COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 23 May – World Economic Forum

  • This daily round-up 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: South America is a new epicenter for coronavirus; China drops mention of annual growth target for first time; disrupted vaccine programs could put millions of children at risk; and how a SARS antibody could help fight COVID-19.

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 affecting the globe

Eighty-million children, in both rich and poor countries around the world, could face infections from diseases such as measles and polio as resources are redirected at COVID-19 and existing vaccine programs are disrupted, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said at a briefing in Geneva on Friday.

According to data collected by the WHO, UNICEF, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the impact is wide, affecting children under one-years-old in 68 countries.

A discovery from researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that an antibody from the blood of a SARS-survivor could help fight COVID-19.

The 2003 SARS outbreak was caused by a coronavirus, and the new peer-reviewed study indicates that although the two viruses are distinct, the newly identified antibody – which they’ve named S309 – can recognise and block both infections.

Two award-winning teachers have co-authored a book to help guide and support children. The book, backed by the Lego Foundation, tells the stories of six children around the world, and how they deal with challenges. The book, by Armand Doucet and Elisa Guerra, has been translated into around 30 languages and is available as a free ebook.

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