COVID-19 Situation: 19 November 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 Situation: 19 November 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:

Weekly update on COVID-19- 17 November 2020
https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update---17-november-2020
 
WHO COVID-19 dashboards for most up-to-date figures
Global dashboard https://covid19.who.int/

COVID-19 Partners Platform & Supply Portal
https://covid19partnersplatform.who.int/
 
Updates from WHO regional offices
 
WHO PAHO
COVID-19 Situation in the Region of the Americas
November 19th, 2020 15:00 (EST)
An additional 235,279 cases and 3,891 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, representing a 0.99% relative increase in cases and a 0.57% relative increase in deaths, compared to the previous day. Two of the largest drivers of COVID-19 cases in the region of the Americas, the United States and Brazilboth reported large increases in their number of new cases this week.
PAHO Situation Reports
https://www.paho.org/en/topics/coronavirus-infections/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-pandemic
 
WHO EURO
https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/technical-guidance/whoeuropes-covid-19-country-support-dashboard-beta-version

New COVID-19 situation dashboard
ECDC has launched a new COVID-19 situation dashboard, providing users with a simple, user-friendly platform to explore and interact with the latest COVID-19 data from Europe and worldwide. 
https://qap.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/COVID-19.html
 
WHO AFRO
https://who.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0c9b3a8b68d0437a8cf28581e9c063a9
 
https://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus-covid-19#sitreps
 
WHO EMRO
http://www.emro.who.int/health-topics/corona-virus/index.html
 
WHO SEARO
https://www.who.int/southeastasia/outbreaks-and-emergencies/novel-coronavirus-2019
 
WHO WPRO
 https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19
 
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
 
=========================
Someone in Europe is dying every 17 seconds from covid-19, WHO says
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/coronavirus-europe-death-who-second-wave-slowing/2020/11/19/09e29bfe-29cc-11eb-9c21-3cc501d0981f_story.html
 
Italy and Spain report highest daily Covid deaths of second wave
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/17/italy-spain-report-highest-daily-covid-deaths-second-wave
 
France tops 2 million Covid-19 cases
https://www.france24.com/en/france/20201117-france-tops-2-million-covid-19-cases

US COVID-19 crisis deepens as deaths top 250,000
The White House coronavirus task force says deaths could approach 2,000 a day in the coming weeks.
More »

‘People are going to die’: Hospitals in half the states are facing a massive staffing shortage as Covid-19 surges
Hospitals in at least 25 states are critically short of nurses, doctors, and other staff as coronavirus cases surge across the United States.
Read More
 
====================
Countries Measures

New York City’s school system, the nation’s largest, will close as virus cases rise. It’s a big setback to the city’s recovery.
The shutdown is a worrisome signal that a second wave of the coronavirus has arrived. Schools have been open for in-person instruction for just under eight weeks.
Read the latest
 
Coronavirus: four traps governments fall into when making decisions about lockdown
https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-four-traps-governments-fall-into-when-making-decisions-about-lockdown-149684
 
UK Police can resume issuing instant £10,000 Covid fines
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/17/police-chiefs-tell-officers-stop-issuing-instant-10000-covid-fines
 
Businessman was paid £21m of taxpayer cash for securing NHS PPE
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/17/businessman-gabriel-gonzalez-andersson-paid-taxpayer-cash-for-securing-nhs-ppe
 
The UK needs a sustainable strategy for COVID-19
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32350-3/fulltext
 
Dutch virus restrictions to be eased amid falling infections
https://apnews.com/7bc4e5fa90751a4bd15bf9a5fb1af884
 
Coronavirus: Austria starts tough lockdown as Italy cracks down on nursing homes
https://www.euronews.com/2020/11/17/coronavirus-austria-starts-tough-lockdown-as-italy-cracks-down-on-nursing-homes?
 
