• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: IEA cuts oil demand forecast; the WHO's key messages to the world; India passes 5 million confirmed cases.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 29.5 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 935,000.

France has reported nearly 8,000 new COVID-19 cases, with infections rising to 7,852 from just over 6,000 a day earlier.

Total confirmed cases in India have passed 5 million, with 90,123 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. It's only the second country - after the United States - to pass the 5 million mark.

Melbourne, Australia, is on track to relax a strict lockdown by the end of the month. Average cases over the last two weeks in the city fell below 50, health authorities said, the benchmark the state set to start easing curbs.

Ireland is set to keep some of Europe's strictest travel restrictions in place for another month, as new cases hit their highest point since mid-May. The government also delayed the planned reopening of all of Dublin's pubs, with 357 new cases reported on Tuesday.

A report from the Federal Reserve has shown U.S. factory production increased for a fourth month in August. But, coupled with labour market data, it suggests the recovery is showing signs of strain, Reuters reports.

Canada's health minister has said another full lockdown cannot be ruled out amid an increase in cases, but Patty Hajdu has pledged to take a "surgical approach" to tackling outbreaks.

'Aglio Kim', a trolley-like robot which uses artificial intelligence, is delivering food to customers at a restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. It aims to minimize human contact and help ensure social distancing.

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.

2. IEA cuts oil forecast

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has cut its 2020 oil demand forecast, citing caution about the speed of the economic recovery.

It's reduced the outlook by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), to 91.7 million bpd - its second downgrade in as many months. Rising cases in many countries, other related lockdown measures, continued remote working, and a weak aviation sector are all hurting demand, the organization said.

“We expect the recovery in oil demand to decelerate markedly in the second half of 2020, with most of the easy gains already achieved,” the IEA said in its monthly report.

“The economic slowdown will take months to reverse completely... in addition, there is the potential that a second wave of the virus (already visible in Europe) could cut mobility once again.”

oil demand forecast oil products IEA International Energy Agency fossil fuels fuel
Demand slumped in the early part of 2020.
Image: IEA via Reuters

3. The WHO's 3 messages for UN75

The World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined its 3 key messages to the 75th UN General Assembly.

1. Ensure equitable access to COVID-19 tools through the ACT-Accelerator, the international programme to collaborate towards and share the results of research and development towards tests, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

2. Maintain momentum towards the sustainable development goals as the pandemic risks undoing decades of progress. Ninety percent of countries have reported disruptions to essential health services as a result of COVID-19, which has also served as reminder of the need to invest in our health systems.

3. We must prepare for the next pandemic together, now. COVID-19 has shown us we were "woefully unprepared", says the WHO. The organization will call on all citizens and leaders to work together to better prepare for future pandemics.

"Our actions today will define our collective future."