COVID-19: What to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 3 April

covid 2020_

(Engin Akyurt, Unsplash)

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

Author: Linda Lacina, Digital Editor, World Economic Forum


  • In this round-up, find coronavirus news updates, tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: Worldwide confirmed cases reach 1,000,000; how supply chains keep moving through the pandemic; a first-hand account from a NYC doctor at the front line of the US epidemic epicentre.

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.

1. How COVID-19 is impacting the globe

2. COVID-19 in Africa: insights from our media briefing with WHO

The World Economic Forum convened a question-and-answer session Thursday between journalists and senior officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) about how Africa’s response to the crisis is likely to shape up over the coming days. “Many countries have closed schools already, and hundreds of millions of children are already not going to school in Africa,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. However, the reality that is conditions in some countries may make social distancing difficult. “[There is a] need to balance the feasibility of these social distancing measures in spaces where physical distances might be quite a challenge, and where people find it very difficult to stay indoors – where it’s hot, the space is small, or the number of people indoors is large,” she noted.

Image: Jeune Afrique/The Africa Report

3. How to keep supply chains moving amid a pandemic – A shipping industry leader explains

With airlines grounding most of their passenger aircraft fleets, the drastic reduction in air cargo is putting even more pressure on commercial shipping lines. This has caused supply chain havoc. Quick pivots have been essential, Jim Snabe, chairman at AP Møller – Mærsk A/S, told the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform last week.

“We made a global crisis management team that takes care of our customers’ supply chains,” says Snabe. “We have been able to help them to forecast, make scenario planning, prioritise critical deliveries, find alternative routes and with that I believe we can keep supply chains going.”

Number of container ships arriving with medical supplies at US ports
Image: AP analysis of data provided by ImportGenius and Panjiva Inc.

The coronavirus crisis offers a rare opportunity to restructure economies and reform capitalism to make it work for a broader swathe of society, according to Mariana Mazzucato, an economist and professor at University College London. Speaking at the Forum’s most recent digital International Media Council focusing on the fallout from COVID-19, Mazzucato had a special message for policymakers and national governments.

“The current moment is very unique, and my recommendation to governments is you have, for once, the upper hand” to help guarantee a fundamental shift in the system, said Mazzucato. Still, she cautioned that “it’s very important not to confuse big government with smart government.”

“It’s very important not to confuse big government with smart government.”

—Mariana Mazzucato, an economist and professor at University College London

6. A New York doctor reports from the front line: this week’s World Vs Virus podcast

Matt McCarthy is the author of the bestseller, Superbugs, a book about the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Today, this New York doctor is fighting on the front line against the COVID-19 virus. You can hear what it’s like to live and work as a doctor in a city at the US epicentre for the disease in this week’s World Vs Virus podcast. This week’s episode also includes tips from a submariner about surviving containment and insights from Harvard medical experts on testing strategies. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts as part of its Essential Listening collection. The podcast is also available on Spotify and Libsyn.

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