COVID-19 situation: 9 July 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 9 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  

Wishing you useful reading!

COVID-19 Outbreak Situation 

Situation updates:
WHO Situation Report 170 by 8 July 2020

  • WHO experts will travel to China to work together with their Chinese counterparts to prepare scientific plans for identifying the zoonotic source of the SARS-COV-2virus.The experts will develop the scope and terms of reference for a WHO-led international mission.
  • WHO has delivered$1.6 million worth of essential COVID-19 medical supplies and equipment to Afghanistan, a country with a health system facing severe challenges. The shipment, amounting to a total of 9.5 tons, includes personal protective equipment, PCR machines, oxygen concentrator machines, and stretchers, as well as other equipment. It will bolster efforts to keep frontline medical staff safe and improve testing capacity in the country.
  • Burkina Faso has resumed polio vaccination campaigns under strict COVID-19 prevention measures. "We cannot wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to be contained to resume immunization activities." Said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
  • As the region of the Americas reports 100,000 cases of COVID-19 a day, the Director of the WHO Regional Office of the Americas, Dr Carissa F. Etienne, has called for strong coordination across countries, evidence to guide leaders’ actions and for people to protect themselves and others.
Links to the COVID-19 dashboards for most up-to-date figures:
Global 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)
Situation updates in the Region of the Americas

July 8th, 2020 15:00 (EST)
An additional 121,117 cases and 3,778 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, representing a 2.02% relative increase in cases and a 1.41% relative increase in deaths, compared to the previous day.
The United States of America accounts for 48.5% of all cases and 48.0% of all deaths for the Region of the Americas and Brazil accounts for 27.2% of all cases and 24.5% of all deaths. Combined, these two countries account for 75.7% of all cases and 72.5% of all deaths currently reported in the Region.


Situation update for the EU/EEA and the UK as of 9 July 2020
As of 09 July 2020, 1 567 717 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (286 979), Spain (252 513), Italy (242 149), Germany (197 783), France (169 473), Sweden (73 858), Belgium (62 210), Netherlands (50 691), Portugal (44 859), Poland (36 689), Romania (30 175), Ireland (25 542), Austria (18 516), Denmark (12 900), Czechia (12 814), Norway (8 947), Finland (7 265), Bulgaria (6 342), Luxembourg (4 650), Hungary (4 210), Greece (3 622), Croatia (3 325), Estonia (2 003), Iceland (1 880), Lithuania (1 854), Slovakia (1 798), Slovenia (1 763), Latvia (1 141), Cyprus (1 008), Malta (673) and Liechtenstein (85).
As of 09 July 2020, 178 826 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (44 517), Italy (34 914), France (29 965), Spain (28 396), Belgium (9 778), Germany (9 048), Netherlands (6 126), Sweden (5 482), Romania (1 817), Ireland (1 743), Portugal (1 631), Poland (1 542), Austria (706), Denmark (609), Hungary (589), Czechia (351), Finland (329), Bulgaria (259), Norway (251), Greece (193), Croatia (114), Slovenia (111), Luxembourg (110), Lithuania (79), Estonia (69), Latvia (30), Slovakia (28), Cyprus (19), Iceland (10), Malta (9) and Liechtenstein (1).
Situation dashboard: latest available data

US posts largest single-day jump in new COVID-19 cases
With the nation entering the 4th of July holiday, Florida had a record high of more than 10,000 cases, and surging cases in Texas triggered an executive order to wear masks.
More »

With single-day case record, US COVID-19 total tops 3 million
Task force coordinator Birx says harder-hit states should re-enter phase 1 of reopening.
More »

COVID-19 cases surge higher in Americas and African regions
Cases increased 20% in the Americas over the past week, and in Africa, cases in 22 countries have more than doubled over the past month.
More »
Control Measures

Retired N95 inventor returns to save lives
Retired inventor Peter Tsai, who created the filter material used in N95 masks, is back at work in a makeshift laboratory in his home. He has been working long days, mostly for free, to help researchers, manufacturers and health-care workers to tackle questions about scaling up production and making masks reusable. Among his recent home-lab findings is that being heated at 70 ℃ for 60 minutes will sterilize masks when there are shortages of personal protective equipment.
The Washington Post | 8 min read
Reference: Journal of Emergency Medicine report
Countries Measures

US notifies UN that it’s leaving the WHO
The United States has formally notified the United Nations that it is withdrawing from the World Health Organization (WHO). Global-health experts warn that the move puts at risk everything from polio eradication to pandemic preparedness. Much is uncertain: the WHO’s founding constitution has no provision for countries to withdraw. “This is the end of an era of United States global-health leadership,” says public-health legal scholar Lawrence Gostin.
STAT | 10 min read
Read more: What a US exit from the WHO means for COVID-19 and global health (Nature | 8 min read, from May)

Leaving the WHO Will Hurt Americans’ Health
The World Health Organization is woven into the fabric of U.S. public health, and extricating it won’t be easy.
Public health experts worry CDC is being stifled on COVID-19
Roll Call
How America Lost the War on Covid-19
The New York Times (commentary)
Hours after President Trump called CDC guidelines for schools "tough and expensive," the agency said that it would reissue new guidelines for reopening schools in the fall. Speaking at a coronavirus task force press event, CDC Director Robert Redfield also said that the guidelines from his agency shouldn't be used to justify keeping schools closed.

