• 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: Australia closes borders of two states for first time in a hundred years, India now third behind US and Brazil for COVID-19 cases, and WHO stops drugs trial.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases have surpassed 11.4 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 534,000 people are known to have died from the virus, while over 6.1 million are known to have recovered.

The borders between Australia's two most populous states - New South Wales and Victoria - will close on 7 July for the first time since the Spanish Flu pandemic 100 years ago, after a surge in cases in Melbourne.

The World Health Organization is stopping trials of two drugs used to treat malaria and HIV - hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir - as they showed "little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients".

Saudi Arabia has announced health protocols to be followed by domestic pilgrims for this year's haj. They include a ban on touching the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, and social distancing of a meter and a half between each pilgrim.

The UK government has announced a rescue package of almost $2 billion to support the country's arts and cultural venues which face the threat of closure.

Fujitsu Ltd will reduce its office space in Japan by half by 2023 in its drive for more permanent remote working.

Figure 2. Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, by date of report and WHO region, 30 December through 5 July
How cases of COVID-19 are growing around the globe.
Image: WHO

2. India now the world's third most affected country

India has overtaken Russia to have the third highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, behind the US and Brazil.

It has had almost 700,000 and 20,000 deaths - and the outbreak shows no sign of slowing.

On 5 July, there was a record one-day increase of 25,000 cases.

coronavirus, health, COVID19, pandemic

What is the World Economic Forum doing to manage emerging risks from COVID-19?

The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.

As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become visible.

To help all stakeholders – communities, governments, businesses and individuals understand the emerging risks and follow-on effects generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications - a companion for decision-makers, building on the Forum’s annual Global Risks Report.

The report reveals that the economic impact of COVID-19 is dominating companies’ risks perceptions.

Companies are invited to join the Forum’s work to help manage the identified emerging risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the full COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications report here, and our impact story with further information.

The country's most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal, in Agra, will remain closed to visitors - reversing a decision to reopen - after a spike in new cases in the area.

3. Will COVID-19 usher in a new age of outdoor living?

Scotland has become the latest country to reopen pubs and restaurants - but with an emphasis on socializing in the open air.

From today, people can sit outside in beer gardens and at outdoor cafes, with venues able to welcome customer indoors from 15 July.

Strict social distancing and hygiene rules will be in place and people will have to leave their contact details so they can be traced in the event of an outbreak.

People sit in an outdoor area at St Villa bar and restaurant, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in St. Albans, Britain July 4, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2LMH97UAO1
People sit in an outdoor area at a restaurant in St. Albans in Britain, on 4 July.

Scotland follows England, which reopened pubs and restaurants at the weekend. New laws were introduced to make it simpler for pubs to serve alcohol outside of their premises, which could usher in a new era of more outdoor socializing.

The Lithuanian capital of Vilnius became one of the first cities in Europe to reopen restaurants and bars, closing streets to allow the venues to make full use of public space.

In San Francisco, a Shared Spaces programme allows businesses and eventually restaurants to use parts of outdoor public spaces – from sidewalks to plazas – with free, fast-tracked permits.

While in Kenya and Myanmar, streets have been closed for open-air markets.