COVID-19 situation: 3 Aug 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 3 Aug 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:
Global Situation Report–196
Data as received by WHO from national authorities by 10:00 CEST, 3 Aug 2020

  • WHO has published a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Progress Report. The report highlights the progress made from 1 February to 30 June 2020 under the three objectives outlined in the Strategic Response and Preparedness Plan: scaling up international coordination and support; scaling up country preparedness and response by pillar; and accelerating research and innovation.
  • "Immune systems are compromised by malnutrition, especially in the case of children, leaving them vulnerable to infectious diseases, including COVID-19," said Salah Alshaoof, a nutrition and health professional at the WHO-supported therapeutic feeding centre in Yemen. WHO has provided support to 90 therapeutic feeding centres in Yemen with support from Italy and other donors.
  • Robots are being used in Rwanda in the fight against COVID-19.The 5 human-size robots which were acquired through a partnership between the UNDP Rwanda Accelerator Lab and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation were launched in May 2020 at the Kanyinya COVID-19 Treatment Centre. As the Kigali International Airportin Rwanda will be reopened for commercial international flights from 1 August, one of the robots -Urumuri -will be used to facilitate the faster screenings of passenger’s. body temperature.
COVID-19 in the WHO African Region
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
August 2nd, 2020 15:00 (EST)
An additional 153,835 cases and 3,982 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, representing a 1.6% relative increase in cases and a 1.11% relative increase in deaths, compared to the previous day.
The United States of America accounts for 47.6% of all cases and 42.3% of all deaths for the Region of the Americas and Brazil accounts for 28.1% of all cases and 25.8% of all deaths. Combined, these two countries account for 75.7% of all cases and 68.1% of all deaths currently reported in the Region.

Situation update for the EU/EEA and the UK as of 3 August 2020
As of 3 August 2020, 1 738 097 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (304 695), Spain (288 522), Italy (248 070), Germany (210 402), France (187 919), Sweden (80 422), Belgium (69 756), Netherlands (55 043), Romania (53 186), Portugal (51 463), Poland (46 894), Ireland (26 162), Austria (21 309), Czechia (16 800), Denmark (13 789), Bulgaria (11 955), Norway (9 208), Finland (7 453), Luxembourg (6 695), Croatia (5 260), Greece (4 662), Hungary (4 535), Slovakia (2 344), Slovenia (2 180), Lithuania (2 110), Estonia (2 079), Iceland (1 907), Latvia (1 243), Cyprus (1 150), Malta (795) and Liechtenstein (89).
As of 3 August 2020, 182 720 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: United Kingdom (46 201), Italy (35 154), France (30 265), Spain (28 445), Belgium (9 845), Germany (9 148), Netherlands (6 148), Sweden (5 743), Romania (2 413), Ireland (1 763), Portugal (1 738), Poland (1 731), Austria (718), Denmark (615), Hungary (597), Bulgaria (388), Czechia (384), Finland (329), Norway (255), Greece (208), Croatia (149), Luxembourg (117), Slovenia (117), Lithuania (80), Estonia (69), Latvia (32), Slovakia (29), Cyprus (19), Iceland (10), Malta (9) and Liechtenstein (1).
*This report does not include 65 cases detected among migrants in one ship rescued by Armed Forces of Malta on 27 July.
Situation dashboard: latest available data
Mexico to eclipse UK with third highest coronavirus death toll
WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 292,000
French daily coronavirus infection rate back to lockdown levels

Coronavirus California: state sees record number of deaths on four separate days
The state has tallied almost 500,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic and only finally shows signs the spread is slowing

Hurtigruten crew members and guests test positive for COVID-19
All 158 crew members on Hurtigruten's expedition ship MS Roald Amundsen have now been tested for possible Coronavirus infection. 36 have tested positive for COVID-19, while 122 are confirmed as negative. Five guests have tested positive. The ship is currently docked in Tromsø, Norway with no guests on board.
A second wave of covid-19 is worrying Australia, Japan and Hong Kong
Control Measures
WHO convenes COVID19 emergency committee, updates travel guidance
WHO’s COVID-19 emergency committee called for continued vigilance as new outbreaks emerge in areas that thought they'd passed the worst of this “once-in-a-century” health crisis.
UN News

Comparison of Face-Touching Behaviors Before and During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic
In this cross-sectional study, including 4699 individuals before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and 2887 individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, mandatory mask-wearing policies were associated with increased mask wearing among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing masks, either medical or fabric, was associated with reduced face-touching behavior, especially touching of the eyes, nose, and mouth. These findings suggest that mandatory mask-wearing policies were associated with reducing face-touching behavior among the general population in public areas, which may help to prevent contact transmission of COVID-19.
The science and psychology behind masking to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Countries Measures

