COVID-19

Coronavirus news monitor

COVID-19

Coronavirus news monitor

26 January 2021
Covid-19: Debunking fake news among slum-dwellers

ideasforindia.in (21.01.2021) Urban slum-dwellers are among the groups that are most at-risk of Covid-19, and their precarious situation is further compounded by rampant misinformation regarding the Virus. Based on a survey of about 4,000 households in slum areas in Uttar Pradesh, this article shows that recorded phone messages from doctors giving information on Covid-19 – along with high financial incentives to pay attention – can debunk related fake news.

26 January 2021
Maldives-UN sign project on digitising social services to protect women and children

The Edition (21.01.2021) The United Nations (UN) and Maldives on Thursday signed a project document on digitialising social services in order to better protect women and girls from poverty and violence during emergency situations. Titled 'Protecting Women and Children: Digitalizing and Streamlining Social Services and Creating a Unified Platform for National Care', the project aims to enhance shock-responsive social protection benefits and services targeted towards women and girls, in order to prevent them from falling into poverty and protect them from violence in prolonged socioeconomic and emergency situations such as the ongoing COVID-19. pandemic.

26 January 2021
Covid-19 has cost global workers $3.7tn in lost earnings, says ILO

The Guardian (25.01.2021) Women and young workers bear brunt of job losses and reductions in hours, says UN labour body

22 January 2021
South Africa: School of Government on training public servants on governance and management of emergencies such as Covid-19

South African Government (18.01.2021) South Africa and the People’s Republic of China are teaming up to improve the capacity of public servants on governance as well as the management of disasters and emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic. South Africa’s National School of Government, falling under the Ministry for the Public Service and Administration, working with the China National Academy of Governance, will in March and April 2021 offer courses on governance and emergency management for senior and middle managers in the public service. The courses will expose South African managers to China’s governance models and responses to emergencies. The courses will cover the following amongst other themes: China’s Governance Model for Development Outcomes The capacity of the State to deal with emergencies. The Chinese model of disaster management and the management of Covid-19. 

The courses target senior and middle managers in all three spheres of government and will run from March 2021.

22 January 2021
1m Nigerians to benefit from COVID-19 Cash Transfer, Osinbajo says

The Guardian Nigeria News (20.01.2021) - No fewer than One million Nigerians are to benefit from the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Cash Transfer Project which aims to lift the urban poor affected by the pandemic out of poverty. The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said this on Tuesday in Abuja while inaugurating the COVID-19 Rapid Response Registration (RRR) Cash Transfer Project.
Osinbajo said that the RRR was designed to focus mainly on the urban poor wards selected using scientifically validated methods of satellite remote sensing technology, machine learning algorithm and big data analysis. “This social protection method of targeting is the first strategy to be developed and tested in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and Nigeria will be the first country for its implementation. “With the RRR, which uses a wholly technology-based approach, we are primed to achieve an end-to-end digital foot-print in cash transfers for the urban poor. “Which also helps us achieve our financial inclusion policy under the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access programme (EFInA).” News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first set of 3,115 beneficiaries have already received N5,000 each cash transfer and the programme will continue until it reaches the one million target. The cash transfers will be received by the beneficiaries for six months.

22 January 2021
Germany: Act for the Digital Modernisation of Care and Nursing

German Government (20.01.2021) The importance of digitalisation in the health system and the need to make better use of the potentials offered by digitalisation has become particularly evident during the pandemic. In the future, it is to be possible to include digital applications, such as fall prevention apps or memory training apps, in regular nursing care. In the future, it will be possible to link digital applications with the electronic patient file. To this end, on Wednesday the Cabinet approved a bill; the draft Act for the Digital Modernisation of Care and Nursing.

22 January 2021
Spain to extend temporary lay-off schemes for 800,000 workers

EURACTIV.com (14.01.2021) The Spanish government is ready to approve before Friday (15 January) an extension of temporary lay-off schemes put in place March last year to protect jobs for around 800,000 workers affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the tourism and services sectors. Under the scheme, the Spanish state gives workers about 70% of their salary and prohibits companies from firing people. In case of fraud or redundancies, companies must return exemptions from contributions to the social security system and risk heavy penalties.

14 January 2021
COVID-19, the social contract and the need for a new normal for social protection

Development Pathways (January 2021) David Hillson takes a look at the recent historical role of the social contract in social protection within the context of COVID-19. He argues that the social contract has been central to huge socio-economic advances and is a product and reflection of each political zeitgeist. David concludes that now is the moment to create an inclusive, universal social protection new normal to help reshape societies during the time of the pandemic and beyond.

