COVID-19 situation: 1 April 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 1 April 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 situation report-71 by 31 March 2020

  • No new countries/territories/areas reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
  • As mentioned by the Director-General in his regular media briefing yesterday, ensuring free movement of essential health products is vital for saving lives and curbing the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. WHO is working intensively with partners to increase access to life-saving products, including diagnostics, PPE, medical oxygen, ventilators and more. For more information:
  • Operations support and logistics continues to monitor critical markets and in partnership with the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, has increased engagement and coordination with private companies. Since the beginning of the outbreak, OSL has shipped more than 800 000 surgical masks, 54 000 N95 masks, 873 000 gloves, 15 000 goggles and 24 000 face shields to 75 countries. OSL has also shipped COVID-19 testing kits to 126 countries. For more details, please see ‘subject in focus’

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

  • Globally 750 890 confirmed (57 610) 36 405 deaths (3301)
  • Western Pacific Region 104 868 confirmed (1093) 3671 deaths (22)
  • European Region 423 946 confirmed (31 131) 26 694 deaths (2733)
  • South-East Asia Region 4215 confirmed (131) 166 deaths (8)
  • Eastern Mediterranean Region 50 349 confirmed (4020) 2954 deaths (142)
  • Region of the Americas 163 014 confirmed (20 935) 2836 deaths (379)
  • African Region 3786 confirmed (300) 77 deaths (17)

WHO Risk Assessment
Global Level    Very High
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:
Latest updates - Live press conference (Geneva)

US COVID-19 deaths top China's; data show impact on those with chronic disease
A second study shows a 5% COVID-19 rate in those with mild flulike illness.
More »
US AIRCRAFT CARRIER OUTBREAK An ongoing outbreak onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier could potentially put thousands of US Sailors and Marines at risk for COVID-19.

Situation update for the EU/EEA and the UK as of 1 April 2020
As of 01 April 2020, 421 808 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: Italy (105 792), Spain (94 417), Germany (67 366), France (52 128), United Kingdom (25 150), Belgium (12 775), Netherlands (12 595), Austria (10 182), Portugal (7 443), Norway (4 447), Sweden (4 435), Czech Republic (3 308), Ireland (3 235), Denmark (2 860), Poland (2 311), Romania (2 245), Luxembourg (2 178), Finland (1 384), Greece (1 314), Iceland (1 135), Croatia (867), Slovenia (814), Estonia (745), Lithuania (533), Hungary (492), Bulgaria (399), Latvia (398), Slovakia (363), Cyprus (262), Malta (167) and Liechtenstein (68).
As of 01 April 2020, 29 350 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: Italy (12 430), Spain (8 189), France (3 523), United Kingdom (1 789), Netherlands (1 039), Germany (732), Belgium (705), Sweden (180), Portugal (160), Austria (128), Denmark (90), Ireland (71), Romania (69), Greece (49), Poland (33), Czech Republic (31), Norway (28), Luxembourg (23), Finland (17), Hungary (16), Slovenia (13), Bulgaria (8), Cyprus (8), Lithuania (7), Croatia (6), Estonia (4) and Iceland (2).
Situation dashboard: latest available data

Control Measures

Mass testing, empty ICUs: Germany scores early against virus

If Most Of Your Coronavirus Tests Come Back Positive, You're Not Testing Enough
In communities where most coronavirus tests are coming back positive, it's a sign there are many more cases there that haven't been found, say World Health Organization officials in a press conference on Monday. "If 80-90% of the people test positive, you are probably missing a lot of cases," says Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program. "We would certainly like to see countries testing at the level of ten negative tests to one positive, as a general benchmark of a system that's doing enough testing to pick up all cases," Ryan says.
That's because more positives means the tests are being used mainly to confirm obvious cases, and as a result health authorities are not getting a clear picture on the scope of the epidemic in their area.

Can you put a price on COVID-19 options? Experts weigh lives versus economics
initial modeling efforts showed that even a yearlong lockdown makes economic sense, to allow time for a vaccine to be developed. The pause would shrink the economy by approximately 22%—a cost of $4.2 trillion. By comparison, the model shows that without containment measures, the economy would contract by about 7% over that year—but as many as 500,000 additional lives would be lost, which translates into a loss of roughly $6.1 trillion.

What actually are ‘essential services’ and who decides?

