarcity affect infectious diseases like COVID-19?
What can the global response to COVID-19 teach us about our response to climate change?
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-climate-change-and-covid-19
 
UNESCO mythbusting
https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/disinfodemic_deciphering_covid19_disinformation.pdf
 
Mobile phone data for informing public health actions across the COVID-19 pandemic life cycle
The paper outlines the ways in which different types of mobile phone data can help to better target and design measures to contain and slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The authors identify the key reasons why this is not happening on a much broader scale: Governments and public authorities frequently are unaware and/or lack a “digital mindset” and capacity needed.
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/27/sciadv.abc0764

The Corona Touch: a short film
During the coronavirus pandemic, small choices like washing your hands with soap and following social distancing can make a life changing difference. LSHTM's behavioural scientists have developed this animation as a timely reminder of our collective duty to continue these actions.
The film was produced with support from LSHTM's COVID-19 Response Fund. With your help, we can increase understanding of COVID-19 and improve the global response to slow its spread.
Learn more and watch the film →
 
---------------------------------
WHO Technical Guidance
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance
 
=====================
The CDC published new guidance on COVID-19
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/whats-new-all.html
 
========================
 
Resources
 
Lancet Coronavirus Resource Centre
This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All content listed on this page is free to access.

https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus

Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center

CIDRAP COVID-19 Resource Center
CIDRAP has created a one-stop comprehensive compilation of the most current, authorititive information available on the novel coronavirus. Visit the Resource Center often, as the outbreak is constantly evolving

Supporting coronavirus research with FREE access to over 17,000 Global Health records 
CABI’s Global Health – the go-to bibliographic database for the study and practice of national, regional and international public health – has made relevant content available for free to support the international effort to fight the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). You can access the free open access content by following this link:
www.cabdirect.org/globalhealth
==============

Training Courses:
WHO training
https://openwho.org/courses
 
PAHO / WHO provides virtual courses on COVID-19 in Portuguese for health professionals - https://www.paho.org/bra/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6160:opas-oms-disponibiliza-cursos-virtuais-sobre-covid-19-em-portugues-para-profissionais-de-saude&Itemid=875

ECDC COVID-19 Micro learning 
https://eva.ecdc.europa.eu/mod/forum/discuss.php
 
New  "Mother-infant health in the context of COVID-19" has just been published. 
This Micro-learning has been developed in a collaboration of ECDC with Italian National Institute of Health - Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy. 
Go to the course 
 
============================

 

Research and Development

Global research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Database of publications on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

R&D Blueprint and COVID-19
https://www.who.int/teams/blueprint/covid-19

Draft landscape of COVID 19 candidate vaccines
https://www.who.int/who-documents-detail/draft-landscape-of-covid-19-candidate-vaccines

How long will a vaccine take
Scientists are breaking new ground with the speed and ambition of vaccine development for the coronavirus, but no one knows for sure how long it will take to succeed. The New York Times offers interactive graphics, informed by expert advice, to demonstrate how desperate measures might shorten the timeline — and at what risk.
The New York Times | 15 min read
 
=============================
COVID-19 Call to Action:
Short – Term Assignments with the WHO Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN)
Your expertise is needed to address COVID-19
The One Health Commission (OHC), the One Health European Joint Programme (OHEJP), and other groups are partnering with the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) to share this call. The GOARN, a collaboration of over 200 institutions and networks that identifies experts willing and able to assist during an outbreak or pandemic, is seeking experts with a minimum of 5-yrs experience in relevant disciplines to help build capacity for the global COVID-19 pandemic response. https://conta.cc/2VPQ0xk
================================
 
Help Fight Coronavirus- Donate Now
Everyone can now support directly the response coordinated by WHO. People and organizations who want to help fight the pandemic and support WHO and partners can now donate through the COVID-Solidarity Response Fund for WHO at www.COVID19ResponseFund.org.
 
 

 

 

Knowledge Sharing

Thank you for reading. If you have thoughts, feedback, story ideas, or questions you would like to share or interested in partnering with us on a special event coverage, please send a note to Chadia Wannous via email cwannous@yahoo.com  

 

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences