• 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: Uruguay releases real-world data on vaccine effectiveness; US forming expert groups on lifting global travel restrictions; World Bank does not support waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 174 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.74 million. More than 2.18 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Melbourne will exit a hard COVID-19 lockdown tomorrow night, but some restrictions will remain.

Singapore has reported its 34th COVID-19 death, taking its death toll beyond that of the 2003 SARS outbreak.

India has reported 92,596 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking its total confirmed caseload to more than 29 million.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel restrictions for more than 110 countries and territories, including Japan.

Brazil is set to receive a first batch of 3 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the country's health minister has announced.

World Bank President David Malpass has said the bank does not support waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines due to concerns it would hamper innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases in selected countries
Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases in selected countries.
Image: Our World in Data

2. Uruguay releases real-world data on vaccine effectiveness

Uruguay has released real-world data on the effectiveness of Sinovac Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

The Sinovac vaccine was shown to be over 90% effective in preventing intensive care admissions and deaths. It also showed 61% efficacy in cutting COVID-19 infections, the government said.

The Pfizer/BioNTech shot was 94% effective at preventing admissions and deaths among a sample of health workers and people aged over 80. Infections were reduced by 78%.

Overall, intensive care hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 dropped by more than 90% among Uruguayans who were fully-inoculated, the data showed.

COVID-19

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. US forming expert groups on lifting global travel restrictions

The Biden Administration is forming expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom in an effort to safely restart global travel after 15 months of restrictions.

"While we are not reopening travel today, we hope that these expert working groups will help us use our collective expertise to chart a path forward, with a goal of reopening international travel with our key partners when it is determined that it is safe to do so," a White House official said, adding "any decisions will be fully guided by the objective analysis and recommendations by public health and medical experts."

The US Travel Association welcomed the working groups, saying “a public-private task force can quickly develop a blueprint to reopen international inbound travel and jumpstart a sustained jobs and economic recovery”.