• 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: Pfizer begins study on oral drug for prevention of COVID-19; Chile announces end of state of emergency; US President Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 232.3 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.75 million. More than 6.13 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Unvaccinated residents of Sydney, Australia, risk being barred from various social activities even once a stay-at-home order is lifted in December, the New South Wales Premier has warned.

The European Union's drugs regulator says it's evaluating data from Moderna on whether a booster shot of its COVID-19 jab could be given.

India has reported its smallest rise in daily COVID-19 deaths since mid-March, with 179 reported today. Infections roses by 18,795 - the smallest rise since early March.

US President Joe Biden has received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

A federal appeals court has ruled that New York City can order all teachers and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It reverses a previous decision that put the mandate on hold.

Japan has approved GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology's Sotrovimab as an antibody treatment for COVID-19, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said on Monday.

South Korea is set to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17 and offer COVID-19 booster shots to those 75 years and older.

New data analysis from the UK suggests that smokers are 60-80% more likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries and regions
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries and regions
Image: Our World in Data

2. Pfizer begins study on oral drug for prevention of COVID-19

Pfizer has launched a large study testing its investigational oral antiviral drug for the prevention of COVID-19 infection among those who have been exposed to the virus, the company announced yesterday.

It's one of several oral antiviral pills for COVID-19 currently in development.

The mid-to-late-stage study will test Pfizer's drug, PF-07321332, in up to 2,660 healthy adult participants aged 18 and older who live in the same household as an individual with a confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 infection.

To date, Gilead Sciences Inc's intravenous drug remdesivir is the only approved antiviral treatment for COVID-19 in the US.

3. Chile announces end of state of emergency

Chile has announced the end of a state of emergency that had been in place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure, an extraordinary administrative measure approved by Congress early in 2020, allowed the government to impose night-time curfews and introduce quarantines.

"During the last three months... the health situation... has evolved favorably, with a very significant reduction in infections, active cases, hospitalizations and deaths," President Sebastian Pinera told reporters.

The government said it would also relax restrictions on movement, limits on capacity at events and public spaces, and earlier this month Chile reopened its borders to tourists.