COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 15 June

A vial containing doses of the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and syringes are pictured at Japan Airlines (JAL) facility where its staff receive the vaccines at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan June 14, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon - RC240O9RO1KK
The vaccine rollout continues globally.
Image: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
  • 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: United States passes 600,000 COVID-19 deaths; WHO warning on cases and deaths in Africa; Novavax reports its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 176.2 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.81 million. 2.4 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Japan has announced it will send 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Viet Nam. The shipment of AstraZeneca jabs, manufactured in Japan, is set to arrive tomorrow.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has asked Pfizer to bring forward planned delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, in an effort to speed up the national inoculation programme.

US and Canadian officials are set to meet today to discuss the eventual lifting of pandemic-linked border restrictions, although no immediate action is expected, sources told Reuters.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delayed a planned lifting of most remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England by a month. Most restrictions had been due to be removed next Monday, 21 June, but concerns over the Delta variant have seen the lifting pushed back.

India has reported 60,471 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours - the lowest figure since 31 March.

Novavax has announced its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective, including against a variety of variants, in a large, late-stage US-based clinical trial.

A Scottish study has shown the Delta COVID-19 variant doubles the risk of hospitalization compared with the variant previously dominant in the UK - but two doses of the vaccine still provide strong protection.

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. Rising cases in Africa a concern: WHO

The World Health Organization Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that the global decline in cases is masking increases in cases and deaths in many countries.

"The steep increase in Africa is especially concerning," he told a media briefing, "because it is the region with the least access to vaccines, diagnostics and oxygen."

A recent study has shown that Africa has the highest global mortality rate among critically ill COVID-19 patients, he added.

Dr Tedros also welcomed the announcement that the G7 will donate more vaccine doses through COVAX, but called for more.

"This is a big help," he said. "But we need more, and we need them faster."

3. US COVID-19 deaths pass 600,000

The United States has passed 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to a Reuters tally - even as the vaccine rollout has worked to slow the rate of fatalities.

It took 113 days to go from 500,000 total U.S. COVID-19 deaths to 600,000 - the second slowest 100,000-death jump since the pandemic began. The nation went from 400,000 to 500,000 deaths in just 35 days.

United States COVID-19 deaths 600,000
The US took just 35 days to go from 400,000 to 500,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
Image: Reuters

"My heart goes out to those who've lost a loved one," said President Joe Biden.

"We have more work to do to beat this virus and now's not the time to let our guard down," he said, urging more people to get vaccinated.

The US has reported more deaths than any other country.

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.

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