The $1 billion bet: Pharma giant and U.S. government team up in all-out coronavirus vaccine push

What can hospitals still do to prep for COVID-19?
Less-affected hospitals should be thinking creatively and acting urgently to be ready to care for COVID-19 patients, experts say.
More »

A new Covid-19 problem: Shortages of medicines needed for placing patients on ventilators
n top of the overwhelming shortages of medical equipment required to combat Covid-19, there are now signs that medicines needed for patients who are placed on ventilators are also in short supply.
The medicines include more than a dozen sedatives, anesthetics, painkillers, and muscle relaxants, and the shortages raise the possibility that it could become more difficult for health care providers to place these patients on ventilators.

In the fight against coronavirus, antivirals are as important as a vaccine. Here’s where the science is up to

Chinese scientists seeking potential COVID-19 treatment find 'effective' antibodies

We shouldn’t rush to use an unproven malaria drug to treat the coronavirus
At the urging of the White House, several manufacturers revived production and will donate millions of pills. And now, the Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use by hospitals. However, there’s an issue: No one knows if hydroxychloroquine is truly effective against Covid-19 because we don’t have results from full-blown clinical trials. For this reason, doctors should avoid prescribing the tablet, except perhaps to the most severely ill patients.

Test makers are moving fast, but the coronavirus may be moving faster

Covid-19: Stanford launches an accelerated test of AI to help with Covid-19 care
Researchers at Stanford are working on deploying an algorithm that could quickly identify which Covid-19 patients are going to need the most intensive care. But the challenge with the AI program is not going to be in its development, but in ensuring that it's carefully rolled out and applied appropriately.
more here

Because of age, third of US doctors prone to worse COVID-19
Experts suggest limiting older docs' direct patient care and expanding their telehealth role.
More »

Should pets be tested for coronavirus?
Countries measures

1.3 billion people. A 21-day lockdown. Can India curb the coronavirus?
without control measures, 300 million to 500 million Indians could be infected by the end of July and 30 million to 50 million could have severe disease, according to one model. And the world’s second most populous country has large numbers of poor living in crowded, unsanitary conditions and a weak public health infrastructure, with just 0.7 hospital beds per 1000 persons, compared with Italy’s 3.4 and the United States’s 2.9; India also has fewer than 50,000 ventilators.

Regaining control: the case for a short, sharp lockdown (rather than the slow trickle we’ve had so far)
A short, sharp, complete lockdown of four to six weeks will improve Australia’s control of the epidemic, reduce case numbers more rapidly and bring us to a more manageable baseline. From there, we can start to phase in lifting of restrictions safely. Economic recovery can begin.

South Korea keeps covid-19 at bay without a total lockdown
But the long-term outlook is still uncertain

Mexico and the United States shut their border, sort of
Mexico: The government is making a risky bet that it can achieve better results from a modeling-driven targeted response to COVID-19 than a nationwide lockdown. The Washington Post
Scientific publications and reports and news

As global COVID-19 total passes 850,000, study shows 1.4% fatality rate
More »

Coronavirus: How new simulations can predict the spread of future pandemics

How to model a pandemic

Here’s what the coronavirus pandemic can teach us about tackling climate change

‘Pandemic drones’: useful for enforcing social distancing, or for creating a police state?

The new coronavirus emerged from the global wildlife trade – and may be devastating enough to end it
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments to impose severe restrictions, such as social distancing, that will have massive economic costs. But there has been less discussion about identifying and changing behaviors that contribute to the emergence of zoonotic diseases. As a conservation biologist, I believe this outbreak demonstrates the urgent need to end the global wildlife trade.
New research suggests industrial livestock, not wet markets, might be origin of Covid-19
GRAIN and other organisations and scientists have been raising the alarm for over a decade now about how the industrialisation and corporate   consolidation of meat production has generated increased risks for the emergence of global pandemics such as Covid-19. But this reality has   been completely ignored by governments and the big meat companies they are beholden to. With the growing carnage from Covid-19, a radical change in direction is more urgent than ever.
Read the full article at:

Coronavirus is a wake-up call: our war with the environment is leading to pandemics

The epidemic provides a chance to do good by the climate
The chances are, though, that it will not be taken
Consequences of the Outbreak on society and Economy

‘How will we eat’? India’s coronavirus lockdown threatens millions with severe hardship