Vietnam says early August 'decisive' in containing coronavirus

Australia's Melbourne clamps down in frantic race to curb virus

English beaches packed despite Covid-19 social distancing plea
Tens of thousands descend on south coast on hottest day of the year

Vietnam bans wildlife imports, closes illegal wildlife markets as part of global crackdown

Travel resumes as study says Brazil flights spread virus

  • Countries, including Brazil, reopening borders
  • Flights to and within Brazil fuelled the spread of the virus, study says
  • Brazil’s relaxation of restrictions worries experts
  • The economic impact of global travel restrictions is too damaging to ignore, UNWTO secretary-general says.
A lab-free COVID-19 rapid test that delivers results in under 90 minutes will be rolled out across the UK; researchers say the “DnaNudge” test eliminates false negative results by testing for inadequate swabbing.
Imperial College London

Nobody Accurately Tracks Health Care Workers Lost to COVID-19. So She Stays Up At Night Cataloging the Dead.
Researchers and industry professionals say the lack of good official data on these deaths is “scandalous” and is putting lives in danger.
Philippines to update COVID-19 strategy as healthcare workers seek 'timeout'

'If Coronavirus Doesn't Kill Me, Hunger Will': Mexico's Poor Bear Brunt Of Pandemic

Ailing under slaughterhouse rules
 The Hub
How language can be a deadly COVID-19 complication for US immigrants
 The New Humanitarian
Scientific Publications, Reports and News

Emerging Viruses Are a Global Health Concern Requiring Science-Based Solutions and Local Actions
The WHO Manifesto for a healthy recovery from COVID19
Lists 6 steps to create a healthier, fairer  and greener world while investing to maintain and resuscitate the economy

Modelling the pathogenesis of Covid-19 using the Adverse Outcome Pathway framework (CIAO)
The AOP framework is designed to weave together knowledge from different disciplines addressing different levels of biological organisation (e.g. molecular, cellular, organ, individual, population) in a transparent way that can be crowdsourced and evaluated – facilitating collaboration, curation and access to implementable biological knowledge.
The origin of SARS-CoV-2 traced
An international team of researchers from China, Europe and the U.S. have reconstructed the evolutionary history of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Their findings, published this week in Nature Microbiology, suggest that the virus has been in circulation in bats for decades, having diverged from other bat viruses as long ago as 1948. The authors note that while it is possible that pangolins, or another hitherto undiscovered species, may have facilitated transmission to humans, current evidence is consistent with the virus having evolved in bats until it was capable of infecting humans.

The hunt for the origins of SARS-CoV-2 will look beyond China
The virus may have been born in South-East Asia
Restricting Access to Pathogen Samples and Epidemiological Data: A Not-So-Brief History of “Viral Sovereignty” and the Mark It Left on the World
This chapter demonstrates that the concept of viral sovereignty did not begin with Indonesia in 2007, and more importantly, it did not end with the PIP Framework in 2011. Despite the term “viral sovereignty” fading into relative obscurity, the concept itself is now an established legal norm that could delay efforts to save lives during epidemics and pandemics. Carter has argued “that the WHO must offer positive incentives so developing countries will have a compelling reason tosh are samples of newly discovered viruses with the international scientific and health communities”, and a multilateral instrument might be a mechanism through which to do that

Biodiversity and preparedness for pandemics

Report: Coronavirus infected scores of children and staff at Georgia sleep-away camp
The finding that children 'might play an important role in transmission’ is likely to fuel debates about whether to reopen schools.

Evolution and epidemic spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil
This study sheds new light on the epidemic transmission and evolutionary trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Brazil, and provide evidence that current interventions remain insufficient to keep virus transmission under control in the country.
Accelerating regulation in response to COVID-19
Travel restrictions and SARS-CoV-2 transmission: an effective distance approach to estimate impact
Accelerating regulation in response to COVID-19

Immune complement and coagulation dysfunction in adverse outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection
The complement cascade as part of the body's immune system helps antibodies clear pathogens, and a new study finds that this component of immunity may also play a role in who gets sick — and how severely — with Covid-19
Tackling NCDs and COVID-19.
Worldwide, roughly 71 million refugees and people displaced within their own countries are facing deprivation of basic health care, and the risk is further exacerbated by COVID-19.
This op-ed outlines action the global health community can take.
The case for strategic social distancing policies in Africa.
According to Chris Chibwana, IDinsight Africa lead.

Why lockdowns aren't a one-size-fits-all solution to the pandemic

How does SARS-CoV-2 cause COVID-19?

