COVID-19 situation: 27 July 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 27 July 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:
 
Situation Report–188
Data as received by WHO from national authorities by 10:00 CEST, 26July2020
Highlights

  • WHO has published an interim guidance on safe Eid al Adha practices in the context of COVID-19.The document highlights public health advice for social gatherings and religious practices that can be applied across different national contexts.
  • In Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Monks and health officials are working together to keep communities safe from COVID-19.The Ministry of Health, Lao Front for National Development and the Central Buddhist Fellowship, with technical support from the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific and financial support from the United States via USAID, organized a two-day engagement event to discuss community level action to preventCOVID-19 and combat the fear, stigma and discrimination outbreaks can bring.
  • WHO has published a draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines. As of 24 July, twenty-five candidate vaccines are under clinical evaluation.
  • On 23 July, the WHO Regional Office for Africa warned of the threat posed by COVID-19 to health workers across Africa. More than 10 000 health workers in the 40 countries are reported to be infected with COVID-19,a sign of the challenges medical staff on the frontlines of the outbreak face.

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200726-covid-19-sitrep-188.pdf
 
COVID-19 in the WHO African Region
https://who.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0c9b3a8b68d0437a8cf28581e9c063a9
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/333388/SITREP_COVID-19_WHOAFRO_20200722-eng.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
 
===================
Situation updates in the Region of the Americas
July 25th, 2020 15:00 (EST)
An additional 93,499 cases and 2,890 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, representing a 1.13% relative increase in cases and a 0.88% relative increase in deaths, compared to the previous day.
The United States of America accounts for 47.8% of all cases and 43.2% of all deaths for the Region of the Americas and Brazil accounts for 27.9% of all cases and 25.6% of all deaths. Combined, these two countries account for 75.7% of all cases and 68.8% of all deaths currently reported in the Region.
https://www.paho.org/en/topics/coronavirus-infections/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-pandemic

==============================

Situation update for the EU/EEA and the UK as of 19 July 2020
As of 26 July 2020, 1 670 732 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (298 681), Spain (272 421), Italy (245 864), Germany (205 269), France (180 528), Sweden (78 997), Belgium (65 634), Netherlands (52 732), Portugal (49 955), Romania (43 678), Poland (42 622), Ireland (25 869), Austria (20 349), Czechia (15 212), Denmark (13 438), Bulgaria (10 312), Norway (9 085), Finland (7 388), Luxembourg (6 189), Croatia (4 792), Hungary (4 435), Greece (4 166), Slovakia (2 141), Slovenia (2 066), Estonia (2 033), Lithuania (2 001), Iceland (1 843), Latvia (1 206), Cyprus (1 053), Malta (686) and Liechtenstein (87).
As of 26 July 2020, 181 568 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (45 738), Italy (35 102), France (30 192), Spain (28 432), Belgium (9 821), Germany (9 118), Netherlands (6 140), Sweden (5 697), Romania (2 165), Ireland (1 764), Portugal (1 716), Poland (1 664), Austria (712), Denmark (613), Hungary (596), Czechia (368), Bulgaria (338), Finland (329), Norway (255), Greece (201), Croatia (133), Slovenia (115), Luxembourg (112), Lithuania (80), Estonia (69), Latvia (31), Slovakia (28), Cyprus (19), Iceland (10), Malta (9) 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
 
=====================

Global COVID-19 total pushes past 15.5 million
In India, surging COVID-19 has led to remdesivir shortages for treating critically sick patients, and in Brazil, virus levels are now high in areas that weren't affected earlier,
More »
 
More than 4 million confirmed cases in the US and 143,800 related deaths

READ MORE

 
Just 10 countries are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s COVID-19 cases and half of the cases have occurred in the US, Brazil, and India, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday. 
CIDRAP
 
Statement from the co-chairs of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) on the decision of the United States of America to begin the process of withdrawal from the World Health Organization
https://apps.who.int/gpmb/assets/pdf/GPMB_Co-Chairs_Statement_US_withdrawal_13_July_2020.pdf
 
New funds proposed to prevent pandemics
A new fund to prevent future pandemics has been proposed by the US Senate, and another by the World Bank. But some global health leaders have criticised the plans.
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31592-0/fulltext
=========================
Control Measures
 