How covid-19 exacerbates inequality
Boris Johnson wants to “level up” Britain; covid-19 is doing the opposite

COVID-19 and immigration detention in the USA: time to act
Over 37 000 immigrants are currently detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) in more than 130 facilities across the USA. As understandable fear of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic intensifies in the USA, so too does the imminent danger ICE prisons pose not only to the vulnerable populations detained within their walls but to the nation's public health. Given the urgent need to control the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), ICE should release all detained immigrants posing no threat to public safety

Impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable children in temporary accommodation in the UK

The COVID-19 response must be disability inclusive
Concerns regarding protection against COVID-19, access to paid sick leave, and financial compensation have led workers at multiple large companies to strike this week.
Overview of several studies that aim to characterize and forecast the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing and other response measures in the United States.
Notably, one study found that recent economic trends more closely resemble natural disasters than a traditional economic recession, which could potentially provide insight into how the recovery could progress after the pandemic recedes.
Risk communication
Updated WHO Myth buster
WHO WhatsApp health alert launches in Arabic, French and Spanish

Social media companies are taking steps to tamp down coronavirus misinformation – but they can do more
COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement
Women, the elderly, adolescents, youth, and children, persons with disabilities, indigenous populations, refugees, migrants, and minorities experience the highest degree of socio-economic marginalization. Marginalized people become even more vulnerable in emergencies. This is due to factors such as their lack of access to effective surveillance and early-warning systems, and health services.
RCCE Action plan guidance COVID-19 preparedness & response
Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) is an essential component of your health emergency preparedness and response action plan. This tool is designed to support risk communication, community engagement staff and responders working with national health authorities, and other partners to develop, implement and monitor an effective action plan for communicating effectively with the public, engaging with communities, local partners and other...
WHO Technical guidance
New guidance
COVID-19: Operational guidance for maintaining essential health services during an outbreak 
Handbook for public health capacity-building at ground crossings and cross-border collaboration
Operational considerations for managing COVID-19 cases/outbreak on board ships
A practical manual about how to set up and manage a severe acute respiratory infections treatment centre and a screening facility in health care facilities
The First Few X cases and contacts (FFX) investigation protocol for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19:
Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19
Responding to community spread of COVID-19
This document provides technical guidance for government authorities, health workers, and other key stakeholders to guide response to community spread. It will be updated as new information or technical guidance become available. For countries that are already preparing or responding, this document can also serve as a checklist to identify any remaining gaps.
- Access the document
Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions
WHO has defined four transmission scenarios for COVID-19:
1. Countries with no cases (No cases);
2. Countries with 1 or more cases, imported or locally detected (Sporadic cases);
3. Countries experiencing cases clusters in time, geographic location and/or common exposure (Clusters of cases);
4. Countries experiencing larger outbreaks of local transmission (Community transmission).
This document describes the preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19 for each transmission scenario.
- Access the document
The CDC published new guidance on COVID-19
guidance for pregnant women
The CDC notes that the extent to which pregnant women are at increased risk for infection, disease, or severe disease remains uncertain. Other coronaviruses and respiratory viruses (e.g., influenza) can be more severe in pregnant women, but additional study is required for COVID-19.
The CDC published guidance for health departments, community service organizations, housing agencies, and health systems to mitigate the risk to individuals experiencing homelessness.
 guidance for hemodialysis clinics to protect patients and staff
IASC Guidance on COVID-19 outbreak readiness and response - Food distribution

The Coronavirus Papers unlocked: 5,352 scientific articles covering the coronavirus - fully searchable and free.
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.
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

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:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, recently developed Novel Coronavirus Resources Page.


Training courses:
Emerging respiratory viruses, including COVID-19: methods for detection, prevention, response and control
Simplified Chinese course
The English version of this course is available here:
La versión en español de este curso está disponible aquí :
La version française de ce cours est disponible sur :

COVID-19 Micro learning 
ECDC has produced series of micro learning activities (5-30 minutes) related to COVID-19.
The short e-learning courses provide guidance on the application of non-pharmaceutical countermeasures and include the following:
1. Introduction to COVID-19 NPC
2. Personal protective equipment against COVID-19
3. Environmental countermeasures against COVID-19
4. Social distancing countermeasures against COVID-19
5. Travel related countermeasures against COVID-19



Research and Development

Global research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Database of publications on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)



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  


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