COVID-19 situation: 10 June 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 10 June 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 141 by 9 June 2020

 

More info: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200609-covid-19-sitrep-141.pdf
 
Links to the COVID-19 dashboards for most up-to-date figures:
Global dashboard https://covid19.who.int/
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
 
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Situation updates in the Region of the Americas
Situation as of 9 June 2020 (15:00  EST)
An additional 48,923 cases and 1,913 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, representing a 1% relative increase in cases and a 1% relative increase in deaths, compared to the previous day.

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Situation update for the EU/EEA and the UK as of 10 June 2020

As of 10 June 2020, 1 449 988 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (289 140), Spain (241 966), Italy (235 561), Germany (184 861), France (154 591), Belgium (59 437), Netherlands (47 903), Sweden (45 924), Portugal (35 306), Poland (27 560), Ireland (25 215), Romania (20 749), Austria (16 902), Denmark (12 001), Czechia (9 751), Norway (8 563), Finland (7 025), Luxembourg (4 046), Hungary (4 017), Greece (3 058), Bulgaria (2 889), Croatia (2 247), Estonia (1 947), Iceland (1 807), Lithuania (1 727), Slovakia (1 531), Slovenia (1 486), Latvia (1 089), Cyprus (972), Malta (634) and Liechtenstein (83).
As of 10 June 2020, 169 778 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (40 883), Italy (34 043), France (29 296), Spain (27 136), Belgium (9 619), Germany (8 729), Netherlands (6 031), Sweden (4 717), Ireland (1 691), Portugal (1 492), Romania (1 345), Poland (1 183), Austria (672), Denmark (593), Hungary (550), Czechia (328), Finland (324), Norway (239), Greece (183), Bulgaria (167), Luxembourg (110), Slovenia (108), Croatia (106), Lithuania (72), Estonia (69), Slovakia (28), Latvia (26), Cyprus (18), Iceland (10), Malta (9) and Liechtenstein (1).
As of 10 June 2020, 1 150 395 cases and 128 645 deaths have been reported in the EU.
 
NOTE: on 29/05/2020, the increase reported by France is due to the implementation of a new laboratory-based surveillance system of COVID-19 (SI-DEP) since 13 May with a significant increase of the laboratory coverage, allowing the inclusion of retrospective cases diagnosed since that date.
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
 
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Global COVID-19 cases top 7 million, deaths exceed 400,000
Yesterday, 75% of cases were in 10 nations, mostly in the Americas and South Asia.
More »
 
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“It stains the history of Brazilian public health.”
Cardiologist André Longo, the health secretary of Pernambuco state in Brazil, responds to a decision by the country’s ministry of health to reclassify some deaths attributed to COVID-19 as being from other causes. The Brazilian government has stopped releasing the total numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths and has taken down the website that contained historical data. (The Guardian | 6 min read)
 
These 7 countries have the most worrying Covid-19 outbreaks
Vox
 
=========================
Control Measures
 
On the minds of Black Lives Matter protesters: a racist health system.
ProPublica

Can tear gas and pepper spray increase virus spread?
AP
 
Q&A: Masks and COVID-19:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-and-masks
 
Social distancing policies have impacted behaviors during the pandemic, but behavioral variations across racial, political, and employment lines indicate a need for targeted interventions, according to preprint study results.
medRxiv

How to stand your ground on social distancing, without alienating family and friends
The Washington Post
=========================
 
Countries Measures
 
Cuba sets example with successful programme to contain coronavirus
The Guardian

New Zealand hits zero active coronavirus cases. Here are 5 measures to keep it that way
New Zealand is now likely free of COVID-19. But while the pandemic continues elsewhere, strict border controls and face masks are among measures the country will need to keep it that way.
https://theconversation.com/new-zealand-hits-zero-active-coronavirus-cases-here-are-5-measures-to-keep-it-that-way-139862
 
Social Distancing Impact
Two new articles were published in Nature that describe the effects of social distancing and other interventions on the COVID-19 pandemic. One article used data from 1,717 different interventions at the local, regional and national level in the United States, France, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and China. Based on econometric modeling techniques, which are typically used to evaluate economic impact of events and policies, the researchers evaluated the impact of various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including large-scale social distancing policies, on the epidemic growth. They concluded that interventions in these countries may have prevented 62 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, which corresponds to an estimated 530 million total SARS-CoV-2 infections. These include 4.8 million confirmed cases (60 million infections) in the United States alone.
 
