• 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: COVAX vaccine rollout continues; Singapore to vaccinate migrant workers; Viet Nam begins vaccine programme.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now passed 116.8 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 2.59 million.

Singapore has announced it'll vaccinate migrant workers against COVID-19, starting with 10,000 people living in the country's five largest dormitories.

China's February exports grew at a record pace from a year earlier, after COVID-19 hit the world's second-largest economy. Imports rose less sharply, according to customs data.

Auckland, New Zealand, emerged from a weeklong lockdown yesterday. It was imposed after a community cluster of the more contagious variant first detected in the UK was identified.

Australia reported no local COVID-19 cases yesterday, the 37th day it's done so this year. It comes as the country begins vaccinations with the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot.

Theme parks, stadiums and outdoor entertainment venues in California could open as early as 1 April, after health officials set new rules.

Viet Nam has launched its COVID-19 vaccination programme, with healthcare workers set to be the first to get shots.

Moderna has said it's reached an agreement to supply the Philippines with 13 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Norway will likely need stronger restrictions to tackle a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said yesterday. “Ahead of us is another hill to climb, probably with tighter national measures before we can ease and then lift the restrictions,” she said.

Cumulative COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per 100 people in selected countries
The pace of vaccinations varies considerably around the world.
Image: Our World in Data

2. COVAX vaccine rollout continues

The COVAX vaccine-sharing facility has now delivered more than 20 million doses of vaccine to 20 different counties, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing on Friday afternoon.

He said COVAX expected to deliver a further 14.4 million doses to a further 31 countries this week.

"This is encouraging progress," he said. "But the volume of doses being distributed through COVAX is still relatively small."

"One of our main priorities now is to increase the ambition of COVAX to help all countries end the pandemic," he added.

3. COVID-19 travel insurance on the rise

COVID-19 insurance policies are on the rise, with more than a dozen countries, including Aruba and Thailand, requiring coverage for visitors.

The market for all types of COVID-19 travel coverage is estimated to be between $30 - $40 billion per year, according to travel insurance consultant Robyn Ingle.

“Travel insurance and protection services are taking off at pace with travel as it resumes," said Dan Richards, chief executive for travel risk and crisis management firm Global Rescue.

A plan would typically cover treatment and trip protection.

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.