• 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: Sydney reports record rise in new COVID-19 cases; UN expresses concern about unused vaccine doses; Daily new COVID-19 cases hit six-month high in United States.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 200.92 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.26 million. More than 4.32 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Daily new COVID-19 cases have reached a six-month high in the United States, with more than 100,000 new cases reported nationwide.

Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine is about 93% effective through six months after the second dose.

China has reported 124 new confirmed COVID-19 cases for the mainland, its highest daily count during the current outbreak.

South Korea has extended its social distancing measures by two weeks, in an effort to control COVID-19 outbreaks across the country.

Restrictions have also been extended in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi until 22 August.

Reported COVID-19-related deaths in Africa reached a record peak during the week ending 1 August, the World Health Organization said yesterday.

Greece has introduced a night-time curfew and banned music on two of its popular tourist islands after a rise in COVID-19 cases.

New data in Indonesia shows that the COVID-19 death rate for unvaccinated people was more than 3 times higher than for vaccinated people.

The White House has confirmed it might require visitors from abroad to be vaccinated, as part of plans to reopen international travel, but a final decision is yet to be made.

Research suggests that children who contract COVID-19 rarely suffer long-term symptoms - so-called long COVID.

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. Sydney reports record COVID-19 case rise for second day

Officials have warned Sydney residents to brace for a further rise in COVID-19 cases. It comes after Australia's largest city reported a record rise in confirmed cases for the second day in a row.

"Just based on the trend in the last few days and where things are going, I am expecting higher case numbers in the next few days and I just want everyone to be prepared for that," New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

It comes despite a weeks-long lockdown to try and halt the spread of the Delta variant.

Victoria has also entered a fresh lockdown, with officials warning that the state was in a 'precarious position'.

With Brisbane, Queensland, also in lockdown it means that more than 60% of the country's population are currently under hard lockdowns.

3. UN expresses concern about unused vaccines

The United Nations is concerned about COVID-19 vaccines going unused, and has offered its help - but can only do so at the request of governments.

"We are very concerned about situations where we've seen vaccines have gone unused. Either for administrative reasons, for lack of proper care, or frankly for vaccine hesitancy," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

He said the United Nations was ready to help countries with vaccine distribution - such as transportation, cold chain distribution, combating vaccine hesitancy - but "that can only be done at the request of the government."

"These are sovereign governments that have the responsibility, moral and otherwise, to ensure their populations are vaccinated once they have vaccine," Dujarric said. "We are there ready to help at the request of governments."