• 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: US backs waiver on vaccine intellectual property; WHO and Germany launch new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence; India reports record new daily cases and deaths.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 155.2 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.24 million. More than 1.2 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

India has recorded a record 412,262 new daily COVID-19 cases and a record daily death toll of 3,980.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has warned that an extended state of emergency is needed to contain COVID-19 cases.

Social distancing measures have been reinstated in the Sydney area after two local cases of COVID-19.

New Zealand has suspended quarantine-free travel from Sydney’s state of New South Wales as a result of new cases.

Canada is authorizing the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.

Mexico’s COVID-19 death toll has passed 218,000. The country has also reported more than 2.3 million cases.

COVID-19 infections are continuing to spread quickly across the Americas, the director of the Pan American Health Organization warned yesterday. Younger people are also increasingly being admitted to intensive care units.

Peru has announced a deal to buy an additional 12 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Cambodia has ended a three-week-long COVID-19 lockdown in its capital Phnom Penh.

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. United States backs waiver on vaccine intellectual property

The United States has lent its support to a World Trade Organization (WHO) initiative to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

The US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said “extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures”, reports the BBC.

India and South Africa have been leading calls for access to vaccine patents to be opened up, but the move has met opposition from drug companies who argue it might not have the desired effect.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the initiative, saying it was a “monumental moment in the fight against COVID-19”.

3. WHO and Germany launch new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence

The WHO and Germany have announced they’ll establish a new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence, data, surveillance and analytics innovation.

“One of the lessons of COVID-19 is that the world needs a significant leap forward in data analysis to help leaders make informed public health decisions,” explained Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

The hub, which will be based in Berlin, will work with partners around the world to predict, prevent, detect, prepare for and respond to pandemic and epidemic risks across the globe.

German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel said: “The current COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we can only fight pandemics and epidemics together. The new WHO Hub will be a global platform for pandemic prevention, bringing together various governmental, academic and private sector institutions.”

What is the COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda?

The COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda builds on the actions that its members have already taken and seeks to inspire new commitments. It outlines 25 concrete recommendations for five key stakeholder groups to support social entrepreneurs during COVID-19:

  • Intermediaries and networks are called on to surface the needs of the social entrepreneurs they serve on the ground and provide them with fitting support
  • (Impact) investors are called on to adapt their investment priorities and processes and to provide flexible capital and must-have technical assistance
  • Corporations are called on to stand with the social entrepreneurs in their supply chains and ecosystems, and join forces with them to “shape a new tomorrow”
  • Funders and philanthropists are called on to expand and expedite their financial support to social entrepreneurs and intermediaries, taking risks reflective of today’s unprecedented times
  • Government institutions at all levels are called on to recognize social entrepreneurs as a driving force in safeguarding jobs and in building a greener and equitable society, and to back them accordingly.