• 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: Israel sharing COVID-19 data with Pfizer; IMF says more resources needed to help heavily indebted countries; Brazil begins vaccination programme.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 95.5 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 2.04 million.

US President-elect Joe Biden plans to extend travel restrictions preventing most people who have recently been in much of Europe and Brazil to travel to the US.

Brazil has begun a national COVID-19 immunization programme, after a vaccine from China's Sinovac BioTech was granted emergency-use authorization.

British firms have called for another £7.6 billion ($10.3 billion) of emergency government support, saying they cannot wait for a March budget.

A survey has found that suicide rates have jumped in Japan in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though they fell during the first wave.

France's average daily new COVID-19 infections hit a six-and-a-half week high on Monday.

Portugal has reported a record number of COVID-19-related deaths, with 167 related deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 9,028 since the pandemic began.

Spain has begun giving a second shot of coronavirus vaccines to elderly nursing home residents, as new infections continue to rise.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization has warned the world is on the brink of a 'catastrophic moral failure' in sharing COVID-19 vaccines. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while more than 39 million vaccine doses had been administered in 49 higher-income countries, just 25 doses had been given in one poor country.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries
Cases continue to rise in some countries.
Image: Our World in Data

2. More resources needed to help heavily indebted countries: IMF

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has said the lender needs more resources to help heavily indebted countries. She cited an uncertain global economic outlook and a growing divergence between rich and poor countries.

She said a new allocation of the fund's own currency - Special Drawing Rights - would provide more funds to address both the health and economic crises, but also accelerate moves to a digital and green economy.

“It will continue to be so important, even more important, for us to be able to expand our capacity to support countries that have fallen behind,” Georgieva said.

It comes as Eurozone finance ministers pledged continued fiscal support for their economies and looked ahead to post-pandemic recovery plans.

manufacturing, production, coronavirus, pandemic,

What is the World Economic Forum doing to help the manufacturing industry rebound from COVID-19?

The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to disrupt manufacturing and supply chains, with severe consequences for society, businesses, consumers and the global economy.

As the effects of coronavirus unfold, companies are asking what short-term actions they need to take to ensure business continuity and protect their employees. How should they be preparing for the rebound and increasing their manufacturing and supply systems’ resilience?

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Kearney, brought together senior-level executives from various industry sectors to identify the best response to the COVID-19 crisis. Their recommendations have been published in a new white paper: How to rebound stronger from COVID-19: Resilience in manufacturing and supply systems.

Source: How to rebound stronger from COVID-19: Resilience in manufacturing and supply systems.

Read the full white paper, and more information in our Impact Story.

Companies are invited to join the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production. Through the Platform’s work, companies can join with other leaders to help find solutions that support the reconfiguration of global value chains post-COVID-19.

3. Israel sharing COVID-19 data with Pfizer

Israel is giving weekly updates on its COVID-19 outbreak to vaccine maker Pfizer, under an agreement that might help other countries fine-tune their vaccination programmes, officials have said.

The Israeli vaccination programme began on 19 December, with the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. The Israeli government has made public most of a collaboration agreement, which said the aim was “to determine whether herd immunity is achieved after reaching a certain percentage of vaccination coverage in Israel”.

“While this project is conducted in Israel, the insights gained will be applicable around the world and we anticipate will allow governments to maximize the public health impact of their vaccination campaigns,” BioNTech said on Monday in a statement.