State of the COVID Pandemic


The novel Coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2 or COVID-19) presents a major and ongoing global health and humanitarian systemic threat. First reported in December 2019 and rapidly escalating in scale, scope and speed of transmission around the world, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. There is an urgent need for accurate, up-to-date identification of evolving and key regional and global developments in the pandemic, and to clarify what we do and don’t yet know. This may be useful in identifying established or emerging patterns, and therefore potentially more effective global health and humanitarian responses.

Critical Issues and Challenges

How long will this pandemic last? What factors is this dependent on?

What are the expected global and regional scenarios? How accurate have projections been?

What are the model projections, and how do they change with incoming updates?

Can prior histories or models inform anticipated trajectories?

Recommended Sources

Johns Hopkins University: COVID-19 Dashboard

Web-based map that tracks cases of COVID-19 around the world, updated frequently.

Our World in Data: COVID-19 Statistics & Research

Aggregates existing research, brings together the relevant data and allows readers to make sense of the published data and early research on the coronavirus outbreak.

University of Oxford: COVID-19 Case Fatality Rates

Daily updates by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine of CFR estimates, country-specific issues affecting CFR, and current best estimate of Infection Fatality Rate (IFR).

WHO: COVID-19 Situation Reports

Daily updates from the World Health Organization.

World Economic Forum: COVID-19 Strategic Trends

Latest strategic trends, research and analysis curated by the World Economic Forum.

Worldometer: COVID-19 Global Case Counter

Regular update of confirmed COVID-19 cases, active and closed cases, country specific data as well as regular news aggregator.

Practical Tools

Community-based Measures to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 (Health Canada)

Developed by ADERSIM, York University

Timelapse of COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated Daily)

Flattening the Curve at Family Level

Diamond Princess Cruise Ship: COVID-19 Outbreak Simulation

Clinical Public Health


A growing body of Clinical Public Health strategies and practices have emerged that focus on preventing, identifying, containing, and mitigating the transmission and impact of COVID-19. Health systems – including public health authorities – as well as governments, multilateral agencies, and the public each have vital roles and functions in the success of these strategies.

Critical Issues and Challenges

What are the latest public health policies in different regions and what resources have been dedicated to implement these policies?

How do individuals lessen the spread of the virus? What enables or impedes individuals from behaving in a way which will lessen the spread of the virus?

Who is involved in communicating risk, and who is doing so effectively?

What are the most relevant and credible Clinical Guidelines?

What is known about potentially vulnerable groups (e.g. pregnant women and vertical transmission, co-morbidities, immunocompromised patients, neonatal and adolescents, etc.)

Recommended Sources

Cochrane Library: COVID-19 Literature Review Collection

Content from the Cochrane Library, including Cochrane Reviews in key topic areas relating to the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Gates Foundation & Cytel: COVID-19 Clinical Trial Tracker

Catalogues all active COVID-19 interventional treatment trials regardless of clinical context, and summarizes published and pre-print clinical trials. Daily updates based on WHO International Clinical Trials Registry, ‪‬, as well as German and Iranian Clinical Trials Registries.


Kenedict: COVID-19 Open Research Map

Interactive map of research connections and outputs related to COVID-19.

National Institutes of Health: LitCovid

Curated literature hub for scientific publications on COVID-19 updated daily and categorized by different research topics and geographic locations.

PHO: COVID-19 Public Resources

Curated resources of public, public health, and health care guidance documents. Applicable internationally.

PHO: Daily Scan of Selected Public Health Organizations

Daily scan of selected national and international public health organizations providing links to COVID-19 guidelines, position statements and situational updates.

PHO: Synopsis of Key Articles on COVID-19

Briefly describes and summarizes key points from new articles which are of importance to public health. Applicable internationally

PHO: What We Know So Far... About COVID-19

Overview of published and unpublished reports found through ongoing scans of published literature, scientific list-servs and media reports. Applicable internationally

WHO: COVID-19 Advice for the Public

Best practices for individuals to lessen the spread of COVID-19. These materials are regularly updated based on new scientific findings as the epidemic evolves.

WHO: COVID-19 Country & Technical Guidance

All technical guidance by topic.

WHO: COVID-19 Technical Guidance (Schools, Workplaces & Institutions)

All technical guides for schools, workplaces & institutions.

Practical Tools

COVID-19 Clinical Case Management Guidelines (World Health Organization)

Algorithm for Management of Contacts of Probable or Confirmed COVID-19 Cases (European CDC)

Infection Control and Prevention Measures for COVID-19 (Cochrane Library)

Evidence Relevant to Critical Care of COVID-19 (Cochrane Library)

COVID-19 Online Training (World Health Organization)

COVID-19 Facts via WhatsApp (World Health Organization)

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering & Homemade Cloth Face Coverings (U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention)

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)


Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) are three interdependent areas that are necessary for a healthy society, and for an effective response to a global health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. WASH efforts are concerned with access to clean, safe water; access and use of basic toilets, as well as safe disposal of waste, including waste from healthcare facilities, and waste which may be contaminated by COVID-19; and good hygiene practices, particularly regular and proper hand-washing.

Critical Issues and Challenges

What are best practices in relation to WASH and Waste Management in the COVID-19 response?

How effective is chlorine, a common tool in ensuring clean water, in killing the COVID virus?

Global inequality can be seen largely in unequal access to safe water, basic toilets and safe waste management.