The other article focused on interventions in Europe through May 4, 2020, when some countries began to relax national social distancing measures. Considering available data from serological studies, the researchers estimated the true number of infections in order to evaluate the effects of social distancing policies on transmission and mortality. This study found that nonpharmaceutical interventions, including national “lockdowns,” could have averted approximately 3.1 million COVID-19 deaths across 11 European countries. 
 
State and local governments across the United States continue to relax social distancing measures. Notably, New York City and Las Vegas are expanding business and social activities. The changes in Las Vegas, in particular, have raised concern about increased transmission risk as videos and photos have circulated showing individuals crowding into casinos with questionable social distancing and many people not wearing face masks. 
 
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli claimed that the coronavirus has been “eliminated thanks to God” in the country, which has stopped publishing COVID-19 data, BBC reports; but journalist Grainne Harrington says Tanzanian truck drivers are showing up positive in Uganda.
 
===========================
 
Scientific Publications, Reports and News

'Care for nature' to keep people safe and well, leaders urge
The coronavirus pandemic has shown the need for humans to use the planet's natural resources more sustainably, to ward off disease and climate change
The presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica and Switzerland, joined by ministers from a dozen other countries, on Friday launched a "High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People", aimed at persuading governments to agree on a global goal to preserve at least 30% of the planet's lands and oceans by 2030.
https://news.trust.org/item/20200605130846-9n69a

WHO Says Asymptomatic Spread Of Coronavirus 'Very Rare,' But Experts Raise Questions
https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/06/08/who-says-asymptomatic-spread-of-coronavirus-very-rare-but-experts-raise-questions

Half of Singapore's new COVID-19 cases are symptomless - taskforce head
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-singapore-wong-exc/exclusive-half-of-singapores-new-covid-19-cases-are-symptomless-taskforce-head-idUKKBN23F17G
 
COVID-19 and essential pregnant worker policies
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30446-1/fulltext
 

Experts offer advice for pregnancy, birth in pandemic
Keeping infected moms in rooms separate from their babies is one approach, but with breast milk options.
More »

Genetic testing companies join COVID-19 research effort
preliminary results from a 23andMe study found evidence that genes influencing blood type help dictate a person’s susceptibility to COVID-19; type O blood was found to be particularly protective against the virus.
Bloomberg
 
Genetic Variations & Covid-19
A recent study (preprint, not yet peer reviewed) indicates that individuals with certain blood types and other genetic variations may be at elevated risk of respiratory failure due to COVID-19. One key finding suggested that individuals with Type A blood were at 50% higher risk of requiring oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation. Notably, genetic variations related to the ACE2 receptor, which is how the SARS-CoV-2 virus attaches to human cells, did not show any significant impact on infection.
 
Informal home care providers: the forgotten health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31254-X/fulltext
 
Active case finding with case management: the key to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31278-2/fulltext
 
Quantifying additional COVID-19 symptoms will save lives
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31281-2/fulltext
 
Early evidence of pronounced brain involvement in fatal COVID-19 outcomes
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31282-4/fulltext
 
The WHO we want
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31298-8/fulltext

China, scientists dismiss Harvard study suggesting COVID-19 was spreading in Wuhan in August
The research, which has not been peer-reviewed by other scientists, used satellite imagery of hospital parking lots in Wuhan - where the disease was first identified in late 2019 - and data for symptom-related queries on search engines for things such as “cough” and “diarrhea”.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-research/coronavirus-may-have-spread-in-wuhan-in-august-harvard-research-shows-but-china-dismissive-idUSKBN23G0OM

