• 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: Global confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 200 million; WHO calls for pause on booster shots to prioritize global unvaccinated; First Broadway play since 2020 opens.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 200.23 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.25 million. More than 4.28 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Sydney, Australia, has suffered its worst day of the COVID-19 pandemic to date, with 5 deaths and a record rise in locally acquired infections.

Japan is set to extend a state of emergency to 8 more prefectures to tackle rising COVID-19 case numbers.

The first Broadway play has opened in New York since the COVID-19 pandemic closed theatres last year. Vaccinations and masks are required for audiences.

Pfizer said yesterday that it will require all its US employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or take part in weekly testing.

The Indian government has asked state authorities to impose restrictions ahead of festivals around the country. It warned that overcrowding could lead to 'super spreader' events.

Thailand has reported a record 20,920 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

England has relaxed rules for travellers from France. From Sunday, fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to quarantine on return. It's also loosened restrictions on travel from seven other countries.

The spread of the Delta variant in the Americas is 'highly worrisome', Pan American Health Organization officials said yesterday.

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.

2. Confirmed global cases pass 200 million

Confirmed global COVID-19 cases have passed 200 million, with cases rising in about one-third of the world's countries - largely driven by the Delta variant.

It means at least 2.6% of the world's population has been infected since the pandemic began, although the true figure is likely higher due to limited testing in many countries.

It took more than a year for the world to hit the 100 million case mark, but only just over six months for the next 100 million, according to Reuters. Nearly 4.4 million people have died from COVID-19.

If the number of infected people were a country, it would be the world's eighth biggest, behind Nigeria.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases
Cases are rising again globally.
Image: Our World in Data

3. WHO calls for halt to COVID-19 vaccine boosters in favour of unvaccinated

The World Health Organization has called for a pause on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots until at least the end of September.

Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instead called for supplies to go to countries with low vaccination rates.

"I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it," Tedros said.

"We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries to the majority going to low-income countries."