With 130,000 cases in 125 countries and sadly almost 5,000 deaths so far – including 8 in the UK – the novel coronavirus outbreak now constitutes a pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation.
There is now a free online course open for registration on “COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus” from experts at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a renowned institute of public health, available on FutureLearn.com, the leading social learning platform.
So far we’ve seen over 25,000 people join the course, from almost 200 countries.
Understanding and preventing the spread of Coronavirus
The online course is focussed on the outbreak of novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, and will cover what is known about the disease outbreak so far, what the practical implications for response are, how to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and what is needed for the future.
The course will start on 23 March and is suitable for everyone, from those working in healthcare to anyone interested in the subject and the response more generally. The course will run for three weeks and will require approximately four hours of study per week.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who will be running this online course, was named Times Higher Education University of the Year 2016 for its response to the Ebola outbreak which included, among many other things, an online course, Ebola in Context, on FutureLearn. That course saw over 18,000 enrolments from over 185 countries including Sierra Leone, which was badly affected by the epidemic.
The course will be led by Dr Anna Seale and Dr Maryirene Ibeto from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Dr Anna Seale, Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:
“The response to COVID-19 is an international effort, requiring worldwide collaboration and transparency. This course, which is open to participants around the world, aims to bring together expertise, and share knowledge on what we know to date and what we are still learning about the virus and how to combat it.”
Dr Maryirene Ibeto, Research Coordinator at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, commented:
“Through this course, we aim to facilitate communities of practice, connecting those working with, or interested in, COVID-19. By pooling our knowledge to fill gaps in our knowledge about the virus, we stand the best chance of stopping this outbreak in its tracks.”
Simon Nelson, Chief Executive at FutureLearn, commented, “Our purpose is to transform access to education. For me, that means working with institutions like the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to support them to get information out into the public domain as quickly as possible that is accessible all over the world. When we worked with them on the Ebola course, we saw the impact. We played a small part in helping with the response to Ebola and we’re pleased to be able to support with the response to Coronavirus.”
The course is free for all to join.
Notes to ed:
* stats as at 12th March from WHO: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support over 10 million learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. We’re a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. We use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE), as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.