• 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: France cases top 2 million; new lockdown in South Australia; cases rise in South Korea and Japan.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 55.6 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.33 million.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in India have passed 8.9 million, after reporting 38,617 new infections. The death toll stands at 130,993.

The US Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it's approved the first COVID-19 self-testing kit for home use. The single-use test provides results within 30 minutes.

British police have warned that the coronavirus pandemic and social isolation are contributing to a "perfect storm" for the radicalization of young people.

Most of the Netherlands' current lockdown measures will stay in place through to mid-December, despite a decline in new cases, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said yesterday.

New COVID-19 infections in Japan's capital Tokyo have hit a record daily high of 493. Local media reported the city was preparing to raise its alert level to the highest of four stages.

Global shares have fallen back, as soft US retail sales fuelled concerns about the fragile economic recovery.

New daily COVID-19 cases in South Korea have reached their highest level since August. The government imposed new social distancing restrictions yesterday in an effort to tackle this latest outbreak.

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2. France pass 2 million confirmed cases

France has become the first European country to pass 2 million confirmed cases, joining the US, India and Brazil to pass that milestone.

The country has been in a second national lockdown since the end of October, which has seen new infections decline. Health Minister Olivier Veran said yesterday the country was regaining control over the coronavirus but was not ready to ease the second national lockdown imposed to rein in the outbreak.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people
Cases have fallen in France since the introduction of a second national lockdown.
Image: Our World in Data

Despite cases falling, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached an all-time high. Deaths are the third highest in Europe, and seventh highest globally.

3. New lockdown in South Australia

South Australia has announced a six-day state-wide lockdown in an effect to stamp out a new COVID-19 outbreak.

A series of restrictions will be imposed on homes and businesses. Only one person per household will be allowed to leave each day - and only for specific purposes. All schools, takeaway food, pubs, cafes and universities will be closed, along with the construction industry.

“We need this circuit breaker, this community pause,” state Premier Steven Marshalll said. “We are going hard and we are going early. Time is of the essence and we must act swiftly and decisively.”

The outbreak has seen 22 new cases.