• 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: EU leaders agree on recovery package, vaccine trials show positive results and the 6 'types' of COVID-19.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have risen to 14.7 million around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 609,000.

EU leaders have reached a deal on a $859 billion COVID-19 recovery package - in a summit that ended in the early hours of 21 July. The biggest joint borrowing for the bloc was hailed a "pivotal moment", reports the BBC.

Brazil's death toll has passed 80,000. It has the second highest number of cases globally, at more than 2.1 million.

Vaccine trials in China and at the UK's University of Oxford have produced positive results - with antibodies found up to two months later in the AstraZeneca-Oxford trial.

WHO Executive Director Dr Mike Ryan has warned that the surge in cases in South Africa could be a precursor for COVID-19's spread throughout Sub-Saharan Africa: "I am very concerned we're beginning to see an acceleration right now in Africa, we have to take it very seriously and show solidarity."

California reported a record daily increase in cases on 20 July, with almost 12,000 cases.

It's now compulsory to wear masks in public in France, Hong Kong SAR and Melbourne, Australia.

2. WHO warns about impact on indigenous people

Indigenous peoples - and particularly those in the Americas - are at risk in the COVID-19 pandemic due to lack of access to healthcare, the World Health Organization has said.

In a briefing to press, Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "Although COVID-19 is a risk for all indigenous peoples globally, WHO is deeply concerned about the impact of the virus on indigenous peoples in the Americas, which remains the current epicentre of the pandemic."

As of 6 July, more than 70,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported among indigenous peoples in the Americas, and more than 2,000 deaths. Most recently, at least six cases have been reported among the Nahua people, who live in the Peruvian Amazon, Dr Tedros said.

There are up to 500 million indigenous peoples worldwide, in over 90 countries.

"Indigenous peoples have unique cultures and languages, and deep relationships with the environment. Like other vulnerable groups, indigenous peoples face many challenges.

"This includes a lack of political representation, economic marginalization and lack of access to health, education and social services.

"Indigenous peoples often have a high burden of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition and both communicable and non-communicable diseases, making them more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its severe outcomes."

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.

3. 6 'types' of COVID-19 discovered

Scientists in the United Kingdom have found six distinct 'types' of COVID-19, each with their own cluster of symptoms, based on data from the COVID Symptom Study app.

The team of researchers from King’s College London found each type also differed in terms of severity of the disease - and the findings could help doctors know who is more at risk in a second wave of infections.

A machine-learning algorithm was used to analyse data from around 1,600 people in the UK and US with COVID-19, who regularly logged their symptoms using the app in March and April.

The six clusters are as follows:

1. (‘flu-like’ with no fever): Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.

2. (‘flu-like’ with fever): Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite.

3. (gastrointestinal): Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough.

4. (severe level one, fatigue): Headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.

5. (severe level two, confusion): Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain.

6. (severe level three, abdominal and respiratory): Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, abdominal pain.

4. UN envoy: The pandemic could marginalize LGBTIQ further

What else do LGBTIQ+ adults and adolescents need?
Lockdowns have left many young LGBTIQ people in need of more mental health support.
Image: UNICEF

The measures taken to combat COVID-19 have left many young LGBTIQ people without support, writes Jayathma Wickramanayake, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, United Nations.

"Young queer people rely on safe and inclusive youth LGBTIQ centres, groups and specialist support services that affirm their identities, where they can be their true selves, relate to others, and learn and socialize in a safe, non-judgemental space and environment.

"Some of them have successfully moved into digital spaces after COVID-19, but many others have had to close down, leaving a large number of young queer people without any support."

Catch up on the latest COVID-19 news and interviews in our World Vs Virus podcast:

Lockdowns have left many young people in need of more support: with two-thirds (62%) of LGBTIQ adolescents and youth in south-east and east Asia concerned about their mental health during the pandemic.

"We need to invest more into LGBTIQ youth services and spaces," says Wickramanayake.

"Now more than ever, we need to ensure that queer youth voices are not only included, but have an active part in the decision-making and conversations that will impact their lives."