What you need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 May – World Economic Forum

  • This daily roundup brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Today’s top stories: France looks to localize mask making; Cambridge will hold lectures online next year.

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.

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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.

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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

An economic model shaped like a doughnut is being embraced by Amsterdam as a way to help both people and the planet thrive.

The model, developed by Kate Raworth, a senior research associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, is a way of achieving societal goals and thinking about economics based on the priorities set out by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Those in the middle of the doughnut fall short of life’s essentials while those in the ring around that centre occupy a sweet spot where the Earth’s resources aren’t exploited. Everything outside the doughnut overburdens the planet.

Such sustainable models have never been more important, said Raworth. “As we all start thinking about how we will emerge from this crisis, let us seek to be holistic in how we reimagine and recreate the local-to-global futures of the places we live,” she says.

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A new antibody test has been approved by the UK after an independent evaluation showed it had a high degree of accuracy and specificity. The test can pinpoint COVID-19 antibodies thanks to a “specificity greater than 99.8% and sensitivity of 100%”. The test, developed by Roche, is one of a number approved for use around the globe.

Antibody tests check blood for certain proteins produced by our bodies’ immune systems. These tests have been identified by a number of countries as a way to tackle the spread of the virus and loosen lockdowns since they can show who has been exposed to the disease.

The game was designed by university psychology professor, Richard Wiseman, and involves players navigating a busy street to avoid pedestrians, cyclists and people sneezing. “There’s quite a lot of research showing that if you get people – kids in particular – to behave in certain ways in video games it really does transfer to real life,” Wiseman said.

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