AUGUST 5th, 2020, 18H00 Paris time – Dr M. Kalina, EA Group Medical Director, F. Tits, RN, EA Group Sr Project Manager, C.Jannuzzi and J. Heywood, EA Group Communication team. 

Sources: international sources such as WHO, Chinese CDC, CDC, international media, medical institutions, journals and government websites.

Current key news, facts and data

The pandemic is still extremely active, especially in the Americas, which still account for over 50 % of the overall cases. Three countries, the USA, Brazil and India total account for over half the worldwide cases. Africa is still under threat with 825,272 cases. By last week, more than 10,000 health care workers have been affected in 40 countries, a very worrying signal. In the countries were deconfinement has started, especially in Europe, some raises in the infection rate have been noticed especially among the younger age group. Regional actions and limitations to border crossings have been enacted again.

The total worldwide cases as of 3 PM Beijing time August 5th is 18,711,943 with 704,463 deaths.

The main country figures in the countries where Generali Global Assistance/Europ Assistance has offices are as follows:

The news is in a way more encouraging regarding the development of a vaccine. At this stage at least three groups out of the 24 listed by the WHO have reached a third stage. Huge contracts, between several hundred million and 2.2 billion are signed between governments and industrial partnerships, and hopefully the first vaccine could be available very late 2020 or early 2021. The production capacity required to cover the whole world will be extremely high.There are no breakthroughs in terms of treatment modalities, as aside from hydrocortisone in the intensive care phase of the disease, no drug has proven effective in reducing the impact of the disease or the transmission of the virus.

Key recommended actions items

At the current stage, social distancing remains the most important tool. Avoiding close personal contacts except with non-fragile members of one’s own household is the key. Therefore, work environments must be adapted as must shops, public facilities and transport systems. The avoidance of any public or private event producing a crowd or close physical contacts is part of this action item.

A necessary addition to this component of the strategy is the obligation from anyone with the symptoms or close contacts with detected case to isolate him/herself, seek medical attention and get tested if indicated.

To this the active use of regular cleaning with either soap and water or hydroalcoholic gel must be added. The use of masks is a must in all closed and or crowded environments.

Travel is acceptable where allowed in as much as the above are respected, and temperature control can be added as a means of detecting part of the potential carriers. It may be also compulsory in geographical areas where growing numbers of cases is a concern.

Maximizing access to testing is important not only to increase the systematic testing around clusters but also testing prior to some trips and of course any test required by a physician.


Quite a few patients with COVID, especially those in countries where it is difficult to provide high end care to critical cases, but not only, repatriations have taken place. This requires a fairly challenging authorization process both in the country of origin and at the country of destination (by far the best is to send people to their home country. Several providers in Europe, Africa and the Americas provide this service).