• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: record daily global case rise; China joins global vaccine initiative; the challenge of asymptomatic cases.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 36.5 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at over 1.06 million.

More French cities are set to be moved to the highest alert level. Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne will all go on maximum coronavirus alert level from Saturday.

The World Health Organization has recorded a record daily rise in COVID-19 cases - 338,779 in 24 hours.

coronavirus COVID-19 cases confirmed cases case rise daily case rise
Daily confirmed cases continue to rise in some countries.
Image: Our World in Data

Italy has registered more than 4,000 new cases in 24 hours for the first time since mid-April.

Confirmed cases in India have risen to 6.91 million, with 70,496 new cases reported.

Australia has gone a second straight day without any COVID-19 deaths - the longest stretch in three months.

The national government in Spain has warned Madrid that it must enforce travel restrictions or will face a state of emergency.

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. The risk of asymptomatic cases

A UK study has shown that 86% of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 over a two-month period were asymptomatic.

This suggests that a testing approach - where only people with symptomd are encouraged to get tested - could miss a large number of cases.

“The fact that so many people who tested positive were asymptomatic on the day of a positive test result calls for a change to future testing strategies,” said Irene Petersen of UCL Epidemiology & Health Care.

“More widespread testing will help to capture ‘silent’ transmission and potentially prevent future outbreaks.”

However, the authors noted that other studies have found very different results. For example, one in China found just 5% of cases were asymptomatic, while a study in Iceland returned a figure of 43%.

3. China joins COVAX

China has joined COVAX, the global vaccine initiative co-led by the World Health Organization. It is the biggest economy to pledge its support for the programme, which aims to buy and distribute any potential vaccines fairly and equitably.

“We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

China joins 168 countries that have already announced their participation.

The programme aims to deliver 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of next year, with a focus on vaccinating the most high-risk people in every country first.