• 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: 'Syndemic' of chronic diseases and COVID-19; US confirmed cases pass 8 million; cooperation on a vaccine could boost global economy.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 38.9 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at over 1.09 million.

An outbreak of COVID-19 at a hospital in the Chinese city of Qingdao has been traced to two infected dock workers in the coastal city.

Asian shares have fallen, as a resurgence of cases in Europe and the US hurts appetite for risk.

US Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris has paused in-person campaigning through Sunday after a member of her staff tested positive for COVID-19.

A stronger US dollar and rising coronavirus cases in Europe and the US have seen oil prices fall, with concerns about demand being curtailed.

The UK has moved closer to COVID-19 vaccines trials that infect volunteers, after a biotech firm signed a contract with the government.

A World Health Organization (WHO) clinical trial says remdesivir had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients' length of hospital stay or mortality.

Strong international cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines could boost global income by $9 trillion by 2025, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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.

2. A 'syndemic' of chronic diseases and COVID-19

A major global study of human health says we're caught in a perfect storm of rising rates of chronic diseases, persistent infectious diseases and public health failures that has fuelled deaths during the pandemic.

The emergence of COVID-19, overlapping with a global rise in conditions such as obesity and diabetes, plus environmental risks like air pollution, has increased the pandemic's death toll, according to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study.

This rise in chronic diseases, along with failures in public health to limit preventable risk factors, has left the global population vulnerable to health emergencies.

“The ‘syndemic’ nature of the threat we face demands that we not only treat each affliction, but also urgently address the underlying social inequalities that shape them,” said Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of the Lancet, the publication that published the GBD study.

3. Confirmed US cases pass 8 million

Confirmed cases in the US have passed 8 million – rising by more than 1 million in less than a month. Around 60,000 new infections were reported on Wednesday, the highest since August.

Cases are rising in every region, especially the Midwest, reports Reuters. The positive test rate is more than 30% in South Dakota and more than 20% in Idaho and Wisconsin.

Experts are warning that as colder temperatures drive people inside, the spread of the virus could accelerate further.

coronavirus COVID-19 United States countries
Cases continue to rise globally.
Image: Our World in Data