COVID-19 Situation: 28 September 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 Situation: 28 September 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  

Wishing you useful reading!

COVID-19 Outbreak Situation 

Situation updates:
WHO global Weekly Epidemiological Update- 25 September
COVID-19 dashboards for most up-to-date figures:
Global dashboard

COVID-19 Partners Platform & Supply Portal
Updates from WHO regional offices
September 27th, 2020 15:00 (EST)
An additional 127,012 cases and 2,943 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, representing a 0.78% relative increase in cases and a 0.54% relative increase in deaths, compared to the previous day.
The United States of America accounts for 43% of all cases and 37% of all deaths for the Region of the Americas, a decrease of 6% and 14% respectively, compared to three months prior. Brazil accounts for 29% of all cases and 26% of all deaths, a 3% increase for each, compared to three months prior. Combined, these two countries account for 72% of all cases and 63% of all deaths currently reported in the Region of the Americas
PAHO Situation Reports
All information about COVID- 19 can be found here:
Latest updates - Live press conference (Geneva)
One million and counting
The covid-19 pandemic is worse than official figures show
But some things are improving, and it will not go on for ever

US COVID-19 cases top 7 million
An the international front, Europe continues to see case counts rise, and the WHO makes its case for big investments in tools to battle the virus.
More »

Rapid risk assessment: Increased transmission of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK – twelfth update
Countries Measures

Protecting the Editorial Independence of the CDC From Politics
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed great demands on local, state, and federal public health officials and on health care systems. Health professionals and the public they serve deserve information from CDC based on the best available science. For nearly 60 years, MMWR has served as a trusted source of public health information. Now more than ever, it is imperative to ensure that the public’s trust in MMWR as the voice of CDC is maintained.
New document reveals scope and structure of Operation Warp Speed and underscores vast military involvement
Corona-sniffing dogs start work at Helsinki Airport            
Four dogs of various breeds, which can detect the virus faster than laboratory tests, have begun checking volunteers at the airport.

New restrictions come into force in Paris and 11 other French cities
The restrictions come as the number of positive Covid-19 tests in France rose to 7.4% (compared with 4.5% on 4 September and 5.7% on 20 September). This is a better indicator than the number of new coronavirus cases as this figure depends on the number of tests being carried out. There are now 1,230 clusters under investigation in France.
UK eyes tougher COVID-19 restrictions for England as outbreak spreads
In England, refusing to self-isolate is now illegal
for known COVID-19 patients—and their contacts must quarantine—after a government study found just 18% of people with symptoms went into isolation; offenders face fines up to £10,000 (~$13,000).
UK government sourcing NHS PPE from company repeatedly accused of forced labour
The Guardian
Scientific Publications, Reports and News
Work a key determinant in COVID-19 risk

Susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Children and Adolescents Compared with Adults A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
In this systematic review and meta-analysis including 32 studies, children and adolescents younger than 20 years had 44% lower odds of secondary infection with SARS-CoV-2 compared with adults 20 years and older; this finding was most marked in those younger than 10 to 14 years. Data were insufficient to conclude whether transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by children is lower than by adults. Preliminary evidence suggests that children have a lower susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with adults, but the role that children and adolescents play in transmission of this virus remains unclear.
Why children fare better
Children have a swifter, stronger “innate” immune response to unfamiliar pathogens than adults, rapidly vanquishing the virus before it causes damage according a Science Translational Medicine study published last week.
The New York Times

It’s Time to Put Children and Young People First During the Global COVID-19 Pandemic

Demographics, underlying conditions tied to worse COVID in health workers
Today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) provides updated information from voluntary reports on 100,570 healthcare personnel (HCP) with COVID-19 from February to July that shows variations in risk, including higher death rates in minority workers.
The most commonly reported job settings for HCP COVID-19 cases were nursing homes and residential care facilities—67% of cases with reported job settings—with nurses representing the most common occupation—30% of cases with known occupation type.
Sep 25 MMWR report

COVID-19 during pregnancy not associated with complications in infants
A Swedish study of pregnant COVID-19 patients giving birth at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm from Mar 25 to Jul 24 found a higher likelihood of labor complications, but no significant differences in outcomes in newborns compared with COVID-19–negative women.
Sep 23 JAMA study
Sep 23 Karolinska Institutet news release

Children, adolescents less susceptible to COVID-19, meta-analysis finds
A systemic review and meta-analysis in JAMA Pediatrics today found that children and adolescents have a significantly lower susceptibility to COVID-19 than adults do. Previous studies have reached similar conclusions, but this study pools data from 32 studies to get a clearer overall picture.
Sep 25 JAMA Pediatrics study and commentary

Covid-19 lockdown will have 'negligible' impact on climate crisis – study
Drop in emissions was a blip, say scientists, and a green recovery is vital to halt global heating

Twin 'crises' of climate and Covid hammering millions, Red Cross says
As the pandemic coincides with weather disasters, people are more vulnerable to both threats—and it's harder for aid agencies to help them.
Genomic analysis revealed that reinfections in 2 hospital workers in India
who had silent, asymptomatic infections—were genetically different strains, suggesting they were infected anew, and that asymptomatic reinfections are underreported.
A fresh surge in cases may squash the theory that the Brazilian city of Manaus has achieved herd immunity, as suggested by the preprint paper that made headlines last week (and was featured in GHN).
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Meat is mayhem       
We must use the knowledge we already have to transform our agricultural and food systems, or face the prospect of a prolonged epoch of contagion, fear, and economic stagnation.