France to launch Covid-19 vaccine campaign in January
https://www.france24.com/en/france/20201117-france-to-launch-covid-19-vaccine-campaign-in-january
 
Italy asks overseas doctors to fly in to help fight COVID-19
https://www.euronews.com/2020/11/17/italy-asks-overseas-doctors-to-fly-in-to-help-fight-covid-19
 
Danish cabinet minister resigns over mink culling order that has shaken highest levels of government
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/11/18/denmark-mink-cull-coronavirus-minister/
 
Intensive Care Units in Switzerland 'at capacity' because of COVID-19 pandemic
https://www.euronews.com/2020/11/19/intensive-care-units-in-switzerland-at-capacity-because-of-covid-19-pandemic
 
Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2041

Europe must think more globally in crafting its pandemic response
The EU has struggled to find a unified voice in the pandemic. A new plan is a strong start, but needs to be more outward-looking.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03246-9
 
BA, American Airlines plan voluntary COVID-19 testing plan
https://apnews.com/4f64e56b90bc7ca876ce85ddb6d06eb1
 
COVID-19 in Brazil: the headlines should be about science
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32375-8/fulltext

Opinion: The year of the pandemic: a view from South Korea
South Korea should be hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But it hasn't been — so far. Is it mask wearing? Hand washing? Fatalism?
Read More
 
===========================
 
Scientific Publications, Reports and News
 
 Ecosystem perspectives are needed to manage zoonotic risks in a changing climate
This paper shows how better understanding of the way environmental changes affect pathogens, hosts, and disease vectors can help prevent and respond to zoonoses. A challenge to integrating ecological knowledge into decision support is the lack of understanding and data on key biological, ecological, social, and geographic features of many zoonoses and their reservoir hosts (including for priority diseases such as viral hemorrhagic fevers).
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3389
 
One Health: A necessary blend of biodiversity and human health goals
COVID-19 provides an unfortunate but essential opportunity to demonstrate the fundamental importance of the One Health approach, and make connections with important biodiversity targets. In October 2019, WCS and the German Federal Foreign Office co-hosted a conference titled, “One Planet, One Health, One Future” which brought together members of academia, government, policy, and civil society from nearly 50 countries to forge the Berlin Principles on One Health. The message was to reassert the fundamental importance of biodiversity in One Health.
https://news.mongabay.com/2020/11/one-health-a-necessary-blend-of-biodiversity-and-human-health-goals-commentary/
 
Predicting the local COVID-19 outbreak around the world with meteorological conditions: a model-based qualitative study
Significant correlation of the daily new confirmed case count with the weather 3 to 7 days ago were found. SARS-CoV-2 is easy to spread under weather conditions of average temperature at 5 to 15°C, relative humidity at 70% to 80%, wind speed at 1.5 to 4.5 m/s and air visibility less than 10 statute miles. According to this model, there are five viral transmission patterns, ‘restricted’, ‘controlled’, ‘natural’, ‘tropical’ and ‘southern’. This model’s prediction performance correlates with actual observations best (over 0.9 correlation coefficient) under natural spread mode of SARS-CoV-2 when there is not much human interference such as epidemic control.
10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041397

More avoidable pandemics await a heedless world
There will be more avoidable pandemics, more devastating and lethal, as humans intrude further upon the planet’s forests.
https://yubanet.com/world/more-avoidable-pandemics-await-a-heedless-world/
 
Large, delayed outbreaks of endemic diseases possible following COVID-19 controls
Measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as mask wearing and social distancing are a key tool in combatting the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. These actions also have greatly reduced incidence of many other diseases, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
https://aos.princeton.edu/news/large-delayed-outbreaks-endemic-diseases-possible-following-covid-19-controls
 
Immunity to Coronavirus Could Last Years, Study Finds
https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-11-17/immunity-to-coronavirus-could-last-years-study-finds
 
Counting stillbirths and COVID 19—there has never been a more urgent time
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30456-3/fulltext
 
Leveraging the COVID-19 response to end preventable child deaths from pneumonia
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32348-5/fulltext

Asymptomatic COVID: what the data say
Growing evidence suggests that about one in five people infected with COVID-19 experience no symptoms — much lower than the number estimated early in the pandemic. Asymptomatic people also seem less likely than people with symptoms to transmit the infection to others. But researchers are divided about whether asymptomatic infections are acting as a ‘silent driver’ of outbreaks. That’s why precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks are so important, whether you have symptoms or not.
Nature | 3 min read
Reference: JAMMI meta-analysis, medRxiv preprint & SSRN preprint
 
The Coronavirus Is Airborne Indoors. But We’re Still Scrubbing Surfaces.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/world/asia/coronavirus-scrubbing-surfaces.html
 
===================
Testing
 
The Food and Drug Administration authorized the first completely at-home rapid coronavirus test, which can return results in about half an hour. It is projected to cost $50 or less.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/11/18/world/covid-19-coronavirus#the-fda-authorizes-the-first-at-home-coronavirus-test
================
Tracking