Scandal at San Quentin
Prison authorities in California declined free coronavirus tests and urgent advice from scientists. Now San Quentin State Prison is grappling with the third-largest coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Researchers are speaking out in the hopes of preventing similar tragedies in other prisons and the communities that surround them.
Nature | 7 min read

Statement From Former Gov. Scientists & Public Health Officials Calling for Science-based Response to the Serious and Growing COVID-19 Pandemic
Harvard, MIT sue to block Trump administration from stripping student visas amid pandemic
The Hill 

Brazil’s Bolsonaro has COVID-19
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus. Brazil is in the throes of the world's second-largest outbreak, behind the United States. Bolsonaro has often downplayed the seriousness of the disease, which has killed at least 66,000 people in the country. “The fact I've been infected shows I'm a human like anyone else,” he said.
NPR | 4 min read
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has vetoed several COVID-19 protections for indigenous communities in proposed legislation designed to protect “groups in situations of extreme vulnerability.”
In the Serbian capital Belgrade, protests over a reinstated COVID-19 curfew turned violent Tuesday, with dozens of police and demonstrators injured.

How We Can Ensure the Safety of Our Health Workers

Scientific Publications, Reports and News

Preventing the next pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission
The report focuses specifically on the environmental side of the zoonotic dimension of disease outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic. It fills a critical knowledge gap and provide policymakers with a better understanding of the context and nature of potential future zoonotic disease outbreaks. It examines the root causes of the COVID-19 pandemic and other zoonoses.
Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on countries affected by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the extraordinary gains made by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria partnership in the fight against the three epidemics. In 2020 we will likely see increases in deaths and new infections across all three diseases for the first time in many years as health and community systems are overwhelmed, treatment and prevention programs are disrupted, and resources are diverted.

WHO: access to HIV medicines severely impacted by COVID-19 as AIDS response stalls
Countries seek innovative ways to mitigate the impact of disruptions and keep services going

Comparing SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV and influenza pandemics
The basic reproductive rate (R0) for SARS-CoV-2 is estimated to be 2·5 (range 1·8–3·6) compared with 2·0–3·0 for SARS-CoV and the 1918 influenza pandemic, 0·9 for MERS-CoV, and 1·5 for the 2009 influenza pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 causes mild or asymptomatic disease in most cases; however, severe to critical illness occurs in a small proportion of infected individuals, with the highest rate seen in people older than 70 years. early introduction of strict physical distancing and hygiene measures have proven effective in sharply reducing R0 and associated mortality and could in part explain the geographical differences.
As cases in Africa surpass half a million, the nonprofit Surgo Foundation just released an index to assess African nations' vulnerability to Covid-19 and how they could manage the economic and health effects of an outbreak. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most vulnerable nation in central Africa, the data show, owing to its poor health infrastructure and inadequate sanitation.
Explore the index here

Sweden Public Health Authority updated guidance concerning positive antibody test
Officials note that based on the knowledge available today, it is likely that so-called IgG antibodies to COVID-19 provide, in whole or in part, protection against a new infection with serious symptoms. In the updated guidance, the Public Health Authority assesses that a positive antibody test likely means it can provide protection for up to six months from the person receiving his test result. But with increased knowledge, this may be updated.

An expert explains: Why it's wrong to talk about a second wave of COVID-19

COVID-19: Study shows 40% of cases in Italian town showed no symptoms
Illegal trade in fake or faulty COVID-19 products booming, new UN research reveals
A surge in demand for medical products to combat COVID-19 has led to a jump in the trafficking of substandard and faulty merchandise, according to new UN research
UN chief highlights need for decent jobs to fuel COVID-19 recovery
More than 50 Heads of State and government, alongside global employers’ and trade union leaders, have been taking part in an online discussion on Wednesday looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work.

Study details neurologic complications in COVID-19 patients
COVID-19 patients may be at an increased risk for delirium, brain inflammation, stroke, and nerve damage, according to a study published today in Brain. Though the study included only 29 COVID-19 patients, the findings suggest neurologic conditions may be the only presenting symptoms in some infected people.
Jul 8 Brain study
Jul 8 University College London press release
Disease Control, Civil Liberties, and Mass Testing — Calibrating Restrictions during the Covid-19 Pandemic
A guide to support the well-being of healthcare personnel during a time of crisis
The Uniformed Services University’s (USU) National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) collaborated with the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP), the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide medical personnel with...

