• 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: President-elect Biden set to get vaccine next week; South Korea reports record death toll; Denmark announces hard lockdown for Christmas period.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 74.2 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.64 million.

South Korea has reported a record number of COVID-19 deaths, while fears of a lockdown have sparked panic buying.

Tokyo, Japan, has raised its alert level to the highest of four stages, warning about the strain on its medical system.

What is the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship?

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship is a coalition of 85 global leaders, hosted by the World Economic Forum. 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. In January of 2021, its members launched its 2021 Roadmap through which its members will roll out an ambitious set of 21 action projects in 10 areas of work. Including corporate access and policy change in support of a social economy.

For more information see the Alliance website or its “impact story” here.

Health authorities in Spain are concerned following a recent uptick in cases following a succession of public holidays, with Christmas around the corner. “The situation is doubly preoccupying: we’re seeing (cases) increase, without having even reached Christmas, and without having fully registered the effects of the bank holidays,” health minister Salvador Illa told a press conference.

Twitter has said users will be required to remove new tweets that advance harmfully false or misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

France has reported its biggest daily jump in cases since 21 November, with 17,615 new cases reported yesterday.

Denmark has announced a hard lockdown over Christmas and New Year to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

People in the Czech Republic are being offer free rapid-result COVID-19 tests, in an effort to slow the spread of cases and protect people visiting family members over the Christmas period.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people
Europe and the United States remain hotspots for the disease.
Image: Our World in Data

2. President-elect Biden set to get vaccine

President-elect Joe Biden could receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week, according to transition team officials. Vice President Mike Pence is set to get the shot on Friday.

“I don’t want to get ahead of the line but I want to make sure that we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden said at an event on Wednesday. The President-elect, 78, is in a high-risk category because of his age.

It comes as the vaccine programme is rolled out across the United States, but also as the virus continues to kill more than 3,000 people a day across the country.

2.9 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are being distributed across the country, first to distribution hubs, then on to local hospitals. Healthcare works are designated as first-in-line, while some are also going to residents and staff of long-term care facilities.