Covid-19 Resources

This “Resources for Journalists on Corona Virus” website has been developed to provide local journalists with a growing list of resources on COVID 19. Its focus is on data and up-to-date facts and figures which include charts, graphs, live statistics, videos and other media related content. This website will link out to the relevant information sources. Our intention is that we provide you, the journalist’ with a site that consolidates various credible information sites that can be used to enhance your storytelling.

Additionally, as the site grows there will be locally created content such as articles and interviews (audio and video) and other pertinent information on this global pandemic.

The name of the virus has rapidly evolved since the first cases in early December 2019 and the recognition that it was a new virus in late December. RNA viruses have been traditionally named after their location of discovery, so the initial designation was Wuhan coronavirus. However, no one wants it named after their place, so the agreed naming of the disease is COVID-19 (COronavirus VIrus Disease-2019) and the virus is coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The sequence of the virus was released in January and made it clear that this virus is from a bat and related to SARS and MERS, but more closely to SARS; thus, SARS is part of the name. The other bat coronaviruses came to humans via another mammal (civet for SARS and camel for MERS) and that is also suspected for the new virus. The sequence also means that the conspiracy hypothesis about this being a lab-adapted virus are false. It also means that fish or snakes cannot be the intermediate hosts.


About the COVID-19 illness

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The two main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and cough. The initial case definition also included shortness of breath, but that is true only for those who are more seriously ill. Runny nose and sore throat are very uncommon, so their presence suggests a different virus. Seek medical attention if you have these symptoms or have travelled to abroad or have been in contact with someone who travelled abroad in the last 14 days or if you have had contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19.  ​

How does SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) spread?

SARS CoV-2 spreads through droplets which are released when people sneeze or cough. These droplets can only travel up to one meter and cause infection when they contact the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes. The infection may also spread from contaminated surfaces, but plays a lesser role.

Why doesn’t a mask work for protection?

The virus leaves the other person in the form of respiratory droplets. They cause infection when they land on mucous membranes (mouth, eyes).

They may land directly there or they may do it indirectly. That could be from those droplets getting on the infected person’s hand; he then touches you and you touch your mouth or eyes. Or he may cough on you and then you rub your eyes. Or it may be droplets that land on a counter next to you and then you touch it and then your face. The virus doesn’t survive a long time on an inanimate object.

The above means that the only thing the mask prevents is the virus coming in a droplet and landing on your mouth. It may make a bit of a difference but there are so many exposures it doesn’t prevent, that overall it isn’t worth using for routine purposes. For people taking care of COVID-19 patients, they wear a surgical mask and if doing high risk procedures, they wear an N95.


The health and well-being of the AKU community and those we serve remains our highest priority.

In light of the rapidly evolving situation across the five countries in which we operate – Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania and the United Kingdom – we are taking immediate actions to limit the exposure of our students, our faculty and staff, and our patients to the coronavirus.

We are closely monitoring the guidance and advice of governments, international health authorities, and our own global network of public health specialists. ​Read more

COVID-19: Message ​from ​President Firoz Rasul

March 16, 2020

We are experiencing extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances, which require a thoughtful and measured response and we are taking steps to make the necessary changes to our operations across our campuses to serve those who rely on us for their care while protecting our students, staff, faculty and patients. I am sharing a general update below.

The health and safety of those at the Aga Khan University is our highest priority. Based on evolving information about the spread of COVID-19 across the countries in which we operate, and the world at large, we are taking several steps and I seek your cooperation to act accordingly to ensure their effective implementation.

General Overview

  • The number of people who test positive for COVID-19 is increasing across the globe, and cases now exist in Pakistan, Kenya and the UK. So far none have originated in our University, although we are currently treating COVID-19 patients, and this will continue until the presence of the virus abates.
  • The Governments of Pakistan, Kenya, and UK have issued directives to alter behaviours, practices and programmes in the effort to reduce the infection rates.
  • Public schools are closed in Pakistan and Kenya. ​Universities are closed in Pakistan and will close in Kenya by Friday, 20 March.

Academic Programmes and Residences

  • In Pakistan, to protect the University community and comply with Government directives, while enabling students to complete the semester in Pakistan, the semester-based programme schedule has been adjusted to bring forward the Spring/Summer holidays. For MBBS, arrangements to provide instruction virtually and manage clinical learning are being implemented.
  • In Kenya, academic University programmes will be suspended from Friday, 20 March and we will inform the students of alternative measures shortly.
  • In UK, Tanzania and Uganda, where no specific directive has yet been issued, we are monitoring the situation.
  • For the student residences, we are taking steps to facilitate the evacuation of students from the hostels in Pakistan. Students who live in on-and off-campus residences will vacate their residences by 19 March. As needed, similar measures may be employed in other countries.

Health Services

  • ​The University continues to provide the high-quality health services for which we are known in the hospitals, clinics, labs, and public health centres. Special efforts are being made to prepare separate facilities for COVID-19 patients.

Cross-Campus Changes

  • The University is taking several steps to limit the exposure of AKU employees to the virus.
  • Visitors are being discouraged from coming to campus and will be stopped at the entrances.

Working from Home

  • Efforts are underway to limit the number of employees on our campuses.  Employees who can work remotely will be strongly encouraged to do so. Managers will identify essential staff, and review the infrastructure in place to enable their employees who are not essential to work remotely.

Gatherings ​

  • All University sponsored events are cancelled. Conferences, training courses, continuing medical education sessions, athletic competitions, professional development training, whether internal or public, are being cancelled.

Travel Matters

  • All University-sponsored travel is suspended whether to international or domestic destinations unless it is deemed essential to the operations of the University. The specific approval of the responsible manager and the Vice President, or their designate, is required.
  • Anyone returning from international travel is required to self-isolate for at least 14 days upon arrival. This is regardless of whether symptoms are evident.

Personal Hygiene

  • All employees are strongly encouraged to practice the highest level of personal hygiene, to wash hands frequently with soap and water, maintain a social distance of two metres, to avoid touching the face and to drink plenty of water.
  • Anyone who exhibits any symptoms of illness should inform their manager/supervisor, and remain at home.    ​

We Need to Work Together

  • Details concerning the management and implementation of all that has been mentioned here will be provided in a separate message from Human Resources. The Provost’s Office will provide more information on academic programmes across the various campuses.
  • This pandemic presents the greatest challenge the world has seen in decades, and it is critically important that we act, both individually and collectively, such that we are able to change the trajectory of the virus, slow its progress and ultimately halt its impact on our communities.
  • I know that as a committed, caring and responsible university community, we will work together to contribute our knowledge, skills and compassion to help all our stakeholders through this crisis.

World Health Organization

Information Site: This comprehensive site covers all matters on COVID 19 and is the leading authority on the matter




An aggregator site that collates data on global statistics to include population. This section is specifically focused on COVID 19, and provides up to date information and data. This includes Case graphs, Death Graphs, Countries, Death Rates, Incubation, Age, and Symptoms



Aga Khan University Hospital Kenya

The hospital has set the standard for comprehensive healthcare and modern medical education in East Africa. Its dedicated staff, advanced facilities and state-of-the-art technologies have earned the hospital a great reputation as a leading medical institution and teaching hospital in the region, and beyond.


Ministry of Health

COVID 19 resources





Mapping the Coronavirus outbreak across the world


Our World in Data

The mission of Our World in Data is to make data and research on the world’s largest problems understandable and accessible.


Coronavirus PPE Handling – Doffing


Coronavirus PPE Handling – Donning