COVID-19 situation: 1 September 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

COVID-19 situation: 1 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
Over 1.8 million new COVID-19 cases and 38 000 new deaths were reported to WHO in the week ending 30 August, a 1% increase in the number of cases and 3% decrease in the number of deaths compared to the previous week (17 to 23 August). A cumulative total of nearly 25 million cases and 800 000 deaths have been reported since the start of the outbreak.
Overall,the Region of the Americas continues to carry the highest burden of COVID-19 globally, accounting for nearly half of all new cases reported in the past seven days, although within the region there have been slight decreases in new cases and deaths in the past week. The WHO South East Asia Region showed the highest rise in new cases in the past week, with over 500,000 newcases reported. In the European Region, new cases and new deaths have continuedto increase over the past seven dayscompared to the previous week. Along with the Region of the Americas, the percentage change in new cases in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific Regions have all declined compared with last week.
COVID-19 dashboards for most up-to-date figures:
Global dashboard
Updates from WHO regional offices
COVID-19 in Africa: marking six months of response
August 30th, 2020 15:00 (EST)
An additional 129,772 cases and 3,452 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, representing a 0.99% relative increase in cases and a 0.75% relative increase in deaths, compared to the previous day.
Compared to the previous day, the following countries/territories have a relative increase in deaths ≥ 5%: Trinidad and Tobago (10.5%, 2 additional deaths), Belize (8.3%, 1 additional death), the Bahamas (7.5%, 3 additional deaths), and Paraguay (5%, 14 additional deaths).

All information about COVID- 19 can be found here:
Latest updates - Live press conference (Geneva)
Control Measures
Efficacy of Localized Lockdowns in the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

The urgent need for phased university reopenings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and conserve institutional resources: A modeling study
Face mask use in the Community for Reducing the Spread of COVID-19: a systematic review
Countries Measures
Far-right extremists attempted to storm Germany’s parliament
Saturday after tens of thousands of people attended a demonstration against mask-wearing and other government measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.
How a $13 device is helping Delhi fight the coronavirus
Neighborhood-Level Public Facilities and COVID-19 Transmission: A Nationwide Geospatial Study In China
Scientific Publications, Reports and News

Unexpected Health Insurance Profits and the COVID-19 Crisis

Time Course of a Second Outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing, China, June-July 2020
Antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans: a systematic review
Structural classification of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain suggests vaccine and therapeutic strategies
Universal properties of the dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemics

COVID-19 in India: New Forecast Shows Opportunity to Prevent More Than 200,000 Deaths by December 1

Rampant destruction of forests ‘will unleash more pandemics’
Researchers to tell UN that loss of biodiversity enables rapid spread of new diseases from animals to humans

Ecology and economics for pandemic prevention

Group Whose NIH Grant For Virus Research Was Revoked Just Got A New Grant
The EcoHealth Alliance (which hunts for emerging viruses in wildlife) will receive fresh funding, months after the agency abruptly revoked earlier grants because of the group’s bat collaboration with Wuhan researchers, EcoHealth will help set up the new Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases, which Anthony Fauci hopes will become an early warning system for future pandemics.
NPR Goats and Soda reports.

U.S. Will Revive Global Virus-Hunting Effort Ended Last Year
A federal agency is resurrecting a version of Predict, a scientific network that for a decade watched for new pathogens dangerous to humans. Joe Biden has also vowed to fund the effort.

Cost of preventing next pandemic 'equal to just 2% of Covid-19 economic damage'
Two new viruses a year had spilled from their wildlife hosts into humans over the last century, the researchers said, with the growing destruction of nature meaning the risk today is higher than ever.
COVID-19 in kids is easy to miss
A new South Korea study of children with COVID-19 found that 66.2% had unrecognized symptoms before being diagnosed. 

Ocular Manifestations and Clinical Characteristics of Children With Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 in Wuhan, China
In this cross-sectional study of 216 children hospitalized with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, 49 (22.7%) had ocular manifestations, including conjunctival discharge, eye rubbing, and conjunctival congestion. Children with systemic symptoms or cough were more likely to develop ocular symptoms, which were mild, and recovered or improved with minimal eye drops or self-healing.
Studies highlight dynamic impact of COVID-19 on antibiotic use
Dengue and COVID-19: Chaotic Potential?
BugBitten (BMC blog) 

The implications of Covid-19 reinfection reports are complicated
There have now been at least four cases of Covid-19 reinfection, but the most recent one — in a man in Nevada — is what's giving experts pause. Contrary to experts' expectations, a 25-year-old Reno man was more seriously ill with his second infection, needing hospitalization. Experts thought second infections would be milder because the immune system would recognize a familiar foe to put up enough of a fight to prevent serious illness. The world has now seen 25 million Covid-19 cases, so as one expert tells STAT's Andrew Joseph, the focus ought to be: “What happens to most people?”
Read more in an explainer here.

Coronavirus lockdowns cut air pollution globally. Jakarta was the exception
Even as residents sheltered at home to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus, Jakarta's air stayed as filthy as ever. Polluters far beyond the capital's borders are among the culprits, a new report shows.

