Government Innovations

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This section captures the leading innovations deployed by Governments to combat the global pandemic.

Stay #SeparateAndTogether!

Kenyan government uses digital finance as a lever to influence social distancing:
Kenya’s largest telecom company, Safaricom, will implement a fee-waiver on East Africa’s leading mobile-money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The move came after Safaricom met with the country’s Central Bank and per a directive from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta “to explore ways of deepening mobile-money usage to reduce risk of spreading the virus through physical handling of cash,” https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/16/kenya-turns-to-its-mobile-money-dominance-to-stem-the-spread-of-covid-19/

Certification of Medical Professionals:
To cope with the strain on medical professionals, the Government of italy has issued a decree stating that people just graduated from the medical school can now become doctors without passing the state exam. https://www.euractiv.com/section/all/short_news/rome-eu-should-follow-italys-way-says-italian-pm/

Ten-Minute Coronavirus Test for $1
In about three months’ time, U.K.-based Mologic Ltd., in collaboration with Senegalese research foundation Institut Pasteur de Dakar, could shorten the wait time of Covid-19 testing to 10 minutes. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/ten-minute-coronavirus-test-could-be-game-changer-for-africa

Psychologists lead innovative approach to tackle psychological toll of COVID-19:
Psychologists at Nebraska Medicine developed a new virtual “town hall” model that leverages the community aspect of the current crisis to enhance social support. The daily town hall meetings — which occur virtually and include all patients and guests, as well as representatives from the medical, nursing, behavioral health and case management teams — empower the group and reduce the risks associated with isolation and quarantine. https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/03/psychologist-covid-19

Incentivizing manufacture of urgent medical devices:
The Government of UK has initiated conversations with manufacturing companies to re-purpose factories for production of medical devices, such as respirators. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/politics/2020/mar/15/coronavirus-uk-manufacturers-urged-to-consider-switching-to-making-ventilators

Big Data Analytics and Proactive Testing in Taiwan:
Taiwan is only 81 miles from mainland China, had over 2 million visitors from there in 2019 and was expected to have a huge number of cases of COVID-19. But as of today only has 77 cases and 1 death due to the Corona virus. There are many reasons for these low numbers, including 1) Actions on border control, travel restrictions, and case finding, 2) Actions on resource allocation 3) Actions on communications and politics https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762689?guestaccesskey=2a3c6994-9e10-4a0b-9f32-cc2fb55b61a5&utm_source=for_the_media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=030320&alert=article https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A86007cb3-0cc1-4bd6-a312-f7406cf9c68a

Social Distancing is the new normal!
It is becoming clear that enforcing social distancing is best-practice to "flatten the curve". Social distancing is avoiding a number of non-essential usages and new social practices: non-use of public transport, Work from home where possible, Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs, meet ups. The government of UK has initiated a employees guidance, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees