• 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: Hard-won gains at risk, warns WHO; Vaccine protection likely to wane over time, UK government advisers; Viet Nam extends restrictions.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 198.3 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.22 million. More than 4.14 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Venezuela is set to receive 6.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through the vaccine-sharing facility COVAX 'in the coming days', President Nicolas Maduro said yesterday.

Tokyo Olympics organizers have reported 17 new Games-related COVID-19 cases, including one athlete.

Australia's Queensland state has extended a COVID-19 lockdown in Brisbane after the state recorded its biggest one-day rise in new COVID-19 cases this year.

Local media reported yesterday that Indonesia has extended COVID-19 restrictions outside of Java island by another week.

China has reported 75 new mainland cases of COVID-19, with cities introducing strict measures to halt the spread of the Delta variant.

New COVID-19 cases in Britain fell 33% between 25 and 31 July.

Viet Nam has announced it will extend restrictions on movements in Ho Chi Minh City and 18 other cities and provinces for at least another two weeks.

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. Hard-won gains at risk, say WHO

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise around the world, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference on Friday night.

"On average, in five of WHO’s six regions, infections have increased by 80%, or nearly doubled, over the past four weeks," he said

Much of the increase is being driven by the 'highly-transmissible' Delta variant, he explained. But also by increased social mixing and mobility, inconsistent use of public and social health measures, and the unequal vaccine rollout.

"Hard-won gains are in jeopardy or being lost," he concluded. "And health systems in many countries are being overwhelmed."

The US Centers for Disease Control has also said that the Delta variant has changed the war against COVID-19. An internal document called for a new approach to helping the public understand the danger, mandatory vaccines for health workers and a return to universal masking.

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.

3. COVID-19 vaccine protection likely to wane over time - UK advisers

The British government's advisory group has warned that the protection that vaccines offer against COVID-19 is highly likely to wane over time. As a result vaccine campaigns will continue for years to come.

"It is highly likely that vaccine induced immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and potentially severe disease (but probably to a lesser extent) will wane over time," according to an executive summary of a document considered by the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

"It is therefore likely that there will be vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2 for many years to come, but currently we do not know what will be the optimal required frequency for re-vaccination to protect the vulnerable from COVID disease," the scientists said.