Standing up for Science
The Indian Academy of Sciences pushed back on its government's plans to release its homegrown vaccine in mid-August, calling the timeline “unreasonable and without precedent,” The government granted permission for 2 vaccine candidates to launch phase I and II trials just week—which, even when expedited, should take a minimum of 5 months for proper safety testing, says Indian virologist Thekkekara Jacob John, who emphasized “Clinical trials cannot be rushed.”
 according to Science.

Update: Funding the COVID-19 response.
Donors are converting commitments to announcements through awarded contracts, grants, new programs, tenders, and open funding opportunities. But for many, this is still a work in progress.
Here's the latest.

Symptoms not enough for 911 COVID-19 screening, study finds
In 62% of 911 emergency dispatches, the patient did not report COVID symptoms.
More »

A flawed Covid-19 study gets the White House’s attention — and the FDA may pay the price
The FDA risks being pulled into an ugly political fracas over whether to permit more patients to be treated with hydroxychloroquine.
Read More
A New Generation of Fast Coronavirus Tests Is Coming
The New York Times
Covid-19: No large hidden outbreak in Africa but health worker shortage worsens
What makes a ‘wave’ of disease? An epidemiologist explains
The Conversation

CPR in the Covid-19 Era — An Ethical Framework

Opinion: My Covid-19 symptoms have lasted more than 100 days, and I’m not alone. Will they ever end?
My first Covid-19 symptoms appeared March 14. More than 100 days later, Covid-19 is still with me. Some days I wonder if it will ever leave.
Read More

A flawed Covid-19 study gets the White House’s attention — and the FDA may pay the price
Even though multiple studies in thousands of patients have now shown that hydroxychloroquine is unlikely to benefit Covid-19 patients, the White House is once again trying to signal to the FDA to reauthorize the malaria drug for emergency use. A new Henry Ford study the White House is touting is flawed, experts say: Patients were not randomized and were also more likely to get steroids, which have been shown to help Covid-19 patients and which likely skewed the study's results. Experts are worried that the FDA may once again be pulled into a messy political debate. “The FDA cannot afford another misstep if it wants to maintain credibility with American people,” former FDA acting chief scientist .
Read more here
Clinical characteristics and outcomes of the first 63 adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19: An experience from Oman
ICU admission, those on mechanical ventilation, the elderly, those with high total bilirubin and low corrected calcium were associated with high mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
A massive study of UK patient data from 17 million+ people bolsters evidence that key risk factors for COVID-19 deaths include being male, older age, and having diabetes; ­­­­Black and South Asian people faced higher risk than whites even after adjusting for other factors.

Almost 1 in 6 Britons say they would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine, a YouGov poll found; people who rely on traditional media rather than social media for information were more likely to say they’d get a vaccine.
The Guardian
Consequences of the Outbreak on society and Economy

EU launches another tool on pandemic's threat to human rights
As governments claim exceptional powers to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission is spending €350,000 ($400,000) on a new platform to monitor the consequences for democracy and human rights.
The online tool, prepared by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — or International IDEA — is intended as a one-stop shop to allow policymakers, journalists, civil society groups, and the public to track the impact of the pandemic.
Identify and address ‘real needs’ to recover from COVID-19, UN rights expert urges
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in “a serious setback” for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an independent UN human rights expert said on Wednesday, urging a high-level meeting to “take a hard look” at implementation efforts to live up to the promise to leave no one behind.
Low-income communities of color—disproportionately impacted by COVID-19—are struggling to get tested in new coronavirus hotspots such as Arizona and Florida as testing sites remain concentrated in wealthier areas.
Kenya's president has ordered a probe into the uptick in violence against women and girls as helpline calls surge amid COVID-19 lockdowns.
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Women in academia are publishing fewer paper since the pandemic, likely driven in large part by mothers spending more time caring for and teaching their kids. But some employers, including Massachusetts General Hospital, are now working to help fix the disparity by pausing the clock for tenure-track hopefuls and offering virtual conferencing options for women to present their research.
more here.
More people will die from hunger caused by the pandemic than by the disease itself,
an Oxfam report warns. An additional 12,000 deaths a day are expected.
The Telegraph
US immunizations have plummeted since the pandemic began; 2 months into the shutdown, administered vaccine doses in New York City were down 63% on the previous year, an investigation found.
Scientific American
 Risk Communication

1st WHO Infodemiology Conference
When: 21 July 2020 15:00 CET
Topic: Outcomes of the 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference 
Register here
Updated WHO Myth buster
UNESCO mythbusting
EPI-WIN: tailored informationfor individuals, organizations and communities
WHO Technical guidance
The CDC published new guidance on COVID-19

Sex, gender and COVID-19: overview and 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.

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:
WHO training
100th COVID-19 course launched on OpenWHO
OpenWHO launched its 100th online course to support the response to coronavirus disease on 26 June, exactly 5 months after launching its first COVID-19 course
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
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 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.
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

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