How do global inequalities in WASH impact the spread and deadliness of COVID-19? How can those inequalities be addressed in the short-term and in the long-term?

Recommended Sources

Global WASH Cluster: COVID-19 WASH Resources

WASH-specific resources for the COVID response: resources from National WASH Humanitarian Coordination Platforms, technical guidance documents, trainings and webinars

Hygiene Hub

A free service that supports actors in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to rapidly design evidence-based hygiene interventions to combat the coronavirus.

Sphere: Applying humanitarian standards to fight COVID-19

Standards-based guidance on COVID-19 in multiple languages, additional resources produced by the Sphere community, news and information on upcoming learning events.

UNICEF: Resources for Practitioners (WASH)

Guidance for front-line workers responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

WHO: COVID-19 Technical Guidance (Infection Prevention & Control)

World Health Organization documents providing guidance on Infection Prevention and Control / WASH

Practical Tools

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Waste Management Guidelines for COVID (World Health Organization)

Compound Summary: Sodium Hypochlorite (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine)

Reduce the Spread: Wash your Hands (Health Canada)

Equity & Protection


Disasters and health emergencies such as pandemics disproportionately impact vulnerable and marginalized populations . In order to have an effective and equitable response to COVID-19, we need to understand how the pandemic presents new challenges or exacerbates existing ones within and between populations that are at an elevated risk , including people who have been forcibly displaced due to conflict, environmental degradation, or other sources of insecurity. We also need to know how to make decisions in large-scale humanitarian crises.

Critical Issues and Challenges

What are current pandemic issues for people in vulnerable circumstances (I.e.: transmission risks in LMICs; Clinical Public Health Response Capacities; global resource mobilization needs and impediments?

How are “Frameworks of Protection” (Legal and normative) for vulnerable people being applied in the context of the COVID Pandemic?

How are current foreign policies and new COVID policy responses affecting the health of vulnerable people?

What is the right balance between respect of individual human rights and evidence-based public health measures which may limit those rights?

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting vulnerable people (asylum seekers/Refugees/ IDPs /undocumented), either presenting new challenges or exacerbating existing challenges, between borders; in IDP or refugee camps, or along migration routes?

Recommended Sources

ACAPS: COVID-19 Government Measures Dataset

Aggregated database and visual dashboard of measures implemented by governments worldwide in response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Humanitarian

A platform to gather, curate, analyze, interpret and disseminate COVID-19-specific and -sensitive interventions that are being implemented in a variety of humanitarian settings.

IOM: Mobility Restrictions COVID-19

Maps the impacts of COVID-19 on human mobility, at Global, Regional and Country level. May not work on all browsers.

UN OCHA: Humanitarian Data Exchange

COVID-19 Pandemic in Locations with a Humanitarian Response

World Bank: COVID-19 Related Datasets & Indicators

Datasets that may be useful for analysis, response or modelling for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical Tools

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: Aid Security and COVID-19

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network: Flatten Inequality - Human Rights in the Age of COVID-19 (3 April 2020)

ALLFED: Cascading Risks from COVID-19 to Food Systems (31 March 2020)

Refugees International: COVID-19 and the Displaced - Addressing the Threat of the novel Coronavirus in Humanitarian Emergencies (29 March 2020)

Covid-19: control measures must be equitable and inclusive (BMJ: Berger et al, 2020)

Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19 (NEJM: Emanuel et al, 2020)

Homeless Hub: Responding to Homelessness in the Context of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Beyond Sex and Gender Analysis: An Intersectional View of the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak and Response (Hankivsky and Kapilashrami, 2020)

Access and R&D


Fair and equitable access to Health Care Technologies (HTCs), such as Personal Protective Equipment, Diagnostics, Treatments and Vaccines are vital to a proper global health response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This applies equally to related and context-specific Research and Development.

Critical Issues and Challenges

What are current and anticipated shortages of critical medical supplies, including:
* Personal Protective Equipment (ex. face masks, gloves, gowns, etc.)
* Medical Equipment (ex. ventilators, beds, etc.)
* Diagnostic tests (including rapid testing)
* Treatments
* Vaccines
Who is developing and implementing contingency plans for alternative supply chains? What policy guidance is being provided by the FDA/HC/EMA on distribution and rationing?

Is the public receiving incorrect prevention and/or treatment advice? How is this impacting transmission dynamics as well as global supply? (e.g. hydrochloroquine, ARVs etc.)

What are the current R&D pipelines and issues for diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines?

Is it necessary and possible to scale up access to essential medicines using internet pharmacies?

What is the state of the drug, diagnostic and vaccine development pipeline, and anticipated timeline?

Recommended Sources

FIND: COVID-19 Diagnostic Pipeline

Curation of all known tests commercially available or in development for the diagnosis of COVID-19 by FIND, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Strengthening and Diagnostic Technology Evaluation.

FIND: SARS-COV-2 Test Tracker

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Strengthening and Diagnostic Technology Evaluation, has played an important role in providing updated estimates on the number of people worldwide that are being tested for COVID-19

WHO: COVID-19 Research & Development

The latest scientific findings and knowledge on COVID-19 compiled by the WHO into a database, updated daily.

Practical Tools

Global Research Roadmap on COVID-19 (World Health Organization)

COVID-19 Diagnostic Use Cases (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics)


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