• 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: WHO launches new six-objective plan to tackle COVID-19; Confirmed deaths in Africa pass 100,000; Biden administration pledges $4 billion to COVAX.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 110 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 2.4 million.

Australia said yesterday that the country has gone more than 48 hours without a new locally acquired COVID-19 case, as it allowed fans back into the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

Rich countries are on course to have over 1 billion more doses of COVID-19 vaccines than they need, according to a new report.

The Biden administration is set to pledge $4 billion to COVAX, the programme aimed at ensuring equal global distribution of vaccines.

Continued lockdown and weak sentiment point to subdued economic activity in Germany in the coming weeks, the Finance Ministry has said in its monthly report.

Britain is set to push fellow G7 countries to help speed up the development of future vaccines to 100 days, when a virtual meeting of leaders takes place today.

France has set rules for summer festivals this year – attendance will be capped at 5,000 and the public must remain seated, the culture ministry said yesterday.

Tens of millions of workers in developed countries will have to retrain in post-COVID labour markets, according to a new report by McKinsey.

Japan has confirmed the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19, and an infection cluster at a Tokyo immigration facility.

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

2. Africa confirmed death toll passes 100,000

Africa's confirmed death toll from COVID-19 has passed 100,000, according to a Reuters tally.

It's a fraction of other continents, but deaths are rising sharply – particularly in the south.

“The increased number (of infections) has led to many severe cases and some of the countries really found it quite difficult to cope,” Richard Mihigo, coordinator of the immunization programme at the World Health Organization’s Africa office, told Reuters.

Experts have cautioned against reading too much into the data, saying the real toll could be much higher or lower.


How is the World Economic Forum helping to identify new technologies to fight COVID-19?

As part of work identifying promising technology use cases to combat COVID, The Boston Consulting Group recently used contextual AI to analyze more than 150 million English language media articles from 30 countries published between December 2019 to May 2020.

The result is a compendium of hundreds of technology use cases. It more than triples the number of solutions, providing better visibility into the diverse uses of technology for the COVID-19 response.

To see a full list of 200+ exciting technology use cases during COVID – please follow this link.

3. WHO launches new six-objective plan

The World Health Organization has launched its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) for 2021. It comes just over a year after the organization launched its first SPRP for COVID-19.

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained the plan's six objectives in a media briefing yesterday:

"Suppress transmission; reduce exposure; counter misinformation and disinformation; protect the vulnerable; reduce death and illness; and accelerate equitable access to new tools, including vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics."

Financial aid to meet these objectives is $1.96 billion, he explained, but added that this funding "is not just an investment in responding to COVID-19, it’s an investment in the global recovery and in building the architecture to prepare for, prevent and mitigate future health emergencies."