China defends its coronavirus response in new report
https://apnews.com/e1a9358749fc91d6c2ca74a0c2282516
 
FROM THE FIELD: Pacific islanders confront twin threats of climate change and coronavirus
People living on an isolated island community in the Pacific Ocean are finding ways to reduce their dependence on expensive imported food while promoting climate resilient farming techniques, thanks to a programme supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
https://undp-climate.exposure.co/the-ocean-is-our-store-keeper
 
Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
Two recently published studies provide new analysis of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS) associated with COVID-19 in children. The first study, published in Eurosurveillance, describes the results of a nationwide surveillance effort in France conducted March 1-May 7. The researchers identified 156 potential cases of PIMS over that period, including 79 confirmed, 16 probable, and 13 possible cases (48 were ruled out based on the study’s case definition).
 
The second study, published in The BMJ, looked at the clinical presentation of PIMS in Paris, France.

Europe is Going for Blood
Europe has a roadblock in its quest for pharmaceutical self-sufficiency: a reliance on American blood plasma. Blood plasma is a crucial element in developing drugs, and that includes experimental COVID-19 treatments.
Reuters
 
Why abattoirs in Nigeria pose a threat to health and the environment
The Conversation
 
China orders pangolin protection amid pandemic
AP

Remembering Sara Little Turnbull, Whose Bra Cup Design Became the N95 Mask
https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/624703/sara-little-turnbull-who-designed-n95-mask-using-bra-cup

WHO clarifies comments on asymptomatic spread of Covid-19
A day after suggesting that asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 is "very rare," a top WHO official clarified yesterday that scientists haven't yet determined how common this form of spread is. The WHO's original comments led to strong pushback from experts, who suggested that the agency had miscommunicated or erred when suggesting that those without symptoms were unlikely to spread infection. "The majority of transmission that we know about is that people who have symptoms transmit the virus to other people through infectious droplets," Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on the pandemic, clarified. "But there are a subset of people who don’t develop symptoms, and to truly understand how many people don’t have symptoms, we don’t actually have that answer yet." 
Read more here
 
A new CDC investigation of the Covid-19 outbreak aboard the Navy ship USS Theodore Roosevelt reinforces the need for social distancing and protective measures such as wearing masks, according to the report's authors. About 1,000 service members aboard the ship are thought to have been infected, and a survey of 382 of these individuals found that nearly 1 in 5 showed no symptoms. Those who were symptomatic had mild symptoms such as the loss of taste or smell. 
 
===================
Testing

Positive Covid-19 tests kept a mom and baby apart for 55 days. Experts see it as a bigger testing problem
Positive Covid-19 tests kept a mother and baby in Montreal apart for eight weeks. Experts say the case is a sign of a bigger problem with testing.
Read More
 
New report examines challenges and implications of false-negative COVID-19 tests
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (news release) 
 
================
Treatment
 
Remdesivir prevented lung disease in monkeys infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a new Nature study; several countries have already greenlit the antiviral for emergency use in the sickest patients.
Reuters
 
U.S. supply of remdesivir could run out within weeks, top official warns
CBS
 
How a family’s frantic search for remdesivir — and a 330-mile road trip — reshaped Tennessee’s Covid-19 response
STAT
 
Hydroxychloroquine Trial Terminated
The United Kingdom terminated the hydroxychloroquine arm of its RECOVERY clinical trial after finding no evidence of treatment benefit for COVID-19 patients. The UK’s Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial, a national clinical trial to test the efficacy of potential COVID-19 treatments, has stopped enrolling new patients in a trial arm testing hydroxychloroquine. In a statement released Friday, the study’s chief investigators stated that preliminary findings from 1,542 patients demonstrated that there was no clinical benefit from the use of hydroxychloroquine. The trial participants in the hydroxychloroquine treatment arm showed no significant improvements in mortality or hospital stay length compared to other participants receiving usual medical care. The statement committed to publishing the full results in the near future.
 