The global march of face masks: A mirror on humanity
AP
 
====================
Countries Measures
 

CDC urges in-person learning for schools
"We need to reopen the schools with the understanding the virus is still here," CDC Director Robert Redfield says.
More »
 
France's COVID-19 response: balancing conflicting public health traditions
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31599-3/fulltext
 
Mexico opens anti-monopoly probe amid oxygen price rise
AP
 
Clean Hands Are Needed In Health Care Facilities In Zambia — During Covid-19 & Beyond  Health Reporters (commentary)
 
Early policy actions and emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Mongolia: experiences and challenges
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30295-3/fulltext
 
===========================
 
Scientific Publications, Reports and News
 

Study finds no transmission of COVID-19 from moms to newborns
A study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health found no evidence of COVID-19 transmission between 120 babies born to mothers with COVID-19, even after 2 weeks of breastfeeding with appropriate hygiene precautions.
The findings led the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to change its guidance on infants and COVID-19–positive mothers. The guidelines now recommend that newborns "room-in" with infected others after delivery if proper hygiene precautions are taken, including wearing a mask when appropriate and practicing hand hygiene.
Jul 23 Lancet Child Adolesc Health study
Jul 22 AAP guidance
Jul 23 Lancet Child Adolesc Health commentary

Study finds higher COVID-19 diagnoses, deaths in counties with more Latinos
COVID-19 diagnosis rates are greater in disproportionally Latino counties, but risks and deaths among Latino populations differ by region, US researchers reported yesterday in the Annals of Epidemiology.
The authors suggested the higher death rate in Latino Midwest counties could be linked to Midwestern meat and poultry processing facilities, which employ many Latino migrants. They say the findings call for "focused and energetic" policy responses.
Jul 23 Ann Intern Med study

Opinion: A pandemic ethical conundrum: Must health care workers risk their lives to treat Covid-19 patients?
More than 100,000 health care workers have been infected in the United States alone and nearly 550 have died from Covid-19.
Read More
 
Coronavirus particles traveled 26 feet in a slaughterhouse’s cold, stale air,
German researchers showed—shedding light on how meat plants have have become global hotspots.
Bloomberg

All about COVID-19 immunity
The immune response that protects against COVID-19 is not yet well understood. Some anecdotes suggest that people might be able to get infected twice in quick succession. And preliminary studies indicate that antibodies produced to fight off SARS-CoV-2 might dissipate quickly. The message from the experts: more research is needed, but don’t panic. Our knowledge of other diseases suggests that repeated infections are unlikely. And our immune systems have an arsenal of weapons: when antibodies disperse, the T cells still stand guard. But for how long? With the coronavirus, we just don’t know yet.
The New York Times | 11 min read
 
An astounding 47% of adults in US have underlying medical conditions—such as heart disease, and diabetes—that have been associated with an increased risk for severe COVID-19.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Nearly 40% of people who have died with COVID-19 had diabetes—while insulin’s high price forces some people with the condition to keep working—increasing their exposure to the virus.
Reuters
 
COVID-19 response centre for healthy cities
City leaders are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. It is critical that they have access to practical tools and the resources they need to guide their work. 
https://cities4health.org/

Actionables for a healthy recovery from COVID-19
https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/actionables-for-a-healthy-recovery-from-covid-19

New COVID-19 Law Lab to provide vital legal information and support for the global COVID-19 response
https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/22-07-2020-new-covid-19-law-lab-to-provide-vital-legal-information-and-support-for-the-global-covid-19-response

Brazilian trial finds no COVID-19 benefit from hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin
A randomized controlled trial of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Brazil found that the use of hydroxychloroquine, with or without azithromycin, did not improve clinical status at 15 days compared with standard care, researchers reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The multicenter trial, conducted at 55 hospitals in Brazil, included 667 patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and mild-to-moderate illness. Participants were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to receive standard of care, standard of care plus 400 milligrams of hydroxychloroquine twice daily, or standard of care plus hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (500 mg once daily for 7 days).
In addition, more adverse events, including prolongation of the corrected QT interval and elevation of liver-enzyme levels, occurred in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin (39.3%) and hydroxychloroquine alone (33.7%) than in patients receiving standard care (22.6%).
Jul 23 N Engl J Med study

