• 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: Global cases pass 12 million, Tokyo has a new daily record high, and Oxfam warns of a hunger crisis.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Global confirmed coronavirus cases have passed the 12-million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 549,000 people are known to have died from the virus, while over 6.5 million are known to have recovered.

The US has surpassed 3 million confirmed cases, with the country having more than 132,000 deaths.

Tokyo confirmed a one-day record high of 224 cases on 9 July. It's the first time there have been over 200 infections in the country since 17 April.

The pandemic could push an additional 49 million Africans into extreme poverty, according to the African Development Bank.

From today, people in the Spanish region of Catalonia must wear a mask in public, even where social distancing is possible.

Hong Kong has had 28 new confirmed cases over the past two days, in what health officials are describing as a third wave of infections.

The UK government has unveiled a new round of spending, amounting to $38 billion, to boost the country's economic recovery.

2. Evidence shows possibility of COVID-19 brain damage

Scientists have warned of the possible long-term neurological impacts of COVID-19, saying there is growing evidence the disease caused by coronavirus, which mainly affects the lungs, can also affect the brain.

Researchers at University College London studied 43 cases where patients with the virus had neurological disorders including delirium, stroke, encephalitis and Guillain-Barré, which causes nerve damage.

“Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause,” Ross Paterson, who co-led the study, told Reuters.

“Doctors need to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes.”

3. Oxfam: COVID-19 is deepening the world's hunger crisis

More people could die from hunger each day than from COVID-19, according to Oxfam, which has released a report on the impact of the pandemic.

By the end of the year, the number of people experiencing crisis-level hunger could rise 82% from 2019 to 270 million, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates.

That could mean as many as 12,000 people die each day from hunger linked to the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Oxfam has released a list of the ten most extreme hunger hotspots; countries that were already facing hunger crisis and in which mass unemployment from COVID-19 will worsen food insecurity.

Ten extreme hunger hotspots
Oxfam's ten hunger hotspots.
Image: Oxfam

The charity has urged governments to take action to save lives, including: funding the UN's humanitarian appeal; building fairer, more resilient, and more sustainable food systems; promoting women’s participation and leadership in decisions on how to fix the broken food system; cancelling debt to allow lower-income countries to put social protection measures in place; and taking urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.