COVID-19 takes loved ones, then the rituals to mourn them
In addition to the threat of COVID-19 itself, many communities are working to adapt funerary and burial practices for COVID-19 victims. Traditional practices, including large gatherings and washing the deceased’s body, are common in many cultures, but these activities could pose transmission risk. Many countries and state/regional governments have implemented restrictions on funerals, including prohibitions on washing the body and limitations on the number of attendees, and domestic and international travel restrictions can make it difficult or impossible for family and friends who live elsewhere to attend the service.

States confront new Covid-19 challenge: Getting flu shots to apathetic Americans

What Happens When COVID-19 Collides With Flu Season?
Rapid test in asymptomatic infections
Following the announcement of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its new SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test, the CEO of Abbott Laboratories, Robert Ford, announced that the company is currently conducting a clinical trial to collect data on the test’s accuracy for asymptomatic infection.

Identification of 14 Known Drugs as Inhibitors of the Main Protease of SARS-CoV-2

Antibody Profiles According to Mild or Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2020
The study included 28 participants with severe COVID-19 disease and 15 participants who recently recovered from mild COVID-19. Participants with mild COVID-19 exhibited a delayed increase in IgG and neutralizing antibodies compared to patients with severe COVID-19; however, the IgM response reactive toward S1 and E proteins increased early for both groups. The researchers suggest that mild cases of COVID-19 may “not necessarily represent an intermediate stage between severe and asymptomatic COVID-19,” but further research is required to better characterize the human immune response and any associations with disease severity.

Sex differences in immune responses that underlie COVID-19 disease outcomes
The study explored differences in viral load, antibody titers, and plasma cytokines in female and male COVID-19 patients. The study included 98 total participants treated at Yale-New Haven hospital in Connecticut (US). The researchers found that female patients exhibited a more robust T cell activation than male patients, whereas male patients had higher levels of innate immune response, including IL-8 and IL-18 cytokines. They also found that poor T cell response was “associated with worse disease outcomes in male patients, but not female patients” and that elevated innate cytokine response was associated with more severe disease in females but not males. These differences could potentially inform variations in treatment courses for female and male COVID-19 patients.

The coronavirus is most deadly if you are older and male — new data reveal the risks
A slew of detailed studies has now quantified the increased risk the virus poses to older people, men, and other groups.

Vir and GlaxoSmithKline begin pivotal study of Covid-19 antibody drug
The companies lag other drug makers developing antibody treatments but they expect their treatment could have certain advantages.
Read More

Plan to expand global access to Covid-19 vaccines nears fish-or-cut-bait moment
COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy: Mexico courts allies across ideological spectrum
One shot of coronavirus vaccine likely won't be enough
Do-it-Yourself Vaccines for COVID-19
Scientific American (commentary)

Covid vaccine rush could make pandemic worse, say scientists
Experts say strong evidence of efficacy needed to avoid approval of inferior vaccines
Most Americans believe the Covid-19 vaccine approval process is driven by politics, not science. 
A SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate would likely match allcurrently circulating variants
Consequences of the Outbreak on Society and Economy
In the world’s coronavirus blind spot, fears of a silent epidemic. 
The Wall Street Journal
Gender focus
How your zip code affects your health as a Black woman
When it comes to health, ZIP codes may even be a more accurate predictor of health than genetics, gender, or lifestyle habits—especially for Black women. In cities like Atlanta and Baltimore, neighborhoods just a few miles apart can have a 20-year difference in life expectancy. The reason:  Neighborhoods with worse health outcomes are the ones without high-quality housing, education, jobs, clean air, and fresh food stores.
Covid-19 has hobbled Asia's recycling trade as demand for recycled plastic dips and recyclers face ruin          
More than 40 per cent of recyclers are at risk of going bust as recycled plastic prices falls by a fifth, study reveals. Meanwhile a new report from Interpol has revealed the global recycled trade has been infiltrated by organised crime.

How the pandemic can revolutionise climate policy                                                                
Policymakers should look beyond mainstream economics and engage with people who understand complex systems, in the same way that they listen to epidemiologists and doctors during a pandemic, argues Roland Kupers.

Covid-19: An opportunity or setback for sustainable tourism?
The coronavirus crisis presents an opportunity to rebuild the tourism industry in a more sustainable manner. Fostering eco-tourism initiatives could ensure recovery for the sector and for nature go hand in hand.

90% of 105 nations' health systems hit by COVID-19: WHO
1st post-pandemic survey by World Health Organization shows low, middle-income countries reported greatest difficulties
Post-infection depression, anxiety and PTSD: a retrospective cohort study with mild COVID-19 patients

Internet Searches for Acute Anxiety During the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Risk Communication

Convincing someone to wear a mask is hard, but not impossible
Popular Science

What is the world doing about COVID-19 vaccine acceptance?

Combatting COVID-19 disinformation on online platforms
This policy brief derives four key actions that governments and platforms can take to counter COVID-19 disinformation on platforms, namely: 1) supporting a multiplicity of independent fact-checking organisations; 2)ensuring human moderators are in place to complement technological solutions; 3) voluntarily issuing transparency reports about COVID-19 disinformation; and 4) improving users’ media, digital and health literacy skills.
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 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
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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