- 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: Deaths pass 1 million; antigen tests to be made available globally; positive tests rise in New York state.
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1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe
The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 1 million, marking a grim milestone on the pandemic. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 33.3 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
India reported its lowest daily rise in coronavirus deaths since 3 August. It reported 70,589 new cases, as its total caseload rose to 6.15 million.
The South Korean government has appealed for social distancing measures to be followed, as millions are set to travel for the Chuseok thanksgiving holiday.
The Dutch government has announced increased restrictions, including earlier closing times for bars and restaurants and limited travel between major cities. Cloth masks will also be used more widely in Amsterdam and other large cities.
The percentage of positive tests in New York state has risen to 1.5%. It comes as 27 other US states recorded case increases for two-straight weeks.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care in France has reached a 3-month high, but remains well below the April peak.
Slovakia is set to ban most public cultural and sports events, in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus in the country.
What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19.
The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.
As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.
2. Global coronavirus deaths pass 1 million
The global coroanvirus death toll has passed 1 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
“Our world has reached an agonizing milestone,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
“It’s a mind-numbing figure. Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life. They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues.”
According to Reuters calculations, 5,400 people are dying every 24 hours - or one person every 16 seconds.
3. Antigen tests to made available for low- and middle-income countries
The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator has announced a set of agreements that will make 120 million affordable, high-quality COVID-19 antigen rapid tests available for low- and middle-income countries.
The tests, developed by Abbott and SD Biosensor, provide results in 15-30 minutes and will enable the expansion of testing in countries that do not have extensive lab facilities or trained health workers.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, said: “High-quality rapid tests show us where the virus is hiding, which is key to quickly tracing and isolating contacts and breaking the chains of transmission. The tests are a critical tool for governments as they look to reopen economies and ultimately save both lives and livelihoods.”
Organizations involved in the milestone agreement include the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), the Global Fund, Unitaid, and the WHO.