• 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: United States to share AstraZeneca vaccine doses; WHO warning on routine vaccinations; New daily cases in India stay above 300,000.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 147.8 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.12 million. More than 1.03 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

New daily COVID-19 cases remain above 300,000 in India, Reuters reports. 2,771 new fatalities were also reported on Tuesday.

Japan is set to open a mass vaccination centre in Tokyo next month, officials announced today.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a 'full lockdown' starting from Thursday that will require Turks to largely stay at home until at least 17 May.

The army and Red Cross will be sent to the Canadian province of Ontario amid a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the country's public safety minister announced yesterday.

New COVID-19 cases fell 16% in the United States last week to around 409,000. It represents the biggest drop in weekly new cases since February, according to a Reuters analysis.

Regulators in Egypt have approved China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The European Union has announced it's taking legal action against AstraZeneca, reports the BBC. The European Commission said it was suing the vaccine manufacturer for not respecting its supply contract and not having a 'reliable' plan to ensure timely deliveries. AstraZeneca said the action was 'without merit'.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries.
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries.
Image: Our World in Data

2. WHO warning on vaccination programmes

The World Health Organization has marked the launch of World Immunization Week with a warning about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on routine vaccination programmes.

"New WHO data show that as a result of COVID-19, 60 immunization campaigns are currently suspended in 50 countries," Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing.

"That means about 228 million children are vulnerable – right now – to deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, yellow fever and polio."

Gaps in vaccination coverage are already having an impact, he explained, with severe measles outbreaks seen in countries including Pakistan, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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.

3. United States to share AstraZeneca vaccine doses

The White House has announced that the US will share up to 60 million doses of its supply of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, reports the BBC.

The doses will begin to be distributed in the coming weeks when the Food and Drug Administration finishes its safety review.

The jab is not yet approved for use in the United States, but the country has a stockpile of doses. President Joe Biden had already pledged to share about four million doses of the vaccine with neighbours Canada and Mexico - where the vaccine is already approved.