• 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: Germany extends restrictions; South Korea sees cases spike; global cases pass 60 million.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 60.4 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.42 million.

Disney is set to lay off 32,000 workers – mainly at its theme parks – in the first half of next year.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has extended a self-isolation period for residents older than 65 and those in COVID-19 risk groups through to 15 January.

Ukraine has registered a record daily tally for new COVID-19 cases – 15,331. It brings the country's total number of cases to 677,189.

The WHO has issued new guidance on physical health. It calls for all adults to do a minimum of 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week – particularly important in the COVID era, the WHO said.

France has reported another rise in cases and deaths, with new cases up from the 9,155 reported on Tuesday to 16,282 yesterday. It takes the total number of confirmed cases to more than 2.1 million.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases globally have passed 60 million. A Reuters analysis shows it took just 17 days to go from 50 to 60 million, compared to the 21 days it took for 40 to 50 million.

Germany is looking for an agreement with EU countries to keep ski resorts closed until January, to help curb COVID-19 infections.

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. Germany extends restrictions

“This is absolutely not the time to sound the all-clear,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told journalists.

“The exponential growth of infection numbers has been stopped, the steep curve has been turned into a flattened curve,” Merkel said. “But we cannot be content with this partial success,” she added.

From 1 December, private gatherings will be limited to five people, although this will be increased to 10 over Christmas – not counting children. The guidance calls for people to avoid social contact for a week before visits.

The new measures came as daily deaths from the virus hit a record high.

Germany cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Cases have accelerated in Germany.
Image: Our World in Data

3. South Korea reports biggest spike since March

South Korea has reported 583 new COVID-19 cases, its highest figure since March.

Social distancing rules were reimposed on Seoul and surrounding regions this week, just a month after they'd been eased following a second wave of infections.

“COVID-19 has arrived right beside you and your family,” health minister Park Neung-hoo told a televised meeting of health officials. “In particular, the spread of infections among young generations is extraordinary.”

Clusters have been traced to military facilities, a sauna, a high school, churches, a cafe and a friends' get-together. “Infections are emerging concurrently in our daily lives including family gatherings and informal get-togethers which makes it difficult for the government to take pre-emptive action,” education minister Yoo Eun-hae told a briefing.