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Italy reports 793 deaths in one day – Today’s coronavirus news and analysis

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.

COVID-19’s impact around the globe

Italian Prime Minister says COVID-19 presents the greatest challenge since WW2
Italy, the new coronavirus epicentre, announced Saturday it would shut all but its most essential factories until April 3. “It is the most difficult crisis in our post-war period,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said. “We will slow down the country’s productive engine, but we will not stop it.”

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

Coronavirus could make telework available to more than just a fraction of workers
As the virus forces more and more people to work from home, the Pew Research Center says that COVID-19 could expand telework beyond just the affluent. In countries such as the US, only around 7% of workers regularly worked from home before coronavirus. Typically, mostly highly paid “knowledge worker” positions work remotely, including executives, IT managers, financial analysts and accountants. Read more here.

The highest paid ‘knowledge workers’ tend to have ‘work from home’ benefits.
Image: Pew Research Center

Why lockdowns can help stop the spread of the virus
Lockdowns have indefinitely closed everything from universities to businesses across the globe. But, as a key study from the Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team explains, lockdowns can reduce the number of people each confirmed case infects to low levels. While the word “indefinitely” isn’t one most people want to hear, this suppression technique is among the best ways to reduce infections and deaths until a vaccine is available. Read more here.

Two Italian towns show the impact of suppression. Lodi locked down on 23 February, but Bergamo did not lock down until 8 March. Now, cases seem to be leveling off in Lodi.
Image: Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, University of Oxford & Nuffield College, UK

The economic lessons from China’s coronavirus fight
Aggressive containment can stop the virus, but at a significant economic cost. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) explained in a recent blog that as the pandemic spreads, the most vulnerable will need support from policy makers to mitigate the overall financial shock and ensure that the virus continues to be contained. While China’s aggressive moves contained the virus, they slowed its economy. To alleviate that strain, the IMF notes, Chinese policymakers have tried to assist vulnerable households and smaller firms by waiving social security fees, utility bills and providing credit. Read more here.

WHO Director-General’s message to the young
New research has shown the coronavirus is not just a disease that impacts the elderly, but one that can greatly sicken the young as well. Speaking to young people, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing Friday: “You are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you. Even if you don’t get sick the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else.” Read more here.

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