• 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: Victoria, Australia enters one-week lockdown; COVID-19 deaths likely underreported in the Americas; France imposes quarantine on arrivals from Britain.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 168.4 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.49 million. More than 1.74 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

France has joined Germany and Austria in imposing a mandatory quarantine period on arrivals from Britain. It comes as the variant first detected in India spreads in the UK.

India has recorded 211,298 new COVID-19 cases, with 3,847 new deaths.

The US Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to an antibody treatment developed by Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in people 12 and over.

Roughly 15% of Brazil's 210 million people have COVID-19 antibodies, researchers said yesterday.

The Philippines will authorize the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-15, the head of its Food and Drugs Administration has said.

France's average daily number of new COVID-19 cases has fallen to its lowest level since mid-September.

Many people who've been infected with COVID-19 will make antibodies for the rest of their lives, according to a new study published in Nature.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered by continent.
The vaccine rollout remains uneven.
Image: Our World in Data

2. Victoria, Australia to enter COVID-19 lockdown

The Australian state of Victoria will enter a one-week COVID-19 lockdown, which will require residents to remain at home except for essential business. It comes as authorities race to contain an outbreak.

"We're dealing with a highly infectious strain of the virus, a variant of concern, which is running faster than we have ever recorded," Victoria Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters in Melbourne.

"Unless something drastic happens, this will become increasingly uncontrollable."

The cluster of cases in Melbourne has risen to 26, with the number of virus-exposed sites rising to more than 150.

Several infected people had visited crowded areas in the city, including sports stadiums and a large shopping centre.


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.

3. COVID-19 deaths in the Americas might be higher than reported

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned that the real number of COVID-19 deaths in the Americas might be higher than official statistics show. Almost half of global deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the region.

"According to new projections, many more people are dying from COVID complications or from the pandemic's indirect impacts, like disruptions to essential services, that have put their health at risk," PAHO director Carissa Etienne said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned last week that COVID-19 deaths were being significantly undercounted across the globe.

For 2020, deaths stood at 1.8 million, but the true 2020 global death toll is now estimated to be closer to 3 million people.