• This daily news 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: New restrictions introduced in the Netherlands; China's zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy set to stay; US CDC approves use of COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 247.7 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.01 million. More than 7.1 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

South Korea has announced it will ramp up COVID-19 testing at schools after a sharp rise in infections among children - weeks ahead of a plan to fully reopen schools.

The Health Council of the Netherlands has recommended that adults aged 60 and over receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

Unvaccinated people in Greece will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to access state services, banks, restaurants and retail shops. It comes as cases hit a new daily record on Tuesday.

Indonesia's economic growth is expected to have slowed significantly in the third quarter as restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant put the brakes on any recovery, a Reuters poll found.

Britain has reported its highest daily COVID-19 death toll since March - 293 - although authorities warned that it could include two days' worth of data.

Ukrainians who knowingly use or manufacture fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates face fines or jail under new legislation passed in parliament yesterday.

Several Russian regions are considering imposing additional restrictions or extending a workplace shutdown to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases. A partial nationwide lockdown has already been reintroduced.

The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has backed the broad use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5-11.

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. Dutch government reintroduces face masks as COVID-19 cases rise

The Dutch government yesterday announced the reintroduction of some COVID-19 measures, including the wearing of face masks. The measures come in an effort to slow the spread of new COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

The use of a 'corona pass', showing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or recent negative coronavirus test, would be broadened as of 6 November to public places including museums, gyms and outdoor terraces, Rutte said.

COVID-19 cases have reached their highest level since July in the past week, with many hospitals forced to cut back on regular care, to make room for urgent COVID-19 cases.

Rutte called on residents to stick to basic hygiene rules - whether vaccinated or not - and to stay at home if they had possible symptoms. "Our own behaviour is crucial, a very large part of our coronavirus policy depends on it," he said.

3. Zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy set to stay in China

A zero-tolerance approach to local COVID-19 cases in China is set to remain in place, some experts have said.

To stop local cases from turning into wider outbreaks, China has developed and continually refined its COVID-fighting arsenal - including mass testing, targeted lockdowns and travel restrictions.

"The policy (in China) will remain for a long time," Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory disease expert who helped formulate China's COVID strategy in early 2020, told state media. "How long it will last depends on the virus-control situation worldwide."

He said the current 2% death rate of the disease globally is not tolerable in China: "Zero tolerance costs a lot indeed, but letting the virus spread costs more."

India’s leading COVID-19 last-mile responders

Each of our Top 50 social enterprise last mile responders and multi-stakeholder initiatives is working across four priority areas of need: Prevention and protection; COVID-19 treatment and relief; inclusive vaccine access; and securing livelihoods. The list was curated jointly with regional hosts Catalyst 2030’s NASE and Aavishkaar Group. Their profiles can be found on www.wef.ch/lastmiletop50india.

Top Last Mile Partnership Initiatives to collaborate with: