• 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: COVID-19 pandemic cut life expectancy by most since WW2; Action needed now after Global COVID-19 Summit – WHO; South Korea daily confirmed new cases top 3,000 for the first time.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 231.8 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.74 million. More than 6.11 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

New Zealand is set to allow small numbers of vaccinated travellers to isolate at home instead of in state-run quarantine facilities.

Australian officials have announced plans to ease restrictions in Sydney. Vaccinated residents will initially enjoy more freedoms than those who aren't.

Cuba has exported its three-shot Abdala COVID-19 vaccine for the first time, sending an initial shipment to Viet Nam.

Viet Nam is also set to ease COVID-19 restrictions and allow businesses to restart production in an effort to boost its pandemic-hit economy.

El Salvador is set to begin giving a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to various groups, President Nayib Bukele announced on Friday.

South Korea's daily new confirmed COVID-19 infections topped 3,000 for the first time, authorities said on Saturday.

The White House said on Friday that millions of federal contractors must be vaccinated by 8 December. The administration will also add clauses to future government contracts mandating inoculations.

Moderna has announced plans to supply 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Peru from 2022. The country is yet to approved the jab.

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. COVID-19 pandemic cut life expectancy by most since WW2 – study

The COVID-19 pandemic reduced life expectancy last year by the largest amount since World War Two, according to an Oxford University study.

Life expectancy fell by more than six months compared with 2019 in 22 of the 29 countries analyzed in the study, which spanned Europe, the United States and Chile. There were reductions in life expectancy in 27 of the 29 countries overall.

"The fact that our results highlight such a large impact that is directly attributable to COVID-19 shows how devastating a shock it has been for many countries," said Dr Ridhi Kashyap, co-lead author of the paper, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Men saw greater drops in life expectancy than women in most countries, with the biggest decline among American men, who saw their life expectancy drop by 2.2 years relative to 2019.

3. Action needed now after Global COVID-19 Summit – WHO

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed the commitments made by global leaders who joined a COVID-19 summit last week.

However, Dr Tedros also called for action. "It is clear that commitments alone won’t save lives, stop transmission, immunize people, scale-up manufacturing capacity, and ready the world to prevent future health emergencies," he said in a statement.

"What is needed now – finally – is for commitments to turn into immediate actions to equitably end the pandemic."

The Summit was hosted by US President Joe Biden and took place on the fringes of the UN General Assembly. Participants looked at areas including vaccine supplies, but also access to testing, oxygen and PPE, as well as how to prevent and better prepare for future pandemics.

What is the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship?

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship is a coalition of 85 global leaders, hosted by the World Economic Forum. Its mission: Join hands in support of social entrepreneurs everywhere as vital first responders to the pandemic and as pioneers of a green, inclusive economic reality.

Its COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda, outlines 25 concrete recommendations for key stakeholder groups, including funders and philanthropists, investors, government institutions, support organizations, and corporations. In January of 2021, its members launched its 2021 Roadmap through which its members will roll out an ambitious set of 21 action projects in 10 areas of work. Including corporate access and policy change in support of a social economy.

For more information see the Alliance website or its “impact story” here.