CDC: Symptom-based COVID-19 airport screening ineffective
Data published today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) shows that resource-intensive, symptom-based airline passenger entry screening identified few laboratory-diagnosed COVID-19 cases—only 1 case for every 85,000 travelers screened. The researchers also highlight the inadequacy of electronic airline data for contact tracing, finding that only 22% of records contain both the traveler's phone number and physical address.   
Nov 13 MMWR study

Demystifying COVID-19 Digital Contact Tracing: A Survey on Frameworks and Mobile Apps
This work offers the first to our knowledge fullfledged review of the most concrete digital contact tracing architectures proposed by governments so far in a global scale to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, governments are rushing to devise or embrace novel surveillance mechanisms and monitoring systems to fight the outbreak.
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/wcmc/2020/8851429/
 
Digital privacy and Covid-19: between a paradox and a hard place
https://theconversation.com/digital-privacy-and-covid-19-between-a-paradox-and-a-hard-place-136418

Wellcome calls for more focused antimicrobial resistance agenda
The nonprofit spoke with 150 public health, policy, and scientific experts to craft a strategy for addressing drug resistance post-COVID-19.
More »
 
==============
Treatment

Health systems are using AI to predict severe Covid-19 cases. But limited data could produce unreliable results
Some institutions have not published any results showing whether their models to predict a Covid-19 patient's trajectory actually work.
Read Mor

Delirium could signal Covid-19 infection in older adults, study finds
In some older adults coming to the ER, delilrium was the only symptom in patients who tested positive for Covid-19.
Read More
 
WHO tells doctors not to use Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment, splitting with FDA
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/19/coronavirus-who-tells-doctors-dont-use-gileads-remdesivir-splitting-with-fda.html
 
=============
Vaccines

Pfizer completed its coronavirus vaccine trial. It says the shots are 95 percent effective, have no serious side effects and work for older people.
The drug maker Pfizer offered on Wednesday the first set of complete results from a late-stage vaccine trial as Covid-19 cases skyrocket around the globe. The data showed that the vaccine prevented mild and severe forms of Covid-19, the company said. And it was 94 percent effective in older adults, who are more vulnerable to developing severe Covid-19 and who do not respond strongly to some types of vaccines.
Read the latest
 
Pfizer launches pilot delivery program for potential coronavirus vaccine in 4 states
https://globalnews.ca/news/7467127/pfizer-coronavirus-vaccine-states/

The World’s Wild and Crazy Vaccine Ride Is Just Starting
Is it possible to have too many vaccines? We may soon find out.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/11/17/moderna-pfizer-the-worlds-wild-and-crazy-vaccine-ride-is-just-starting
 
Covid: chemicals found in everyday products could hinder vaccine
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/17/chemicals-found-in-everyday-products-could-hinder-covid-19-vaccine
 
Covid-19 vaccine: who are countries prioritising for first doses?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/18/covid-19-vaccine-who-are-countries-prioritising-for-first-doses
 
GAO highlights COVID vaccine supply chain, drug transparency issues
Supply chain issues could hinder vaccine rollout, and EUA data must be transparent, the report says.
More »

Why some vaccines don’t like it hot
Pfizer and BioNTech have a plan for the tricky fact that their vaccine has to be kept below –80 ℃: specially designed, temperature-controlled thermal shippers that can be refilled with dry ice and used as temporary storage units for 15 days. Each contains a GPS-enabled thermal sensor to track the location and temperature of the shipment. US biotech company Moderna says its promising vaccine lasts six months in a normal freezer. Science investigates why some vaccines degrade at higher temperatures and what we can learn from the ultracold supply chains for the Ebola vaccine.
Science | 7 min read
 
Canada may donate extra vaccine doses to low-income countries, according to government sources.
[Reuters]
 
========================
 
Consequences of the Outbreak on Society and Economy
 
Ethics and equity in the time of Coronavirus
https://www.publish.csiro.au/hc/pdf/HCv12n2_ED2
 