Study reveals risk factors for COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes
COVID-19 infections passed from staff members to residents at 627 long-term care (LTC) facilities in Ontario, Canada, by early April were strongly associated with resident deaths from the novel coronavirus, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.
the incident rate ratio (IRR) for coronavirus deaths in LTC residents was 13.1 (95% CI, 9.9 to 17.3) versus their community-living counterparts. The IRR rose dramatically over time, to 87.3 (95% credible interval, 6.4 to 769.8) by Apr 11. Staff member infections were linked to resident deaths after a 6-day lag (adjusted IRR for death per infected employee, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.26).
It also shows that staff are more likely to infect residents than vice versa. The authors noted that, in addition to staff-to-resident infection, fear of COVID-19 could have kept some employees home, increasing the risk of resident death from dehydration or other means.
Jul 22 JAMA Netw Open study

Live COVID-19 virus isolated from human nose-throat, saliva specimens
A small study published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection found live SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in one nose-throat swab and two saliva specimens of five infected hospital patients in Korea 11 to 15 days after symptom onset.
Jul 22 Clin Microbiol Infect study
 
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: preventing collateral damage from COVID-19
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(20)30159-6/fulltext
 
===================
Testing

Rapid Scaling Up of Covid-19 Diagnostic Testing in the United States — The NIH RADx Initiative
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr2022263
 
COVID-19 Law Lab
This new initiative gathers and shares legal documents from over 190 countries to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic. The goal is to ensure that laws protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
https://covidlawlab.org/
 
================
Tracking
 
Impact of delays on effectiveness of contact tracing strategies for COVID-19: a modelling study
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(20)30157-2/fulltext
 
Can digital contact tracing make up for lost time?
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(20)30160-2/fulltext
 
======
Treatment

Pilot study evaluates use of dogs for SARS-CoV-2 detection
A small pilot study suggests trained scent-detection dogs have the potential to be used for mass detection of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, German researchers reported yesterday in BMC Infectious Diseases.
Jul 23 BMC Infect Dis study

NIH to start ‘flurry’ of large studies of potential Covid-19 treatments
The agency is hoping that the studies, on top of its vaccine research, will expand what remains a limited arsenal of therapies to help people with Covid-19.
Read More
 
Severely ill people yield 19 powerful antibodies
Scientists have identified a diverse group of antibodies that block the new coronavirus’s ability to infect cells — even when applied in low doses. Researchers analysed the plasma of 5 people with severe cases of COVID-19 and found 19 neutralizing antibodies that prevented SARS-CoV-2 infection in cell samples. A small dose of one of the antibodies protected golden Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) from the infection.
Reference: Nature paper

Viral levels could help to target treatment
The amount of viral RNA in the nose and throat of a person infected with the new coronavirus could help clinicians to decide how to treat them. Researchers analysed the viral load in samples taken from 4,172 people infected with SARS-CoV-2, and noticed 2 distinct stages of COVID-19. Early in the disease, people have high viral loads, which tend to decline gradually as the disease progresses. This later stage is typically characterized by inflammation. Viral-load decline could thus be a cue to start treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs. There was no correlation between viral load and the severity of disease.
Reference: arXiv preprint (not peer reviewed)
Get more of Nature’s continuously updated selection of the must-read papers and preprints on COVID-19.
 
=============
Vaccines
 
Here are the most promising coronavirus vaccine candidates out there
READ MORE
 
China offers $1 billion loan to Latin America and the Caribbean for access to its Covid-19 vaccine
CNN

Biotech for a better, faster, stronger vaccine
Advances in technology are accelerating the search for drugs to arm the immune system against SARS-CoV-2. Researchers are using informatics to design more effective vaccines, and are speeding up development with plug-and-play platform technologies. They’re also studying pathogen protein structures in the hope of creating a more powerful vaccine.
Nature | 12 min read
 
 
National Academies Launch Fast-Track Study on Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine
In response to a request from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have formed a committee that will develop an overarching framework to assist policymakers in the U.S. and global health communities in planning for equitable allocation of vaccines against COVID-19. The committee will hold its first meeting on July 24. See the event agenda & register to attend >>

As part of the study, the committee will consider what criteria should be used to set priorities for equitable distribution among groups of potential vaccine recipients, taking into account factors such as population health disparities; individuals at higher risk because of health status, occupation, or living conditions; and geographic distribution of active virus spread. In addition, the committee will consider how communities of color can be assured access to COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and recommend strategies to mitigate vaccine hesitancy among the American public.
 
