• 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: White House looks to boost US COVID-19 vaccination rates; Research suggests COVID-19 virus has unique infectious profile; Confirmed COVID-19 deaths in India pass 250,000.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 159.6 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.3 million. More than 1.32 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Confirmed COVID-19 deaths have passed 250,000 in India, with confirmed cases passing 23 million. The country reported a record daily rise in deaths on Wednesday – 4,205.

Pfizer has submitted data on its COVID-19 vaccine among 12- to 15-year-olds to the UK's health regulator. It paves the way for authorization to use the jab on children in the country.

Costa Rica's hospitals are running out of space for COVID-19 patients, the president of the national doctors' union warned yesterday.

Authorities in Melbourne, Australia, are working to trace the contacts of a man who tested positive for COVID-19, saying the next few days would be critical to preventing an outbreak.

Brazil has announced a deal with Pfizer to deliver an additional 100 million doses of the company's COVID-19 vaccine.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in France yesterday rose at the slowest pace since June last year, according to health ministry data.

Spain has approved the use of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people under the age of 60, according to the El Pais newspaper.

2. White House looks to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates

The Biden Administration in the United States has announced a series of steps aimed at boosting US COVID-19 vaccination rates.

The steps include a partnership with ride-hailing services Uber and Lyfy, vaccination sites at community colleges and funding for on-the-ground efforts, such as phone banking or door-to-door canvassing.

The new initiatives come as demand in the US for vaccines has declined significantly. President Biden has set a target to get 70% of US adults inoculated by 4 July. As of Monday, 46% had received at least one dose.

Share of people who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in selected countries
Share of people who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in selected countries
Image: Our World in Data

3. Research suggests COVID-19 has unique infectious profile

A new review published in the medical journal The Lancet suggests that the COVID-19 virus has a unique infectious profile, which might explain why it can be so hard to treat and cause people with 'long COVID' issues after infection.

Research suggests COVID-19 infects both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. The virus can also cause multi-organ impacts, blood clots and can prompt an unusual immune-inflammatory response – resulting in challenges in treating the disease.

"Despite international focus on the virus, we are only just beginning to understand its intricacies, said co-author of the review, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Clinical Professor in Trinity College Dublin's School of Medicine, and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at St James's Hospital.

"Based on growing evidence we propose that COVID-19 should be perceived as a new entity with a previously unknown infectious profile. It has its own characteristics and distinct pathophysiology and we need to be aware of this when treating people."


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.