Geographers globally are harnessing their talents in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic. With one third of the world’s population now in some form of lockdown, there are extraordinary efforts by geographers to understand the spatial and other characteristics of this deadly virus. A group of Chinese geographers, led by former IGU Vice-President Academician Chenghu Zhou, has published a paper that showcases how GIS and Big Data were used support for decision-making, formulation of interventions, and assessment of their effectiveness in relation to COVID-19 prevention and control. The in press version of the paper is available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666683920300092

IGU Commissions have also been very quickly into action. The IGU Commission on Geography of Governance (IGU-CGoG) has been preparing, in the last weeks, an Action Plan focused on the worldwide “Local Government Response Towards Covid-19 Pandemic”: https://sites.google.com/view/igucgog-covid19/home .

Members of the Steering Committee of our Commission on Health and EnvironmentCommission on Health and the Environment have proposed three immediate activities: a) hold a session, in collaboration with colleagues from China CDC, WHO, and CAS at the IGC in Istanbul; b) organise an international expert workshop on COVID-19 and other (re-) emerging diseases back-to-back to the Commission’s annual training course at CAS in Beijing (IGSNRR); c) set up a special working group to analyse the lessons learned in the context of interdisciplinary Global Health and using the comprehensive approaches of health geography and spatial epidemiology.

As reported earlier, IGU Vice-President Bojie Fu and chair of the IGU Commission of Geography and Future Earth, Wenwu Zhao, led a team of geographer in publishing a paper highlighting the Chinese ‘3Cs” approach to combatting the virus. The paper is available at:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095927320301663