Spain locks down, Denmark shuts borders – today’s COVID-19 updates and expert analysis

covid 19

(Fusion Medical Animation, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.


As coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, here are some of the latest headlines, resources and stories to help you arm yourself with the best information.

US travel ban extended to the UK and Ireland
The United States extended its travel ban Saturday to UK and Ireland. With the new, broader restrictions, American citizens and green card holders can return home to the US but must travel through one of 13 US airports and undergo health screenings or quarantine orders if needed. Domestic restrictions are also under consideration in the US The president urged travelers to rethink non-essential flights. “If you don’t have to travel,” said President Donald Trump, “I wouldn’t do it.” Read more here.

New restrictions in France, Spain and Israel
Spain announced a nationwide lockdown Saturday, asking people to remain in their homes except for essential tasks (buying food, medical appointments). France’s government required the closure of cafés, restaurants and non-essential stores. Israel will soon shut restaurants and non-essential businesses. (Banks and gas stations will remain open). Read more here.

 

Denmark closes its borders
Denmark closed its borders Saturday to everyone except for Danes, Danish residents and green card holders until April 14. Medical supplies, food and other essential imports will still be allowed to enter the country. Read more here.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

A new strain of Coronavirus, COVID 19, is spreading around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy.

Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum has created the COVID Action Platform, a global platform to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.

How coronavirus Google searches reveal our economic fears

Before coronavirus arrives in a country, there’s a marked increase in Google searches for topics such as “recession” and “survivalism,” according to new research by Oxford economists. Such searches, they say, precede slowdowns in economic growth, especially consumption. The study, say the economists, is a sign for governments and the media to study their messaging carefully and understand the pressures that firms and consumers are under. Read more here.

The UK persues a “herd-immunity” strategy – a virologist explains what that means
In an article for World Economic Forum Agenda, virologist Jeremy Rossman explains the UK’s “delay” strategy, one aimed at allowing the contagion to pass through the entire population at a speed that would not overwhelm the healthcare system. The WHO recently said a delay strategy could be effective when combined with surveillance and containment. Such a strategy, Rossman writes, would require a large number of people to be infected – potentially 47 million – and could lead to more than 1 million deaths. Read more here.

How to talk about those infected: Advice from WHO
To reduce stigma, the WHO recommends not referring people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases”, “victims” or “COVID-19 families.” Instead, the organisation advised referring to these groups as “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID19”, “people who are recovering from COVID-19”. The WHO’s key message?: keep people’s identities separate from the virus. Read more here.

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