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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic
is a quickly evolving situation that has seen a huge amount of information become
rapidly available. This influx of information makes it difficult to keep up to date
and identify the most reliable sources, especially given the pandemic’s impact
has been and continues to be much broader than its immediate public health
This quick guide provides annotated links to a select
number of national and international reports on COVID-19 that are regularly
updated, with a primary focus on case reporting for Australia and the twenty
countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases as at the end of May 2020. It
also identifies a select number of organisations that provide additional
resources and analysis on the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This quick guide is one of a number of publications
on COVID-19 by the Parliamentary Library.
Australian COVID-19 reporting and
The Australian Government’s website on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the general
public includes information such as:
- health alerts and advice
- restrictions and safety advice
- business and employer information
- financial support
- support for individuals, families, and
- education and child care information and
- state and territory government information.
The Department of Health provides a national
overview of the current situation, which is updated daily. This includes
the current status of confirmed cases (e.g. people recovered), the number of
tests conducted in each state and territory, and cases in aged care services by
location. In addition to this, the Department
of Health also has a wide range of health-specific information on
COVID-19, such as weekly
epidemiology reports and information on the Australian
Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). The AHPPC is made up of all
state and territory Chief Health Officers and is chaired by the Australian
Chief Medical Officer, with one of its roles being to advise on mitigating emerging
health threats related to infectious diseases.
State and territory government
Each state and territory government has COVID-19 case
information and details of its policy responses on its website. The information
available includes restriction measures that are in force and policy
initiatives that are being implemented to support the population or a
sub-section of the population in that specific jurisdiction. Table 1 provides
links to this regularly updated information.
Table 1: links to state and
territory government COVID-19 case information and responses
Collation of government responses
The Parliamentary Library has published an overview
of the COVID-19 roles and responsibilities of Australian Public Service
departments and agencies, which is available from the Parliamentary Library’s ‘COVID-19
publications and resources’ webpage. This page contains links to Library
publications and other Australian and international parliamentary information.
The Grattan Institute’s ‘coronavirus
announcements tracker’ provides a record of
Commonwealth and state and territory government policy announcements in
response to COVID-19.
International and global COVID-19
reporting and responses
Global reporting and resources
Health and other impacts
World Health Organization
The WHO provides a global
overview of COVID-19, which includes daily situation reports, technical
guidance and public communication material. Its dashboard has interactive tools that allow
users to explore the data for different countries, territories and areas. In
addition, the global data is available for download, which provides a
day-to-day update (since the first reported case) by country.
The WHO has also created a database on the global
literature on coronavirus disease, which is
regularly updated. As at 25 May, this database included almost 20,000 full-text
articles. Hyperlinks are also provided to other organisations that have made
COVID-19 literature readily available, for example, The Lancet and Science.
European Centre for Disease
Prevention and Control
The ECDC provides COVID-19 public
health information, risk assessments and advice to European Union member states
and the EU Commission. Information is readily available on its website and
publications and global
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University has developed the Coronavirus Resource Centre, which
includes the global dashboard
and critical trend articles on
the global and United States situations.
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine,
University of Oxford
The CEBM has developed the Oxford COVID-19
Evidence Service that provides rapid evidence reviews, data analysis, and
commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic.
London School of Hygiene and
The LSHTM has produced a series of resources on
the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes an interactive tool on COVID-19 vaccine
United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO has published
information on the COVID-19
impact on education, which includes the global monitoring of school
closures due to COVID-19.
United Nations High Commissioner
The UNHCR’s ‘COVID-19
situation’ webpage includes information on the impact of COVID-19 on
refugees. This includes global, regional and country updates.
ACAPS (formerly the Assessment Capacities Project) is a non-profit project of a consortium of Save the
Children and the Norwegian Refugee Council. It has
published a number of resources
on the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the secondary effects in the
immediate to medium-term, such as the impact on humanitarian operations and
anticipated challenges for specific countries.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF has compiled information on the global
policy response to COVID-19 that summarises the key economic responses by governments
and includes 193 economies.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation
The OECD has compiled information on the global response to COVID-19,
which includes the policy response of most countries through its Country Policy Tracker.
Blavatnik School of Government,
University of Oxford
The Blavatnik School of Government has produced the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response
Tracker, with the aim of tracking and comparing worldwide government
responses in a consistent and rigorous manner. To achieve this, the project
group has identified a series of indicators that allow each country’s response
to be compared. However, it does not measure the effectiveness or
appropriateness of a country’s response.
School of Management, Yale
The Program on Financial Stability at the Yale School of
Management has compiled and published information on the response
by governments around the world to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the COVID-19
Financial Response Tracker.
International case reporting
Most countries that have reported cases of COVID-19 have
some form of publicly available case information. Table 2 provides a list of
countries with the highest number of reported cases as identified by the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard
(as at 27 May 2020) and links to each country’s case reporting information. The
twenty countries are listed from highest to lowest reported case numbers.
Table 2: links to case information
for the twenty countries with the highest number of reported COVID-19 cases (as
at 27 May 2020)
*the confirmed COVID-19 case
numbers are taken from the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard as at 27 May 2020 at 8.30 am (AEST). At this
time, Australia had reported 7,132 cases.
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