The Effect of Covid-19 on Education in Africa and its Implications for the Use of Technology: A Survey of the Experience and Opinions of Educators and Technology Specialists
From eLearning Africa and the EdTech Hub, this report shares the perspectives of 1,650 EdTech experts from 52 African countries regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education on the continent. Survey respondents highlighted 3 main obstacles for learners in the midst of school shutdown: a lack of access to technology, an unsuitable home learning environment, and a lack of access to learning materials. However, the overall picture is of a continent that remains optimistic in the face of the pandemic and understands that the combination of education and technology is more important now than ever
https://www.comminit.com/covid/content/effect-covid-19-education-africa-and-its-implications-use-technology
 
Gender
 
Attitudes towards female leaders haven't changed despite successes managing coronavirus
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/harris-vp-win-makes-history-but-attitudes-to-womens-leadership-shows-room-to-grow/
 
 
Health
Mayo Clinic: 900 employees at top US hospital catch Covid-19 in two weeks
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/18/covid-19-mayo-clinic-hospital-employees-infected
 
Caught in the COVID-19 Storm: Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health in the Context of UHC and the SDGs
From the UN Secretary-General's Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) for EWEC, this report reviews the status of key EWEC indicators towards the SDGs and the implications of COVID-19 on women's, children's, and adolescents' health and rights. It presents: country scorecards and case studies, analyses of challenges and factors for success, an accountability framework with 4 pillars, and 3 recommendations for strengthening accountability to accelerate progress with an eye to 2030, which is linked to the IAP's embrace of the September 2019 UN High-level Meeting Declaration on universal health coverage (UHC).
https://www.comminit.com/covid/content/caught-covid-19-storm-womens-childrens-and-adolescents-health-context-uhc-and-sdgs
 
COVID-19: A Gender Lens - Protecting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and Promoting Gender Equality
This UNFPA technical brief sheds light on the differential impacts COVID-19 can have on women due to factors such as social norms and the division of labour. For example, emergency response to the pandemic means that resources for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services may be diverted, possibly contributing to a rise in maternal and newborn mortality, increased unmet need for contraception, and increased number of sexually transmitted infections. The brief offers a list of recommendations, including those related to the participation of women in decision-making to ensure efforts and response do not further discriminate against and exclude those most at risk
https://www.comminit.com/covid/content/covid-19-gender-lens-protecting-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-and-promoting
 
Neglected and Forgotten: Women with Disabilities during the COVID Crisis in India
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the discrimination, isolation, and marginalisation that India's 11.8 million women with disabilities experience. To understand the extent of the challenges and to recommend remedies, the civil society organisations Rising Flame and Sightsavers undertook research, led by disabled people, which unearthed access barriers with regard to information and communication, digital spaces, remote/digital education, social protection, food and essentials, and physical and psychological support. The report offers recommendations around the inclusion of the experiences and voices of women and girls with disabilities in the COVID-19 response in India.
https://www.comminit.com/covid/content/neglected-and-forgotten-women-disabilities-during-covid-crisis-india
 
‘A pandemic of its own’: How COVID-19 is impacting mental health
https://globalnews.ca/news/7467226/covid-19-pandemic-mental-health-2/
 
Estimated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer services and excess 1-year mortality in people with cancer and multimorbidity: near real-time data on cancer care, cancer deaths and a population-based cohort study
10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043828

==============================
Risk Communication

Changes in COVID-19 Prevention Behaviors Over Time
The findings, culled from surveys of more than 720,000 people in 23 countries, allow researchers, public health programmers and policymakers to see and respond to trends.

Read more »

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 information for individuals, organizations and communities
https://www.who.int/teams/risk-communication
=========================

Resources

WHO Technical guidance
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance

Sex, gender and COVID-19: overview and resources
https://globalhealth5050.org/covid19

COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker
https://data.undp.org/gendertracker/
 
New COVID-19 Tracker
Reuters is collecting daily COVID-19 infections and deaths data for 240 countries and territories around the world, updated regularly throughout each day. With this project we are focusing on the trends within countries as they try to contain the virus’ spread, whether they are approaching or past peak infection rates, or if they are seeing a resurgence of infections or deaths.
https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/

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
 
The Health System Response Monitor (HSRM)
has been designed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to collect and organize up-to-date information on how countries are responding to the crisis. It focuses primarily on the responses of health systems but also captures wider public health initiatives. This is a joint undertaking of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission, and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.
Click here for policy recommendations and technical guidance from the WHO Regional Office for Europe on how to strengthen the health systems response to COVID-19 and click here for the EU coronavirus response in the area of public health.
https://covid19healthsystem.org/mainpage.aspx
==============

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
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.

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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  

 

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