Our weekly update of the Corona news worldwide
13-19 April 2020



  1. China has seen a rise in imported COVID-19 cases from Russia, raising fear that this could instigate a second wave of cases. On April 12, China reported 108 new cases, making it the highest number of confirmed cases since March 5 (143 cases). If more infections are confirmed, will the country be pushed to reimplement their strict preventative measures? – France24
  2. China has been scrutinized for its lack of transparency regarding coronavirus. Now, new numbers from China reveal that the death toll, as of April 17, is 4,632, not the roughly 1,300 that was reported for so long. – Reuters


The Netherlands:

  1. According to the National Institute for Health (RIVM), approximately 3% of the population in the Netherlands might have coronavirus antibodies. This statistic is based on a study where participants’ bloods were tested for antibodies. – Daily Sabah



  1. Sweden has taken a relatively lax approach to preventing the spread of coronavirus due to “societal norms”, which seemed to be fine at first. However, the country saw a rapid increase in deaths (1,540 fatalities as of April 19 according to Johns Hopkins University). – Independent UK



  1. All around the United States, protesters have taken to the street to rebel against the “stay at home” orders. These protests have been organized by conservative groups, calling these orders too draconian, and have been promoted on television by Fox News. While these groups are against CDC guidelines, the majority of the public fear that lifting these orders will only make the spread worse. – Vox
  2. On April 16, the White House released guidelines on re-opening the states in three phases in the US. These guidelines came due to a worsening economic status; however, states can only begin applying these guidelines if they meet certain criteria. The timeline for re-opening will be determined by state governors based on coronavirus data. – NPR

South Korea:

  1. People who were infected with coronavirus are testing positive again. However, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention believe this is most likely due to a relapse of the virus and not a reinfection. A viral relapse means that the infection “sleeps” for some time or some patients with weaker immunity might be at risk for re-awakening the virus. – Reuters


  1. As more lockdowns are issued in African countries, farmers and food imports are being blocked, cutting off vital food supplies to the public. Before the pandemic, about one in five people in Africa did not have proper access to food. Even though coronavirus has been slow to spread throughout Africa, the effects of the pandemic are already being felt. – Associated Press
  2. In order to prevent an intense wave of coronavirus cases, Africa will produce more than 1 million diagnostic tests this next week. According to the director of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, maybe 15 million tests will be needed in the next three months. – Associated Press



  1. The World Health Organization has released six criteria should countries decide to lift their lockdowns (NPR):
    1. Disease transmission is under control
    2. Health systems are able to “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact”
    3. Hot spot risks are minimized in vulnerable places, such as nursing homes
    4. Schools, workplaces and other essential places have established preventive measures
    5. The risk of importing new cases “can be managed”
    6. Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal


Research & Technology:

  1. While the search for coronavirus treatments continues, the drug, Remdesivir, is currently in human clinical trials and shows to be effective against the polymerase enzyme that allows COVID-19 to replicate and proliferate in the body. Remdesivir was initially created to combat the Ebola virus during the 2014 epidemic. Scientists at the University of Alberta showed the efficacy of the drug for treating Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in Febuary and thus, decided to try Remdesivir on coronavirus. – ScienceDaily
  2. New evidence from China shows that the coronavirus can spread in the air up to 4 metres. Scientists took samples from various surfaces in Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, between February 19 and March 2, and from different wards. While viral contamination was higher in the intensive care unit (43.5%) than in the general COVID-19 wards (less than 8%), scientists are still unclear how much of the virus that remains is considered to be infectious. – CDC
  3. At the University of Oxford, scientists claim they will produce a million doses of a coronavirus vaccine available in September. The team had been preparing for a potential outbreak before this pandemic. The base of the vaccine is a genetically engineered virus that is then combined with parts of the novel coronavirus. The first patients are expected to receive this vaccine this week. – BBC