• 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: UK deaths pass 60,000; Biden to ask Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days; South Korea considers new restrictions.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 65.2 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.5 million.

New restrictions come into force in Wales today. Pubs, cafes and restaurants are banned from selling alcohol, and must close at 18.00 for takeaway only.

Restaurants, cafes, hotels and some pubs in the Republic of Ireland will reopen from today, as part of a gradual lifting of restrictions.

South Koreans have been urged to cancel New Year and Christmas parties, as daily COVID-19 cases hit a nine-month high. The government is considering imposing tighter restrictions.

At a special session of the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has criticized countries who rejected facts about the pandemic and ignored World Health Organization guidance.

IBM and US officials are warning about the risks of hackers targeting companies involved in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

2. COVID deaths pass 60,000 in the UK

More than 60,000 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, after a further 414 were recorded yesterday.

It makes the United Kingdom's death toll the highest in Europe. According to Johns Hopkins University, only the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico have reported more deaths.

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the United Kingdom
Deaths have risen more rapidly in recent weeks.
Image: Our World in Data

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was a reminder that "the fight against coronavirus is not yet won".

Total confirmed cases in the UK stand at more than 1.67 million – the sixth-highest in the world.

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.

3. Biden to ask for 100 days of mask-wearing

US President-elect Joe Biden has told CNN that he'll ask Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office.

"The first day I'm inaugurated to say I'm going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days," he said in an interview with the broadcaster.

"And I think we'll see a significant reduction if we occur that, if that occurs with vaccinations and masking to drive down the numbers considerably."