Learn More
 
========================
 
Consequences of the Outbreak on society and Economy
 

'My world stopped spinning' - life on hold for millions of Philippine migrant workers
Overseas Filipino workers are losing jobs over COVID-19, slashing remittances that account for nearly 10% of the country's GDP
https://news.trust.org/item/20200723093543-20m5i
 

U.N. report suggests temporary basic income to help world's poorest amid pandemic
Payouts could help slow infections by allowing people who would otherwise face starvation to stay at home, said U.N. experts. The report suggests three options - top-ups on existing average incomes, lump-sum transfers linked to differences in the median standard of living across a country or uniform lump sum transfers regardless of where someone lives in a country.
https://news.trust.org/item/20200723031427-0quif
 
Indonesia & COVID-19
Due to the pandemic, Indonesia's real GDP growth slumped from 5.0% in Q4 2019 to 3.0% in Q1 2020, the lowest quarterly growth since 2001. What does this mean for the country?
More in the latest Indonesia Economic Prospects.
 
“Responding to COVID-19 and Recovering Better”
These policy briefs from UN DESA represent a series that ran from 1 April through June 2020 and aimed to complement and support the UN Secretary-General's initiatives in response to COVID-19 and provide the detailed analysis and solid evidence needed for effective decision-making at global, regional and national levels. The briefs advised on a number of critical social and economic issues, including designing inclusive stimulus packages, preventing a global debt crisis, supporting countries in special situations, protecting the most vulnerable groups of people, strengthening the role of science, technology and institutions for effective response, and working together to build back better and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Link to the report
 
More than 10,000 health workers in Africa alone have been infected with COVID-19
the WHO reported .

Globally, health workers account for about 10% of all cases.
Lost on the Frontline
Kaiser Health News
 
===========
A global survey, One Health Networks and Workforce Response to COVID-19, is now launched! You are invited to take the following two actions:
1) Complete the survey based on your experience.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OneHealthNetworkSurvey
2) Forward this email and survey link to colleagues and other interested persons in your networks.
The objective of this collaborative study is to describe the contributions of the diverse workforce to the COVID-19 pandemic and the connection of One Health networks (OHNs) to workforce response activities. The results will expand the understanding of the value of a One Health approach and the role of OHNs. Results will be utilized to develop targeted interventions to improve workforce capacity for public health response to the COVID-19 and future pandemics. 
Responses are encouraged whether or not you work in One Health or are part of a One Health Network. The estimated time to complete this questionnaire is 10 minutes. It will remain open until 5:00 PM EDT Friday, August 14, 2020.
For more information, please see the Participant Information Sheet https://tinyurl.com/yd6b2zl9

-----------------------------
 
Risk Communication
 
Why Shame Is A Bad Public Health Tool — Especially In A Pandemic
NPR (audio)
 
New Guidance for Decision Makers on Encouraging COVID-19 Protective Behaviors
A new rapid expert consultation from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) identifies promising strategies to make the adoption of protective behaviors against COVID-19 more likely, including steps such as wearing a mask or regularly washing your hands.
Read The Guidance
 
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
 
EPI-WIN: tailored informationfor individuals, organizations and communities
https://www.who.int/teams/risk-communication
=========================
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

Sex, gender and COVID-19: overview and resources
https://globalhealth5050.org/covid19
 
Lancet Coronavirus Resource Centre
This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) content from across The Lancetjournals 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
 
PAHO sources and materials on COVID19
https://www.campusvirtualsp.org/en/covid-19

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

Research and Development
Strengthening the global effort on COVID-19 research
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31598-1/fulltext
 
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
 
“Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/solidarity-clinical-trial-for-covid-19-treatments
 
“Solidarity II” global serologic study for COVID-19
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/solidarity-2-global-serologic-study-for-covid-19
 
Accelerating a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/accelerating-a-safe-and-effective-covid-19-vaccine
 
COVID-19 technology access pool
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/covid-19-technology-access-pool
=============================
 
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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