• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: India administers 8.8 million vaccines in a day; New Zealand to go into lockdown after one COVID-19 case; COVID tools accelerator appeals for $7.7 billion.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 207.8 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.37 million. More than 4.72 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

COVID-19 cases are set to "rise substantially" in Sydney in the coming weeks despite a prolonged lockdown, authorities said on Tuesday. New South Wales state reported 452 cases in the past 24 hours, the third-biggest one-day jump, and one new death.

India administered more than 8.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the past 24 hours – close to its all-time record – government data showed on Tuesday. There's also been a sharp decline in daily new infections, which fell to 25,166, the lowest since 16 March, the health ministry said.

Vaccines, Health and healthcare, Gavi

What is the World Economic Forum doing about access to vaccines?

In 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was launched at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, with an initial pledge of $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The aim of Gavi is to make vaccines more accessible and affordable for all - wherever people live in the world.

Along with saving an estimated 10 million lives worldwide in less than 20 years,through the vaccination of nearly 700 million children, - Gavi has most recently ensured a life-saving vaccine for Ebola.

At Davos 2016, we announced Gavi's partnership with Merck to make the life-saving Ebola vaccine a reality.

The Ebola vaccine is the result of years of energy and commitment from Merck; the generosity of Canada’s federal government; leadership by WHO; strong support to test the vaccine from both NGOs such as MSF and the countries affected by the West Africa outbreak; and the rapid response and dedication of the DRC Minister of Health. Without these efforts, it is unlikely this vaccine would be available for several years, if at all.

Read more about the Vaccine Alliance, and how you can contribute to the improvement of access to vaccines globally - in our Impact Story.

The United States had administered 357,292,057 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Monday morning and distributed 415,958,305 doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Mexico registered 7,172 new COVID-19 infections and 272 more deaths, health ministry data showed on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 3,108,438 and the death toll to 248,652.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 3,912 to 3,827,051, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.

Two feature films dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on peoples' lives and the economy will on Friday open the Sarajevo Film Festival, the largest film showcase in a region spreading from Vienna to Istanbul.

2. New Zealand in lockdown after one COVID-19 case

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the nation under strict lockdown on Tuesday after one new case of coronavirus was reported in its largest city of Auckland, the country's first in six months.

All of New Zealand will be in lockdown for three days from Wednesday, Reuters reports, while Auckland and Coromandel, a coastal town that the infected person had also spent time in, will be in lockdown for seven days.

Imposing its toughest lockdown rules, schools, offices and all businesses will be shut down and only essential services will be operational.

"The best thing we can do to get out of this as quickly as we can is to go hard," Ardern told a news conference.

"We have made the decision on the basis that it is better to start high and go down levels rather than to go low, not contain the virus and see it move quickly," she said.

Ardern said authorities were assuming the new case was a Delta variant infection although this has not been confirmed. There may be other cases, she said.

The last reported community case of COVID-19 in New Zealand was in February.

Daily new COVID-19 cases per million people.
How COVID-19 cases in New Zealand compare to other countries around the globe.
Image: Our World in Data

3. ACT-Accelerator appeals for $7.7 billion to tackle variants

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, co-led by the World Health Organization, has appealed for $7.7 billion within the next four months to stem the surge of dangerous COVID-19 variants.

With the highly transmissable Delta variant set to become the dominant strain worldwide, there is greater urgency for vaccinating large numbers of vulnerable people, the WHO said.

The $7.7 billion in funding for the Rapid ACT-Accelerator Delta Response (RADAR) would:

1. Significantly increase testing and better surveillance to detect and protect against new variants

2. Provide more oxygen to treat the seriously ill and save lives

3. Provide more vital PPE to protect health workers

4. Enable the roll-out of emergency response and delivery support for the effective delivery and deployment of COVID-19 tools, including in humanitarian contexts

5. Support continued research and development so that tools remain effective.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: "This investment is a tiny portion of the amount governments are spending to deal with COVID-19 and makes ethical, economic and epidemiological sense.

"If these funds aren’t made available now to stop the transmission of Delta in the most vulnerable countries, we will undoubtedly all pay the consequences later in the year.”

The $7.7 billion is not an additional funding need but is part of the ACT-Accelerator’s overall 2021 budget, which is needed urgently within the next four months.