Coronavirus COVID-19 Weekly Update 19th October 2020

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Weekly update published on MedShr: 19th October 2020
Last updated: 19th October 2020

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Weekly Update 19th October 2020

This update will be published weekly at 12pm GMT on Mondays and aims to provide clinicians and the public with an overview of the latest data, guidelines, key publications and policy around COVID-19, with links to essential resources and information.

If you are a healthcare professional, please join the discussion on these latest COVID-19 cases on MedShr:

Please post any COVID-19 cases, images or learning points from your clinical practice on MedShr - share key knowledge and experience with a global network of doctors to help improve patient care. Include #COVID19 in your case title.

Please email if you have any data, publications or information you would like to share.

Global Impact of COVID-19 to Date

WHO official data, reported on 18th Oct 2020

COVID-19 Cumulative Global Cases

WHO official data, reported on 18th Oct 2020

Total UK COVID-19 Cases

As of 19th Oct 09:00 (GMT) - Data for 24 hour period, reported on 18-10-20

Total UK daily cases over past month

Source: Public Health England

Public Health England: "An issue was identified overnight on Friday 2 October in the automated process that transfers positive cases data to PHE. It has now been resolved. The cases by publish date for 3 and 4 October include 15,841 additional cases with specimen dates between 25 September and 2 October — they are therefore artificially high for England and the UK." The above image charting the trend in new cases over the past month only includes positive test results recorded daily, not the additional positive cases included in the published daily case number for 3rd and 4th October; for the cumulative case number including this data please see Public Health England.

COVID-19 in the African Region

As of 19th Oct 09:00 (GMT) - Data for 24 hour period, reported on 18-10-20

COVID-19 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

As of 19th Oct 09:00 (GMT) - Data for 24 hour period, reported on 18-10-20

Latest Developments in the News:

WHO Weekly Situational Reports: Epidemiological and Operational


WHO: Battling COVID-19 in communities

WHO: Keeping displaced persons safe from COVID-19 in South Sudan 

WHO: COVID-19: Strengthening Infection Prevention and Control Capacity in Mauritius

BBC: Coronavirus in Africa tracker

WHO in the African Region: COVID-19

Eastern Mediterranean

WHO: Regional COVID-19 mission to Afghanistan concludes

WHO: WHO provides Islamic Republic of Iran with 150 ventilators and 100 PCR machines

WHO: Seven months since Afghanistan’s first COVID-19 case, women of the polio programme sustain the response

WHO: COVID-19 dominates discussion of the 67th WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean

WHO: Statement of the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean on the closing of the 67th session of the Regional Committee

WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: COVID-19

United Kingdom

BMJ: Covid-19: Shielding may be reintroduced for vulnerable people in highest risk areas 

BBC: Covid: Row over regional rules 'damaging to public health', scientist warns 

BMJ: Covid-19 exposes NHS fault lines in England

BBC: Covid: What is a circuit breaker? 

BMJ: Covid-19 pandemic is magnifying healthcare inequalities, says England’s regulator 

BBC: Covid patients 'less likely to die than in April' 

BBC: Local lockdown rules: What Covid tier is my area in?

UK Government Advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK

Global Health

Nature: COVID research updates: Are rapid coronavirus tests effective? It depends 

WHO: Influenza in the time of COVID-19 

CNBC: Remdesivir has ‘little or no effect’ in reducing coronavirus deaths, WHO says 

JAMA: Large Meta-analysis Digs Into Obesity’s COVID-19 Risks 

BBC: Coronavirus: India tries new type of tests to tackle virus 

MSF: MSF's activities on coronavirus COVID-19 

BMJ: Long covid could be four different syndromes, review suggests 

BBC: Covid-19 pandemic: Tracking the global coronavirus outbreak

WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic

United Nations: COVID-19 Response

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine: Coronavirus Resource Center

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Médecins Sans Frontières

Educational Resources:

WHO: COVID-19 Course Series

"Real-time training during global emergencies is critical for effective preparedness and response. The COVID-19 channel provides learning resources for health professionals, decision-makers and the public for the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)." (WHO 2020)

MedShr Open: COVID-19 Weekly Article - Convalescent Plasma

Last week's COVID-19 Open Article considered the evidence for convalescent plasma as an emerging therapy in the management of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic:

Latest COVID-19 Publications and Guidelines:

A selection of recent publications and useful clinical guidance from scientific journals:

Editorials, Research Articles and Commentary:

MedRxiv: Repurposed antiviral drugs for COVID-19 – interim WHO SOLIDARITY trial results

WHO Solidarity Trial Consortium, Hongchao Pan, Richard Peto, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Marissa Alejandria, Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, Cesar Hernandez Garcia, Marie Paule Kieny, Reza Malekzadeh, Srinivas Murthy, Marie-Pierre Preziosi, Srinath Reddy, Mirta Roses, Vasee Sathiyamoorthy, John-Arne Rottingen, Soumya Swaminathan. Repurposed antiviral drugs for COVID-19; interim WHO SOLIDARITY trial results. medRxiv 2020.10.15.20209817; doi:

“This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.”

The Lancet: Cytokine elevation in severe and critical COVID-19: a rapid systematic review, meta-analysis, and comparison with other inflammatory syndromes

Leisman DE, Ronner L, Pinotti R, et al. Cytokine elevation in severe and critical COVID-19: a rapid systematic review, meta-analysis, and comparison with other inflammatory syndromes. Lancet Respir Med. 2020 Oct 16; Epub ahead of print. DOI:

BMJ: Producing and using timely comparative evidence on drugs: lessons from clinical trials for covid-19

Naci H, Kesselheim AS, Røttingen J, Salanti G, Vandvik PO, Cipriani A et al. Producing and using timely comparative evidence on drugs: lessons from clinical trials for covid-19 BMJ 2020; 371 :m3869

NEJM: Safety and Immunogenicity of Two RNA-Based Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates

Walsh EE, Frenck RW Jr, Falsey AR, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of two RNA-based Covid-19 vaccine candidates. N Engl J Med. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2027906

Nature: SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody structures inform therapeutic strategies

Barnes CO, Jette CA, Abernathy ME, Dam KA, Esswein SR, Gristick HB, Malyutin AG, Sharaf NG, Huey-Tubman KE, Lee YE, Robbiani DF, Nussenzweig MC, West AP Jr, Bjorkman PJ. SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody structures inform therapeutic strategies. Nature. 2020 Oct 12. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2852-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33045718.

Obesity Reviews: Individuals with obesity and COVID‐19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships

Popkin BM, Du S, Green WD, Beck MA, Algaith T, Herbst CH, Alsukait RF, Alluhidan M, Alazemi N, Shekar M. Individuals with obesity and COVID-19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships. Obes Rev. 2020 Nov;21(11):e13128. doi: 10.1111/obr.13128. Epub 2020 Aug 26. PMID: 32845580; PMCID: PMC7461480.

Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Initiative - PubMed Central

An open collection of COVID-19 and coronavirus-related publications, and the available data supporting them, from over 50 publishers to support the ongoing public health emergency response efforts (PMC).

Other Useful Resources:

Intensive Care Society (UK) Covid-19 Resource Hub

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust COVID-19 Bulletins - A weekly bulletin detailing the "latest guidelines, research and reports relating to COVID-19"

NHS England: Coronavirus guidance for clinicians and NHS managers

CDC: COVID-19 Science Updates

Weekly Update by Dr Ryan Broll, MedShr Open Editorial Team, Medical Education Fellow

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