• 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: Lockdown extended in Sydney; WHO recommends new drugs to prevent COVID-19 deaths; Change planned in self-isolation rules in England.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 184.6 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.99 million. More than 3.25 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

A mass rapid-testing scheme in Liverpool, England, reduced COVID-19 cases by more than a fifth, researchers announced.

South Korea has reported its second-highest number of daily new COVID-19 cases ever, prompting officials to consider reintroducing restrictions.

European Union countries have ordered nearly 40 million additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

From 16 August, fully vaccinated adults and all children in England will not need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

New Zealand's health regulator has given provisional approval for the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Mexico has reported its highest jump in new COVID-19 cases since late February.

Indonesia has prepared backup medical facilities should the current surge in cases worsen further, an official said. It comes as the country reported a record number of fatalities.

Greece has reported a jump in new COVID-19 infections after several weeks of declines.


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.

2. Sydney extends lockdown

New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian has extended a lockdown in Sydney for at least another week. Strict stay-at-home measures had been due to end on Friday, but will now stay in place until at least 16 July.

Berejiklian warned that Australia's biggest city was bound to see a rise in new cases as a result of the highly infectious Delta variant.

"This Delta strain is a game-changer, it is extremely transmissible and more contagious than any other form of the virus that we've seen," she told reporters.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in Australia
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in Australia
Image: Our World in Data

3. WHO recommends Roche, Sanofi drugs for COVID-19 to cut death risk

The World Health Organization has recommended using arthritis drugs from Roche and Sanofi with corticosteroids for COVID-19 patients.

The move comes after data from 11,000 patients suggested they cut the risk of death and the need for mechanical ventilation.

"We have updated our clinical care treatment guidance to reflect this latest development," WHO Health Emergencies official Janet Diaz said.

The WHO analysis showed the risk of dying within 28 days for patients getting one of the arthritis drugs with corticosteroids such as dexamethasone is 21%, compared with an assumed 25% risk among those who got standard care. For every 100 such patients, four more will survive, the WHO said.