Association of SARS-CoV-2 Test Status and Pregnancy Outcomes
Only 10% of US adults showed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a study of patients undergoing dialysis—considered a “sentinel population”; the findings show how far the country is from herd immunity.
The Lancet

Gastrointestinal Complications in Critically Ill Patients with and Without COVID-19
This study found a higher rate of gastrointestinal complications, including mesenteric ischemia, in critically ill patients with COVID-19 compared with propensity score–matched patients without COVID-19, suggesting a distinct phenotype for COVID-19 compared with conventional ARDS. High expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors along the epithelial lining of the gut that act as host-cell receptors for SARS-CoV-2 could explain involvement of abdominal organs

Risk Factors for Hospitalization, Mechanical Ventilation, or Death Among 10 131 US Veterans With SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Significant risk factors for mortality included older age, high regional coronavirus disease 2019 burden, higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score, fever, dyspnea, and abnormal results in many routine laboratory tests; however, obesity, Black race, Hispanic ethnicity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and smoking were not associated with mortality. In this study, most deaths from SARS-CoV-2 occurred in patients with age of 50 years or older, male sex, and greater comorbidity burden.

Association of Red Blood Cell Distribution Width With Mortality Risk in Hospitalized Adults With SARS-CoV-2 Infection
The findings suggest that an elevated RDW measured at admission and increasing RDW during hospitalization were associated with significantly higher mortality risk for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection; RDW may be helpful for patient risk stratification.
SARS-CoV-2 infection can block pain, opening up unexpected new possibilities for research into pain relief medication
The Conversation (not yet peer-reviewed)

Substance abuse linked to COVID-19 susceptibility: Study

COVID-19 vaccination: returning to WHO's Health For All
Australian firm says its nasal spray reduced coronavirus growth in animal study

Canada’s ‘me first’ COVID-19 vaccine strategy may come at the cost of global health
The Conversation

Among people of color asked to join Covid-19 vaccine trials, worries about inequities run deep
Consequences of the Outbreak on Society and Economy

Association of Race and Ethnicity With Comorbidities and Survival Among Patients With COVID-19 at an Urban Medical Center in New York
In a cohort study of 5902 patients with positive COVID-19 diagnosis treated at a single academic medical center in New York, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic patients had a higher proportion of more than 2 medical comorbidities and were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts. However, their survival outcomes were at least as good as those of their non-Hispanic White counterparts when controlling for age, sex, and comorbidities.

Racial Disparities in Incidence and Outcomes Among Patients With COVID-19

Insights on racial and ethnic health inequity in the context of COVID-19

Abandoned in the Amazon: how indigenous Brazilians fought covid-19
After a tribal community in Manaus was abandoned by the authorities, the group’s resourcefulness and solidarity saw it through
As Covid-19 closes schools, the world’s children go to work                                                    
Former students are taking illegal and often dangerous jobs in India and other developing countries, potentially rolling back years of progress in social mobility and public health.                                                                                       

Social, environmental factors seen behind Africa’s low COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 and Human Trafficking—the Amplified Impact on Vulnerable Populations
The impact of COVID-19 on trafficking survivors is significant. The virus has disrupted their lives and support networks while increasing financial stress, food insecurity, interpersonal violence, and grief over the loss of loved ones. In response, it is essential that we develop tailored strategies to meet the needs of individuals at risk of or exploited in human trafficking.
First coronavirus death in Greek migrant camp

The pandemic is plunging millions back into extreme poverty
It could take years for them to escape again  
Consumer sentiment and behavior continue to reflect the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis
Even in countries that have partially reopened, consumer optimism remains muted and spending intent is still below pre-crisis levels.
Read more  
Few countries living up to Covid 'green recovery' pledges – analysis                                      
Hundreds of billions of dollars are likely to be spent on economic rescue packages that increase greenhouse gas emissions, research has found.

In pandemic spotlight, public banks ponder a greener role
Ahead of the first global summit of development banks, pressure is growing on them to set a precedent for climate-safe, ethical lending.
Caregivers of elderly loved ones face heavy emotional, physical, financial toll
The Washington Post
Despite making up just 4% of US nurses, Filipino Americans account for ~30% of some 200 RNs who have died from COVID-19 in the US, according to data from National Nurses United.
MedPage Today
Risk Communication


Infodemic management: a key component of the COVID-19 global response

COVID-19 : Countries urged to take stronger action to stop spread of harmful information
Joint statement by WHO, UN, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNAIDS, ITU, UN Global Pulse, and IFRC. Managing the COVID-19 infodemic: Promoting healthy behaviours and mitigating the harm from misinformation and disinformation
How to report misinformation online
You can help to stop the spread of misinformation. If you see content that you believe to be false or misleading, report it to the hosting social media platform. Let's beat COVID-19 together!
Updated WHO Myth buster
UNESCO Mythbusting
EPI-WIN: tailored information for individuals, organizations and communities
WHO Technical guidance
The CDC published guidance on COVID-19

Sex, gender and COVID-19: overview and resources
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.
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.
Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

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

Training courses:
New- Navigating the Tripartite Zoonoses Guide (TZG)
Taking a multisectoral, One Health approach is necessary to address complex health threats at the human-animal-environment interface. The Tripartite organisations – the OIE, FAO and WHO, launched the Tripartite Zoonoses Guide (TZG) in 2019, to provide guidance and best practices for addressing zoonotic diseases in countries. This new training introduces participants to the TZG while providing practical guidance for strengthening a One Health approach to zoonotic diseases.
WHO training
PAHO sources and materials on COVID19

ECDC COVID-19 Micro learning

Research and Development
Global research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Database of publications on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
“Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments
“Solidarity II” global serologic study for COVID-19
Accelerating a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine
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




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  


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