• 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: State of emergency in Ontario; congestion in major global cities falls; travellers to the US to require negative test result.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 91.6 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 1.96 million.

The Japanese government has said it will expand a state of emergency to seven more prefectures. It comes as public support for the Olympics still going ahead this summer has fallen to 16% - down 11 percentage points in a month.

Health authorities in Mexico will make a decision this week on whether to authorize the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

Germany plans to tighten controls on people entering the country from places where case loads are high or where a new, more virulent strain is circulating.

A lockdown in the Netherlands has been extended for at least another 3 weeks. Measures include the closure of schools and shops.

Spain is aiming for all nursing home residents to have received a first dose of COVID vaccine by the end of the week.

Indonesia has launched a mass vaccination campaign, with President Joko Widodo among the first to receive a shot.

Nearly all arrivals to the United States will need to present a negative COVID-19 test, under new requirements. The new rules take effect from 26 January.

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.

2. Ontario, Canada declares state of emergency

Ontario, Canada has declared a state of emergency, as a result of rising COVID-19 cases.

Modelling has put the province on track to record more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases per day by the middle of February.

New restrictions will take effect from tomorrow, meaning that people will have to stay at home except for essential activity, outdoor gathering will be limited to 5 people and non-essential construction work will be restricted.

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada
Across Canada, new cases have continued to rise.
Image: Our World in Data

“I know the stay at home order is a drastic measure, one we don’t take lightly. Everyone must stay home to save lives,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford at a media briefing. “Enforcement and inspections will increase.”

The country has been under lockdown since 26 December, with non-essential shops closed and schools moved to online learning.

3. Traffic congestion falls around the world

Pandemic-induced lockdowns have seen annual traffic congestion fall in most countries for the first time in at least a decade, according to a new report.

The disruption to routines like the daily commute saw congestion drop in cities including Los Angeles (USA), Bengaluru (India) and Mexico City (Mexico), according to the TomTom study. Its senior traffic expert, Nick Cohn, told Reuters that the impact of pandemic restrictions is expected to continue this year.

“We’re going to see continued restrictions through the first half of the year, and I think we’re going to see a lot of ups and downs before we’re really getting back to any normal driving patterns and traffic activity levels,” he said.

Moscow was the most congested city in 2020, but traffic fell 8% from 2019. Bengaluru was the most-congested city in the world in 2019, but it fell to sixth in 2020 with nearly a 30% of drop in traffic year-on-year.