Wekelijkse update van het nieuws rondom Corona, wereldwijd
20-26 april 2020

Hong Kong:

  1. With cases decreasing significantly, data seems to show that Hong Kong was able to stop a second wave of COVID-19. Regardless, the country is extending restrictions for another two weeks, preferring to take a conservative approach and not risk any possible surprises. – TIME



  1. Nicaragua is under fire for its lax measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The country still has its borders open, has yet to issue any form of a stay at home order and is still hosting large events, such as football games. While the Nicaraguan government only claims three coronavirus cases, the Citizens Observatory approximates as many as 200 COVID-19 cases in Nicaragua. Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. Carissa Etienne, and Costa Rica, Nicaragua’s bordering country, expressed concern about Nicaragua’s response to the pandemic. – NPR


Countries Loosen Restrictions:

  1. Denmark: With a low mortality rate and less than 400 hospitalized patients, Denmark is the first European country to re-open schools and daycares in the midst of the pandemic. Students and school workers are expected to start the day by washing their hands and repeating so at least every two hours, and socially distancing is still being maintained by situating desks two metres apart. In the coming weeks, everyone will be looking to Denmark as a model to see the effects of reopening. – The Local DK
  2. Italy: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that a plan will be released this week to ease its lockdown starting on May 4. – Bloomberg
  3. While countries are beginning to loosen stay-at-home policies and measures, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) urges to reconsider lifting these guidelines too quickly. The ECDC warns that disrupting the measures too rapidly could start a new resurgence of cases as deaths are still increasing in 27 EU countries. – ECDC



  1. With the number of cases increasing rapidly in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that Africa will be the new coronavirus epicentre. The WHO predicts that 10 million people will be infected in the next 3-6 months across the continent, so many of the African countries have enforced lockdowns to prevent coronavirus spread. – BBC
  2. Ghana: Having already conducted approximately 70,000 COVID-19 tests, Ghana has one of the highest testing rates in Africa. This could be due to their strategy to send tests and test samples using drones. There are only two laboratories with the capabilities to analyse the samples so using drones saves a lot of time for rural clinics to send their samples. – TIME
  3. As of April 23, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have increased 43% in Africa. Testing capacity is extremely limited still around Africa so this jump in cases is likely to be an underestimate. – The Hill


Research & Technology:

  1. The Afghan Girls Robotics Team, a group of five teenage girls, is attempting to create an affordable ventilator to help COVID-19 patients in Afghanistan. In the country of 35 million, Afghanistan has 800 confirmed cases and only 300 ventilators as of April 16. Because of the limited resources, the team is only using locally-sourced materials to build two prototypes: one uses the engine and battery of a Toyota Corolla and the other uses an Ambu (a self-inflating plastic bag used in healthcare to help patients breathe). If one of these prototypes gets approval by the WHO and the Afghan Health Ministry, these ventilators will only cost $300 to develop – 100 times cheaper than the average cost of development. – Global Citizen
  2. Doctors are noticing a new symptom that seems to appear primarily in children and young adults infected with coronavirus. Back in March, Italian doctors discovered purple or blue lesions on patients’ feet and toes and notified experts who began seeing more cases of these “COVID toes”. Scientists are still unsure how these lesions come about and why it only occurs in certain age groups. – USA Today
  3. For nine years, Syria has been an ongoing war zone with very limited medical resources. However, a team of 12 volunteers – mostly engineers and technicians – have been using locally-sourced materials to create prototype ventilators and testing machines. So far, the team has tested the prototype ventilator at a hospital and have been approved by doctors to create more for use. Now, the team hopes to get funding or equipment from aid groups or Turkey. – Reuters