• 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: record case increases in the US; new restrictions in Italy; promising early results in COVID-19 vaccine.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 43 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at over 1.15 million.

The Irish government expects to be able to start vaccinating vulnerable people against COVID-19 in the first half of next year, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday.

Most remaining restrictions in Melbourne, Australia, will start to be eased from tomorrow. It comes after no new cases were reported in 24 hours - the first time that had happened in four months.

Spain's Prime Minister has announced a new state of emergency. Local nighttime curfews have been imposed and travel is banned between regions in some cases.

France has registered a record daily tally of new COVID-19 cases - 52,010. The new cases take its total to 1,138,507, moving it ahead of Argentina and Spain.

The Czech Republic is likely to increase restrictions, as current measures have not halted a surge in infections, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said yesterday.

The Financial Times has reported that a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford, working with AstraZeneca, produced a robust immune response in elderly people, according to early results from tests.

COVID-19

How is the World Economic Forum helping to identify new technologies to fight COVID-19?

As part of work identifying promising technology use cases to combat COVID, The Boston Consulting Group recently used contextual AI to analyze more than 150 million English language media articles from 30 countries published between December 2019 to May 2020.

The result is a compendium of hundreds of technology use cases. It more than triples the number of solutions, providing better visibility into the diverse uses of technology for the COVID-19 response.

To see a full list of 200+ exciting technology use cases during COVID – please follow this link.

2. Record cases in the US

The United States has reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday and Saturday. A record 84,244 new cases were reported on Friday, and throughout October records for daily increases in new cases have been set in 29 states.

A Reuters tally also shows that hospitalizations have hit a two-month high.

The city of El Paso, Texas, has responded by asking its residents to stay home for the next two weeks, with parks and recreational facilities closed in El Paso county. A curfew was also introduced yesterday, from 10pm to 5am.

“For the sake of those hospitalized and the frontline healthcare workers working tirelessly each day to care for them, we ask you to please stay home for two weeks and eliminate your interactions with those outside your household until we can flatten the curve,” said the city’s public health director, Angela Mora.

Total confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the United States.
In total, more than 8 million cases have been reported across the US.
Image: Our World in Data

3. Restrictions tightened in Italy

Restrictions have been increased in Italy, in response to rising cases.

Bars and restaurants will have to close by 6pm, while public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools are being forced to close completely.

“We think we will suffer a bit this month but by gritting our teeth with these restrictions, we’ll be able to breathe again in December,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

The country reported a record daily total for new cases on Sunday - 21,273.