• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: State of emergency in France; the effects of 'long COVID'; WHO fears spike in deaths.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 38.5 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at over 1.09 million.

Germany has announced a record daily increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases - 6,638. The previous record was set in March.

As a result, Germany's states have agreed to extend measures against the spread of virus. Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned tougher steps might be needed.

Finance leaders from the G20 have pledged to "do whatever it takes" to support the global economy and maintain financial stability.

Global stocks fell yesterday, as a result of record case increases in parts of Europe. Investors have shifted to traditional safe havens, including gold and the Japanese yen, Reuters reports.

Ireland has tightened restrictions in three counties on the open border with Northern Ireland. Almost all visits to homes have also been banned across the country.

Northern Ireland has also announced stricter restrictions, including school closures from Monday, in response to a rapid rise in cases.

The French government has announced a public health state of emergency and imposed a nightly curfew affecting a third of the country's population. The curfew will take effect from Saturday and run from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The World Health Organization has warned that COVID-19 is hurting efforts to tackle tuberculosis. Urgent investment and action is needed, the organization said Wednesday.

2. The long-term effects of COVID-19?

Ongoing illness after initial infection with COVID-19 might not be one syndrome, but possibly up to four, causing a variety of symptoms and affecting multiple parts of the mind and body, according to a new initial report.

The research, by Britain's National Institute for Health Research, found that in patients with 'long COVID', it's common for symptoms to appear in one physiological area - i.e. the heart or lungs - then abate, only to appear again in a different area. The patients can be seven months or more into their illness.

“This review highlights the detrimental physical and psychological impact that ongoing COVID is having on many people’s lives,” said Dr Elaine Maxwell, who led the report.

The report's authors are urging patients and doctors to log and track symptoms to help reseachers understand more about the condition.

“While this is a new disease and we are learning more about its impact..., services will need to be better equipped to support people with ongoing COVID, as emerging evidence is showing there are significant psychological and social impacts that will have long-term consequences,” the report said.

What is the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship?

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship is a coalition of 82 global leaders, hosted by the World Economic Forum and supported by GHR Foundation and Porticus. Its mission: Join hands in support of social entrepreneurs everywhere as vital first responders to the pandemic and as pioneers of a green, inclusive economic reality.

Its COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda, outlines 25 concrete recommendations for key stakeholder groups, including funders and philanthropists, investors, government institutions, support organizations, and corporations. These corporations are called on to stand with social entrepreneurs within their supply chains and the broader ecosystem, fulfil their agreements and extend their support to build a more inclusive & resilient economy and to:

  • Honour existing relationships by standing by existing supplier commitments and extending credit lines to social entrepreneur suppliers/partners
  • Forge new partnerships by using a mix of different types of financial and non-financial support to both social entrepreneurs and their constituents
  • Facilitate capital connections so that social entrepreneurs can re-emerge and rebuild after the pandemic
  • Invest in capacity building through individual or multi-company pro-bono/low-bono programmes
  • Deepen and widen corporate’s footprint by committing to sustainable sourcing practices and by building local “shock resilient” ecosystems

For more information see the full action agenda here.

3. WHO fears spike in deaths

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned yesterday that with increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, mortality will also rise.

“Mortality increases always lag behind increasing cases by a couple of weeks,” WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said during a social media event. “We shouldn’t be complacent that death rates are coming down.”

She also warned about letting infection spread in the hope of achieving herd immunity - which the Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called 'unethical' and said would lead to unnecessary deaths.

“People talk about herd immunity. We should only talk about it in the context of a vaccine,” Swaminathan said. “You need to vaccinate at least 70% of people... to really break transmission.”

confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 deaths
Confirmed deaths have continued to rise.
Image: Our World in Data