We have noticed after almost one year in the pandemic that we have not had a proper talk about COVID-19 nor about updates in the research field. That’s why this week we are going to talk about COVID-19. Here goes the content table:

  1. Short history of COVID-19
  2. Weekly Operational Update on COVID-19 11 January 2021
  3. Infodemic and what we can do

When the calendars showed the date 31th of December 2019, People’s Republic of China made a statement about viral pneumonia cases in Wuhan, of which the cause was unknown. By January the 3rd China provided information to the World Health Organization about the pneumonia cases, by then WHO has already activated its Incident Management Support Team (IMST) as a part of the emergency response framework and also informed Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) partners about the clusters of cases. 6 days later, on January 9th, WHO reported that Chinese authorities have determined that the cause of the outbreak was a novel coronavirus. 

On March 11th WHO declared that the COVID-19 could be assessed as a pandemic and it called every country to take whole-government action since the outbreak was not just a public health concern but it could impact every sector. WHO emphasized that the course of the pandemic could be changed by countries’ actions. They called every government to “detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response”.

Since the declaration of the pandemic we have been trying to stay at home as much as possible to prevent transmission, to flatten the curve and to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. And the healthcare professionals, bioengineers, researchers and many professionals from other sectors have been working phenomenally to minimize the effects of COVID-19, to save lives and also, to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. And since the beginning of November 2020 we have been hearing promising updates on vaccines, some of which have already been distributed to as many countries as possible. Even though vaccines have given us hope for the end of the pandemic, we cannot stress enough that the urgency continues and we still have very little data about mutation, immunological, treatment characteristics of COVID-19. Therefore we keep staying at home, keeping our distance and wearing masks.

The proper way to celebrate the new year as of 2020 🙂

By 11 January 2021 there have been 88 828 387 confirmed cases and 1 926 625 confirmed deaths. Emergency situations continue within hospitals, governments and to be honest, at all places. Another so called pandemic, the infodemic, was an inevitable consequence of COVID-19. The overabundance of information has great potential to harm our society and there are some steps that we can take. You can start by becoming a signatory of Infodemic Response and learn how to stop spreading mis- and disinformation via this link:


In order to be trained and informed about COVID-19 you can check OpenWHO.org as well, you can access open online courses by just signing up.

We must update you about FluAI as well, which you can download on App Store and Google Play. Since our launch we have been continuing our work to introduce you with many great updates. We know that you have been enjoying our app, and we are grateful for your support. Stay tuned for updates, see you next week.


  1. WHO. (2021). Timeline: WHO’s COVID-19 response. Retrieved 11 January 2021, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/interactive-timeline#event-110 
  2. Weekly Operational Update on COVID-19 11 January 2021, https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-operational-update-on-covid-19—11-january-2021


Elif Başak Alço


Related Post

Leave a Comment