Expression of concern: Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31290-3/fulltext
 
Retraction—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31324-6/fulltext

After retractions of two Covid-19 papers, scientists ask what went wrong
After the retractions of two Covid-19 papers from top journals, the scientific community is once again wrestling whether it could have been prevented.
Read More

Researcher involved in retracted Lancet study has faculty appointment terminated, as details in scandal emerge
The decision comes as new details emerge in the scandal that has ignited a firestorm of controversy in the scientific community.
Read More
 
A concerning number of severe COVID-19
patients are taking days or weeks—rather than hours—to wake up from medically induced comas after spending long periods on ventilators; some may never function the way they did before the illness.
The Washington Post 
 
=============
Vaccines

Abortion opponents protest COVID-19 vaccines’ use of fetal cells
 Science
 
Former Army medical research commander: It would be 'terrible' if political pressure rushed Covid-19 vaccine
CNN
 
Cape Town COVID-19 vaccine trial comes under fire from activists
https://bhekisisa.org/health-news-south-africa/2020-06-08-covid19-bcg-trials-south-africa-task-personal-protective-gear-trained-immunity
 
Coronavirus vaccine candidates’ pivotal U.S. testing to start this summer. 
The Wall Street Journal
 
========================
 
Consequences of the Outbreak on Society and Economy
 
OPINION: Women and children will pay for this pandemic – unless we act
https://news.trust.org/item/20200526130612-rofbs
 
Coronavirus: World Bank confirms deepest recession since World War Two
The COVID-19 pandemic will shrink the global economy by 5.2 per cent this year, representing the deepest recession since World War Two, and triggering a dramatic rise in extreme poverty, the World Bank said Monday in its latest Global Economic Prospects report.
https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/06/1065902

Coronavirus vs. inequality
https://feature.undp.org/coronavirus-vs-inequality

Coronapod: The heavy toll on people of colour
The coronavirus is killing a disproportionate number of people of colour. As systemic injustices are brought to the fore across the world, the Nature news team discusses how scientists and policymakers can address the virus’s unequal burden.
Nature Coronapod podcast | 26 min listen

Racism, Not Genetics, Explains Why Black Americans Are Dying Of COVID-19
Scientific American (commentary)
 
The Sexual-Health Supply Chain Is Broken
The Atlantic

Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health amid COVID-19
PRI’s The World

COVID-19 and Mental Health Survey Seeks Participants
An international research consortium is seeking participants from across the world for a study on mental health outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic. The COMET: COVID-19 Mental Health Survey: A Longitudinal, Cross-Country Comparison mostly uses psychological instruments, but also includes a cultural component to understand how individuals' reactions through their value orientations will shift over time through this pandemic. Researchers are looking to recruit individuals from across the US, China, Indonesia, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Learn more
 
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Risk Communication
 
Updated WHO Myth buster
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
 
UNESCO mythbusting
https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/disinfodemic_deciphering_covid19_disinformation.pdf
 
Corona Diaries
WGH has partnered with Corona Diaries to collect the stories of frontline health workers fighting coronavirus! Please share with your networks and record your stories: https://coronadiaries.io/index.html
 
---------------------------------
WHO Technical Guidance
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance
 
New
WHO has published 14 new community and risk engagement posters on parenting during the pandemic. Some of the topics that these posters cover include: learning through play, keeping calm and managing stress, keeping children safe online, family budgeting in times of financial stress, and talking about COVID-19.
 
=====================
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

COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv
https://connect.medrxiv.org/relate/content/181
==============

Training courses:
WHO training
https://openwho.org/courses

ECDC COVID-19 Micro learning 
https://eva.ecdc.europa.eu/mod/forum/discuss.php
============================

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

Global outbreak research: harmony not hegemony
 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30440-0/fulltext
 
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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
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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 emailcwannous@yahoo.com  

 

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