• 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: England enters new lockdown; US reports deadliest month of the pandemic; Moderna vaccine approved in Israel.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 85.6 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.85 million.

Israel has authorized use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, according to the US drugmaker.

The US government screened 500 million fewer people at airport checkpoints last year, down 61% on 2019, the Transportation Security Administration said yesterday.

The underlying level of COVID-19 in Ireland is now higher than in the first wave in April and May, according to a senior health official. The country reported a record daily rise in cases yesterday - 6,110.

The European Medicines Agency was not able to reach a decision on approval of the Moderna vaccine yesterday, according to the Dutch national medicines authority.

New cases reported yesterday in France were down sharply on the day before - 4,022 compared to 12,489 - but hospitalizations were up for the third day in a row.

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.

2. England enters new lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions last night, putting England back into a national lockdown.

Schools will be closed until at least the final week of February, while non-essential shops and hospitality will also remain closed.

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom
Only 4 countries have more confirmed cases than the UK.
Image: Our World in Data

“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than any time since the start of the pandemic,” Johnson said in a televised address to the country. “With most of the country already under extreme measures, it’s clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control."

Earlier in the day, the devolved authorities in Scotland had also announced strict new lockdown rules, while in Wales all schools will remain online-only until 18 January.

3. United States reports deadliest month

Nearly 78,000 people died from COVID-19 in the United States last month, the deadliest month of pandemic so far.

Health officials are warning that January is likely to be even worse, with hospitalizations hitting record highs. More than 126,000 COVID-19 patients are currently in hospital in the United States.

More than 18,400 people died in the week ending 3 January, bringing the country's total to more than 351,000 - the world's highest by more than 150,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins.