• 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: G7 urged to donate 'emergency' supplies to COVAX; Italian study shows deaths and cases tumble after first vaccine dose; Restrictions eased in most of Britain.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 163 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.37 million. More than 1.45 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Singapore will close most schools from Wednesday until 28 May, warning that new COVID-19 variants were affecting more children.

Australian officials have said the country intends to stick to plans to start reopening borders to the rest of the world only from the middle of next year.

Thailand has reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 cases - 9,635. 25 new deaths were also reported.

Some Indian states are planning to extend COVID-19 lockdowns, as the country reported more than 4,000 new deaths for the fourth time in a week. Sunday's 311,170 daily new cases is the lowest figure in more than 3 weeks.

Venezuela has approved the single-shot Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine.

Restrictions have been eased as of today in most of the UK, with indoor dining, other indoor leisure activities and hugging allowed again.

The UK has also announced plans to hold a virtual meeting on 2 June to encourage the global take-up of COVID-19 vaccines. The event is set to discuss how to tackle misinformation about vaccines.

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. G7 urged to donate 'emergency' supplies to COVAX

G7 nations have been urged to donate supplies to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility as an emergency measure as a result of severe disruption to Indian vaccine exports.

"Sharing immediately available excess doses is a minimum, essential and emergency stop-gap measure, and it is needed right now," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

UNICEF estimates the shortfall at 140 million doses by the end of the month and about 190 million by the end of June.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also called for increased donations to COVAX at Friday evening's media briefing.

"At present, only 0.3% of vaccine supply is going to low-income countries", he said. "Trickle-down vaccination is not an effective strategy for fighting a deadly respiratory virus."

3. Infections and deaths tumble after COVID-19 vaccines: Italian study

COVID-19 infections in adults of all ages fell by 80% five weeks after the first dose of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines, Italian research has shown.

It's the first such study by a European Union country and examined 13.7 million people across the country from 27 December to 3 May.

"As of 35 days after the first dose, there is an 80% reduction in infections, 90% reduction in hospitalizations, and 95% reduction in deaths," the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) said, adding that the same pattern was seen in both men and women regardless of age.

"This data confirms the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign and the need to achieve high coverage across the population quickly to end the emergency," ISS president Silvio Brusaferro said in the statement.

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.