12 January 2021
US: Rethinking social insurance: Policies to protect workers and families

brookings.edu (07.01.2021) In the spring of 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated recession, policymakers originated significant expansions to social insurance, including unemployment insurance benefits, refundable tax credits, and paid leave. Because of this expansion, the average household experienced an increase in purchasing power, even as the labor market and employee compensation sharply contracted during the spring of 2020. However, because a number of those expansions were temporary, support from social insurance significantly receded after the spring even as the labor market only partially recovered.

7 January 2021
US: Stimulus deal is a needed lifeline for the economy, but more help will likely be needed in 2021

The Washington Post (21.12.2020) The biggest concern with the bill is that the aid doesn’t last long enough

7 January 2021
This company is combining video calls with pop-up clinics to help more people get the care they need

weforum.org (06.01.2021)The use of telemedicine has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Start-up Carbon Health is working to make it accessible to underserved communities. Its founder says it has reduced costs by using technology to improve efficiency. His company uses pop-up clinics to deliver treatments and COVID-19 tests; patients can book appointments using a smartphone app.

5 January 2021
How China pays for its COVID-19 medical bills

World Economic Forum (14.12.2020) China covers the COVID-19 medical costs for all patients including domestic migrants. The payment structure is part of the country’s “wartime” governance. It also reflects the long-term institutional transformation of the Chinese healthcare system.

21 December 2020
US: Congress poised to pass long-awaited $900 billion Covid rescue package

CNNPolitics (21.12.2020) Congress is on the verge of passing a far-reaching $900 billion Covid relief package that promises to accelerate vaccine distribution and deliver much-needed aid to small businesses hit hard by the pandemic, Americans who have lost their jobs during the economic upheaval and health care workers on the front lines of the crisis. According to a summary from House and Senate Democratic leaders, the legislation will include direct payments of up to $600 per adult, enhanced jobless benefits of $300 per week, roughly $284 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans, $25 billion in rental assistance, an extension of the eviction moratorium and $82 billion for schools and colleges.

18 December 2020
Research Projects on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care – Resources to support community and institutional Long-Term Care responses to COVID-19

ltccovid.org - 2020 "If you're doing research on COVID-19 & Long-Term Care it may be useful to see what others are doing! Here's a searchable international database of projects (a bit UK biased, but hopefully we'll get information from more projects in other countries soon!) "

16 December 2020
Croatia: Stop COVID-19 application now works cross-border

Government of the Republic of Croatia (19.11.2020) Cross-border data exchange between the Croatian Stop COVID-19 application and official applications of other EU member states has been established. This makes Croatia the seventh EU country in a row, along with Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Spain, which exchanges "infected keys" through the federation gateway (European Federation Gateway Service) and thus enables anonymous notification of foreign contacts about the risk of infection. 

15 December 2020
[Report] Shelter from the Storm: The global need for universal social protection in times of COVID-19

Oxfam (15.12.2020) As 2020 draws to a close, the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating. Without urgent action, global poverty and inequality will deepen dramatically. Hundreds of millions of people have already lost their jobs, gone further into debt or skipped meals for months. Research by Oxfam and Development Pathways shows that over 2 billion people have had no support from their governments in their time of need. Our analysis shows that none of the social protection support to those who are unemployed, elderly people, children and families provided in low- and middle-income countries has been adequate to meet basic needs. 41% of that government support was only a one-off payment and almost all government support has now stopped.

15 December 2020
Universal health coverage: pandemic boosts digital health

weforum.org  (11.11.2020) COVID-19 has accelerated global efforts to deliver digital healthcare. The move towards value-based healthcare could facilitate universal health coverage and aid post-pandemic recovery. Millions of people living in poverty could benefit directly from new model.

14 December 2020
Rich countries’ support for children ‘totally inadequate’: UN report

un.org (10.12.2020) The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, slams the levels of financial support for children allocated by high-income countries during the pandemic as totally inadequate, in a child poverty report issued on Friday.

10 December 2020
South Korea: Employment insurance program to expand to artists starting Thursday

Naver (09.12.2020) South Korea will extend its state employment insurance program to artists starting Thursday as the first step toward expanding coverage to all workers by 2025. The Ministry of Employment and Labor said Wednesday that artists under work contracts who earn monthly income of at least 500,000 won ($460) will be eligible for coverage under the amended Employment Insurance Act. 

Artists will be eligible to receive an allowance equivalent to 60 percent of their income for at least 120 days if they have paid into the plan for at least nine months.

“From the employment insurance being applied to artists, the measure is believed to help artists who struggle from unstable and declining income from the COVID-19 pandemic as an employment safety net.”

8 December 2020
COVID-19 could push the number of people living in extreme poverty to over 1 billion by 2030, says UNDP study

UNDP (03.11.2020) Severe long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could push an additional 207 million people into extreme poverty on top of the current pandemic trajectory, bringing the total to over 1 billion by 2030, according to findings released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).