What you need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic on 25 May

  • 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: UN warns pandemic may reverse human development for the first time in 30 years; US bans travel from Brazil; Spain eases lockdown restrictions.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic 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.

Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19.

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 affecting the globe

Confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 5.4 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 345,000 people have died from the virus, while over 2 million have recovered.

2. Pandemic may reverse human development for first time in 30 years, UN says

“The COVID-19 pandemic is unleashing a human development crisis,” the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said in a report.

Other shocks – such as the financial crisis of 2007-2009 or the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016 – dealt a blow but did not prevent year-on-year development gains overall, said UNDP head Achim Steiner.

“COVID-19 – with its triple hit to health, education, and income – may change this trend,” he added.

Besides deaths from COVID-19, the crisis could indirectly mean an extra 6,000 children die each day from preventable causes in the next six months, UNDP said.

Number of COVID-19 cases and deaths as of May 24, 2020, by region Published by John Elflein, May 25, 2020  The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, has spread to many regions and territories around the world. As of May 24, 2020, the number of confirmed cases had reached over 5.5 million. Risk level in Europe remains high In the European region, the number of confirmed cases has reached around 2 million and around 174,000 people have died after contracting the virus. Italy has become one of Europe’s worst affected countries, with large clusters of cases identified in northern regions, including Lombardy and Veneto. Extraordinary measures have been implemented across Italy as efforts to contain the outbreak continue: movement within the country has been severely restricted, and those who violate quarantine rules face strong penalties. Guidelines on the use of face masks There is much discussion about the effectiveness of face masks in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 disease. The World Health Organization’s advice is that masks should only be worn by people that are showing symptoms (coughing or sneezing) or those who are taking care of a person with a suspected case of the virus. However, in some parts of the world, including the United States, face coverings are recommended for all people in public settings. Read more Number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed cases and deaths as of May 24, 2020, by region

Number of COVID-19 cases and deaths as of May 24, 2020, by region Published by John Elflein, May 25, 2020

Image: Statista

3. US bans travel from Brazil

The United States extended its COVID travel ban, which already includes Europe and China, to Brazil, Latin America’s main virus hotspot.

The US leads the world with more than 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and a death toll that is expected to surpass 100,000 later this week, according to the tally from Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil, now Latin America’s hardest-hit country, is second, with more than 347,000 cases and more than 22,000 deaths. Third on the list is Russia, with more than 344,000 reported cases and more than 3,500 deaths.

4. Spain to reopen to foreign tourists from July

Foreign tourists can book vacations in Spain from July as the two-week self-quarantine for overseas travellers is likely to be suspended by then, the tourism minister said on Monday.

One of the worst-hit nations in the world from the coronavirus, tourism-dependent Spain is gradually easing a strict lockdown though it has kept a quarantine for visitors so as to prevent a second wave of infections.

“It is perfectly coherent to plan summer vacations to come to Spain in July,” Reyes Maroto said in an interview with local radio station Onda Cero.

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