• 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: COVID-19 deaths pass 100,000 in France; Global officials urge rich countries to donate excess vaccines; India and Thailand report record new daily COVID-19 cases.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 139 million globally, according to Our World in Data. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 2.99 million. More than 840.94 million vaccine doses have been administered globally.

India has reported a record rise in new COVID-19 cases, with 217,353. It's the eighth daily record increase in the last nine days.

Japan is set to extend COVID-19 restrictions to 10 regions, as COVID-19 cases spread.

There is a much higher risk of brain blood clots from COVID-19 infection than there is from vaccines against the disease, British researchers said in a pre-print study yesterday.

The United States is preparing for the possibility that people will need a booster shot nine to 12 months after they're initially vaccinated against COVID-19, a White House official said yesterday.

Thailand has reported a record 1,582 new COVID-19 cases – its fifth record tally this week.

Australia is considering a staggered reopening of its borders, allowing residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel abroad first, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.

Authorities in Chile say a dip in record COVID-19 case numbers suggests a 'stabilization' of a second wave of the pandemic. Strict lockdowns were introduced and a rapid vaccination programme has seen a third of the population fully inoculated.

South Korea's Huons Global Co Ltd has said it will lead a consortium to produce 100 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine per month.

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. COVID-19 deaths pass 100,000 in France

Confirmed deaths from COVID-19 have passed 100,000 in France according to the latest figures from health ministry.

It's the eighth country to pass the grim milestone, according to data from Our World in Data. The United States has reported the most deaths from the pandemic, with more than 565,000.

"We will not forget any face, any name," President Emmanuel Macron said.

"Since the start of the pandemic, 100,000 French women and men have succumbed to the virus. We all have a thought for their families, their loved ones, for the children who have lost a parent or a grandparent, the bereaved siblings, the broken friendships."

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths in selected countries
France has the 8th highest death toll in the world.
Image: Our World in Data

3. Global officials urge rich countries to donate excess vaccines, money to end pandemic

Top officials from the United Nations, finance and vaccine organizations have urged rich nations to donate any excess COVID-19 vaccines to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility.

At an event organized by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, leaders appealed for another $2 billion for the programme by June.

"Global supply is incredibly tight right now. But we also know that many high-income countries have ordered more vaccines than they need," said Gavi Chief Executive Seth Berkley.

He asked them to share any excess doses "as soon as possible to cover the high-risk populations during this supply constrained period."