• 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: Global COVID-19 infections rise for first time in 7 weeks; EU to propose 'digital green pass' for summer travel; Colombia first country in Americas to receive vaccines through COVAX.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 114.4 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 2.53 million.

The Biden administration has downplayed the prospect of sharing COVID-19 vaccines with Mexico, saying it's focused first on getting its own population protected.

The US Senate will begin debating President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill this week.

The Czech Republic has introduced new measures in an effort to slow a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the new head of the World Trade Organization, has called on member states to work with pharmaceutical companies to license more COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in developing countries in an effort to triple global production.

Intermediaries have offered governments across the European Union around a billion non-existent COVID-19 vaccine doses - worth about 14 billion Euros - the bloc's anti-fraud agency has told Reuters.

Colombia has become the first country in the Americas to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility.

Twitter has said it will apply warnings to tweets that contain misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines. The platform will also introduce a strike system that could see users permanently banned.

COVID-19

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.

2. Global COVID-19 infections up for first time in 7 weeks: WHO

The number of new COVID-19 cases around the world has risen for the first time in seven weeks, the World Health Organization said yesterday.

"Reported cases increased in four of WHO’s six regions: the Americas, Europe, South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean," WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing.

"This is disappointing, but not surprising."

He warned that while vaccines will save lives, countries should not rely solely on them. "Basic public health measures remain the foundation of the response," he said.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 casess
Cases have risen in the last week.
Image: Our World in Data

3. EU to propose vaccine certificates in time for summer holidays

The European Commission is set to propose an EU-wide digital certification providing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, that could allow Europeans to travel more freely over the summer.

It aims to present its plans for a 'digital green pass' on 17 March and plans for the system to work beyond the EU.

“The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad - for work or tourism,” Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet on Monday.