• 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: G20 vow to ensure equal vaccine access; US cases pass 12 million; France announces plan to exit lockdown.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 58.6 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.38 million.

The border between Australia's two largest states - New South Wales and Victoria - has reopened after closing for only the second time in 101 years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korean authorities have tightened restrictions in response to an increase in cases. Bars and nightclubs will be closed, on-site dining at restaurants and cafes restricted and religious gatherings limited in Seoul and nearby regions from tomorrow.

France will ease lockdown rules in three steps over the coming weeks, according to a government spokesman. “There will be three steps to [lockdown] easing in view of the health situation and of risks tied to some businesses: a first step around Dec. 1, then before the year-end holidays, and then from January 2021,” Gabriel Attal told Le Journal Du Dimanche.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the post-COVID-19 economy must be more sustainable. “There is a will to learn from the pandemic and to make the economy more sustainable,” she told journalists on Sunday following the G20 summit.

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford stops 70% of people developing symptoms, a large-scale trial has shown.

Daily new confirmed cases of COVID-19 (7-day average)
The number of new cases continues to vary significantly around the world.
Image: Our World in Data

2. Confirmed US cases pass 12 million

Confirmed cases of coronavirus have passed 12 million in the United States. Reuters data suggests the growth in new infections has increased, with it taking just six days to go from 11 to 12 million.

Officials and experts have warned that travel and multi-household celebrations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday could make the situation worse. The US Centers for Disease Control has issued a “strong recommendation” to Americans to refrain from all kinds of travel over Thanksgiving.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for the government's vaccine development effort, said yesterday that vaccine shots could reach the first Americans by the middle of December.

“I would expect, maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or 12th of December, hopefully the first people will be immunized across the United States,” he said on CNN.

3. G20 to strive for fair global access

“We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people," the final communique said.

Vaccines, Health and healthcare, Gavi

What is the World Economic Forum doing about access to vaccines?

In 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was launched at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, with an initial pledge of $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The aim of Gavi is to make vaccines more accessible and affordable for all - wherever people live in the world.

Along with saving an estimated 10 million lives worldwide in less than 20 years,through the vaccination of nearly 700 million children, - Gavi has most recently ensured a life-saving vaccine for Ebola.

At Davos 2016, we announced Gavi's partnership with Merck to make the life-saving Ebola vaccine a reality.

The Ebola vaccine is the result of years of energy and commitment from Merck; the generosity of Canada’s federal government; leadership by WHO; strong support to test the vaccine from both NGOs such as MSF and the countries affected by the West Africa outbreak; and the rapid response and dedication of the DRC Minister of Health. Without these efforts, it is unlikely this vaccine would be available for several years, if at all.

Read more about the Vaccine Alliance, and how you can contribute to the improvement of access to vaccines globally - in our Impact Story.

“There is a clear recognition from the G20: If we leave any country behind, we will all be behind,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told the closing news conference.