• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: Confirmed cases pass 9 million, Saudi Arabia bans international travellers from the Hajj and Greta Thunberg on COVID-19 and the climate crisis.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

  • Confirmed cases of coronavirus around the globe passed the 9 million mark in the past 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • Saudi Arabia has banned visitors from overseas making the annual Islamic pilgrimage - the Hajj - to Mecca and Medina. Only a limited number of those resident in the kingdom will be able to attend.
  • The number of COVID-19 deaths in the US has passed 120,000, with more than 2.3 million confirmed cases. Infections are still increasing in 23 of the 50 states, with California, Texas and Florida the worst affected, each with more than 100,000 cases.
  • The World Health Organization's Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to do all they could to balance the needs of people and their economies: "It’s not a choice between lives and livelihoods. Countries can do both."

2. Greta Thunberg: Coronavirus shows we can tackle climate change

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg believes the world's response to the COVID-19 pandemic proves we can take urgent action on climate change.

In an interview with the BBC, she said: "It shows that in a crisis, you act, and you act with necessary force."

The teenager, who has been continuing her studies in lockdown, also said she was pleased to see politicians in the crisis have been listening to scientists and experts and prioritizing human lives.

"Suddenly people in power are saying they will do whatever it takes since you cannot put a price on human life."

coronavirus COVID-19 confirmed cases
Confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Image: WHO

3. 4 ways the post-pandemic world might help the circular economy

The global pandemic has forced us to innovate and reassess how we produce, distribute, purchase and consume, writes Mayuri Wijayasundara, a Lecturer at Deakin University.

"Those trends, influenced by our new limitations, seem to favour a circular economy – the only economic philosophy that can sustainably cater to people’s needs in the long run."

Here's how the circular economy might benefit from the COVID-19 recovery.

Circular economy

What is a circular economy?

The global population is expected to reach close to 9 billion people by 2030 – inclusive of 3 billion new middle-class consumers.This places unprecedented pressure on natural resources to meet future consumer demand.

A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the end-of-life concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems and business models.

Nothing that is made in a circular economy becomes waste, moving away from our current linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy. The circular economy’s potential for innovation, job creation and economic development is huge: estimates indicate a trillion-dollar opportunity.

The World Economic Forum has collaborated with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for a number of years to accelerate the Circular Economy transition through Project MainStream - a CEO-led initiative that helps to scale business driven circular economy innovations.

Join our project, part of the World Economic Forum’s Shaping the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security System Initiative, by contacting us to become a member or partner.

1. Pay for service: Product service systems designed to avoid contact, offer excellent flexibility for consumers to “lighten the load” in the new world of uncertainty.

2. Self-containment and local consumption: Restricted activity across borders means greater reliance on local supply chains to allow local circulation of nutrient flows.

3. Shorter supply chains: The repair economy and local micro-industries may be valued for providing a reliable supply of products within reach, compared to a long supply chain delivering cheaper goods.

4. Capping consumption, based on capacity limitations and priority: COVID-19 is likely to prepare governments to have a hierarchy of activities it deems crucial for survival and continuity.