• 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: More than 170 countries join WHO's global vaccine plan; one in seven COVID cases is among health workers; global confirmed cases pass 30 million.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 30 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 946,000.

Thailand has reported its first coronavirus death in over 100 days. Health officials said the Thai citizen had returned from working abroad earlier this month.

Ireland has tightened its COVID-19 travel restrictions. Quarantines are now in place on travellers from Italy and Greece.

New cases in the Netherlands have hit record highs for the third day in a row. The health ministry has warned that testing capacity is not enough to deal with a possible new wave of infections.

Austria has capped indoor gatherings at 10 people after a rise in coronavirus cases.

The WHO says more than 170 countries have joined its global plan to distribute vaccines safely and fairly.

US manufacturers are increasing production of cheap, fast – but less accurate – COVID-19 tests, aiming for 100 million per month by year end. It's hoped that they'll enable schools and workplaces to expand testing.

Moderna and Pfizer, two drug companies developing coronavirus vaccines, have released road maps showing how they are evaluating the vaccines. Details have been released with trials still under way in a bid to build public and scientific trust, the New York Times reports.

A decline in global trade in services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is showing signs of bottoming out, according to the World Trade Organization.

The Bank of England says it's looking at negative interest rates, as the UK economy faces a triple threat of accelerating COVID-19 cases, a possible Brexit shock and higher unemployment.

coronavirus COVID-19 cases
How different countries compare.
Image: Our World in Data

2. One in seven COVID-19 cases a health worker

The organization is calling for better protection for health workers. “It’s not just the risk of infection. Every day, health workers are exposed to stress, burnout, stigma, discrimination and even violence,” said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

There are three things that haunt health workers on the frontline of infectious disease outbreaks, said Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme Mike Ryan:

“One is to stand there and watch people die because you can’t help them. Two is to see a worker fall and be infected, your fellow worker and friend.

“And the third – and the one that really weighs on health workers most of the time in these situations – is the chance they could take that disease home to their families, to their friends, to their children,” Ryan said.

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. Global confirmed cases pass 30 million

Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 30 million. Deaths also edge close to 1 million, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.

Two countries – the US and India – have passed 5 million confirmed cases, with a further two, Brazil and Russia, having passed the 1 million mark.

Reuters reports that the global rate of new daily cases is slowing, but as this chart from Our World in Data shows cases rose slowly from January to March before rising rapidly.

(Note this chart was last updated yeseterday.)

Cumulative confirmed cases coronavirus COVID-19
Global confirmed cases
Image: Our World in Data

Health officials also warn that the true number of cases is likely higher, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity.