• 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: US confirmed cases pass 11 million; new cases in South Korea cause concern; Italian research suggests coronavirus was circulating much earlier than previously thought.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 54.3 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.31 million.

Stricter restrictions will be imposed in cities across Iran, as the country battles a surge in cases.

India is set to fly in doctors from other regions, increase testing and enforce mask wearing in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country's capital, New Delhi.

French police stepped up controls over the weekend in Paris, in order to ensure residents comply with strict lockdown rules.

South Korea has reported more than 200 new COVID-19 cases for the third straight day. The government is considering tightening social distancing rules, report Reuters. Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said the country was at a "critical crossroads."

China's factory output rose faster than expected in October, with retail sales also increasing.

Britain is planning to open two new 'megalabs' in early 2021 to boost the country's testing capacity. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who later tested positive for the virus.

South Australia has reported 14 new COVID-19 cases, a rapid increase after first reporting three locally-transmitted infections on Sunday.

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 impact story here.

2. US cases pass 11 million

Confirmed cases in the United States have passed 11 million, just eight days after it passed 10 million.

The latest 7-day average shows the US is reporting more than 144,000 daily cases and 1,120 daily deaths. Hospitalizations also passed 69,000 on Saturday.

Confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases United States.
Cases have continued to rise rapidly since passing 10 million.
Image: Our World in Data

States have introduced new restrictions as a result, including strict new rules in Michigan, where indoor restaurant service and in-person high school and college classes will be banned for 3 weeks from Wednesday.

“We are in the worst moment of this pandemic to date,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told a news conference. “The situation has never been more dire. We are at the precipice and we need to take some action.”

It comes as President-elect Joe Biden's pandemic task force says that President Trump's Operation Warp Speed vaccine programme should be overhauled to focus on testing (paywall).

3. Coronavirus might have emerged in Italy earlier than previously thought

The new coronavirus was circulating in Italy in September 2019, a study by the National Cancer Institute has shown.

The findings show that nearly 12% of 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020, had developed coronavirus antibodies well before February.

A further specific SARS-CoV-2 antibody test was carried out by the University of Siena for the same research.

It showed that four cases dating back to the first week of October were also positive for antibodies neutralizing the virus, meaning they had been infected in September, Giovanni Apolone, a co-author of the study, told Reuters.