Add fresh air to our coronavirus arsenal
Evidence is mounting that SARS-CoV-2 can pass from person to person through exhaled air. If there is potential for airborne transmission, some scientists argue that we should prioritize good ventilation alongside hand-washing, social distancing and masks. This could mean moving more activities, such as school, outdoors, opening doors and windows wherever possible and identifying locations where recirculated air could be filtered.
The Atlantic | 17 min read
Read more: Mounting evidence suggests coronavirus is airborne — but health advice has not caught up

UK joins hunt for virus in sewage
England has begun testing effluent at 44 wastewater-treatment sites for fragments of coronavirus genetic material. The country joins Wales, the Netherlands, the United States and Sweden in efforts to determine whether such testing could predict outbreaks and help to measure their true scale. “Sampling is being carried out to further test the effectiveness of this new science,” said a government minister. “Research remains at an early stage, and we are still refining our methods.”
BBC | 4 min read
Read more: How sewage could reveal the true scale of the coronavirus outbreak

What Spain Is Telling Us About Second Wave of Coronavirus
Europe’s new Covid flare-ups are nowhere near as bad as they were at the April peak, but they are a serious test of governments’ pandemic strategies. Overall, while there’s reason for cautious optimism, Europe hasn’t definitively escaped the threat of a second wave. It’s going to be a long summer, and maybe an even harder winter.

Nearly half of low-income communities have no ICU beds in their area
As Covid-19 continues to strain the country’s hospital system, new research exposes a striking gap in access to ICU care from one community to the next.
Read More

Contact Tracing Is Failing in Many States. Here’s Why.
Contact tracing, an early hope for containing the coronavirus, is failing in some US states. The main reasons: surging case numbers and test results that are slow in coming
The New York Times

Nearly half of low-income communities have no ICU beds in their area

From ‘brain fog’ to heart damage, COVID-19’s lingering problems alarm scientists

COVID-19 and DexamethasoneA Potential Strategy to Avoid Steroid-Related StrongyloidesHyperinfection

The Tragedy of Vaccine Nationalism
Only Cooperation Can End the Pandemic
Absent an international, enforceable commitment to distribute vaccines globally in an equitable and rational way, leaders will instead prioritize taking care of their own populations over slowing the spread of COVID-19 elsewhere or helping protect essential health-care workers and highly vulnerable populations in other countries. Supplies of proven vaccines will be limited initially even in some rich countries, but the greatest suffering will be in low- and middle-income countries. Such places will be forced to watch as their wealthier counterparts deplete supplies and will have to wait months (or longer) for their replenishment. What the world needs is an enforceable COVID-19 vaccine trade and investment agreement that would alleviate the fears of leaders in vaccine-producing countries, who worry that sharing their output would make it harder to look after their own populations.
Scientists Worry About Political Influence Over Coronavirus Vaccine Project
 The New York Times

Covid-19 Clinical Trials Aren’t Very Diverse and That’s a Problem

SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in healthy donors and patients with COVID-19
Adults who had not been exposed to the virus found that 35% of them had T cells—part of the immune system that help protect the body from infection—that reacted to the virus.
That immunity may come from previous infection with another endemic coronavirus.
Now, more questions: How do these “cross-reactive” T cells impact COVID-19 illness? Could they be the reason that children and younger adults tend to have milder illnesses?

Vaccine Confronts Humanity with Next Moral Test
Who gets coronavirus protection first (and last)? Who profits (and loses)? What is “informed consent” (if it exists)? Divided societies face agonizing choices.

The Three Key Hurdles for a Coronavirus Vaccine to Clear
Making a safe, effective Covid-19 vaccine will be hard enough, but distributing it and building trust for widespread participation will be even harder
Consequences of the Outbreak on society and Economy

Comparison of Weighted and Unweighted Population Data to Assess Inequities in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Deaths by Race/Ethnicity Reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Assessment of Community-Level Disparities in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infections and Deaths in Large US Metropolitan Areas

Women Physicians and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Covid-19 has frozen global migration. When the pandemic recedes, how many barriers will remain?

As the pandemic recedes, let migrants move again
Where it is safe enough to welcome tourists, it is safe enough for immigrants

Ecology and economics for pandemic prevention

COVID-19 risks to global food security

How hand-washing explains economic expansion

Air travel’s sudden collapse will reshape a trillion-dollar industry
The pandemic has knocked the airline-industrial complex harder than it has most sectors

Health workers, especially minorities, at high risk for COVID, even with PPE
Frontline healthcare workers who had PPE were still at 3 times the risk of infection.
More »

The pandemic is hitting scientist parents hard, and some solutions may backfire

COVID-19 affects HIV and tuberculosis care
Risk Communication
Comparison of Face-Touching Behaviors Before and During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic
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 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:
WHO training
PAHO sources and materials on COVID19

ECDC COVID-19 Micro learning

Research and Development

Setting Expectations for Clinical Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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

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