COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 4 May

Social distancing COVID-19 restrictions coronavirus pandemic lockdown
Social distancing remains a reality for millions around the world.
Image: Photo by DICSON on Unsplash
  • 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: Confirmed cases pass 20 million in India; Moderna deal and Swedish donation boost COVAX; New cases of COVID-19 continue to fall in United States.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 153.5 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.21 million. More than 1.16 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Mexico hopes to finish vaccinating its entire population against COVID-19 by the end of the first quarter of 2022, its deputy health minister, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said yesterday.

Trinidad and Tobago is tightening lockdown restrictions in the face of rising COVID-19 cases. New measures will last three weeks and include the closure of non-essential retail.

Fully-vaccinated Germans should be exempt from quarantine requirements on re-entering Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn said yesterday.

Denmark has excluded the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from its programme over a potential link to rare but serious blood clots.

Indonesia has recorded two cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in India, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said yesterday.

Thailand reported a record daily number of COVID-19 deaths yesterday - 31. "After managing to largely control the virus for around a year through shutdowns and strict border controls, Thailand has faced a spike in cases since early April that is proving harder to control and putting pressure on parts of the medical system," Reuters reported.

New cases of COVID-19 in the United States fell for a third week in a row last week, falling 15% to 347,000. It's the lowest weekly total since October, according to a Reuters tally.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Image: Our World in Data

2. Confirmed cases pass 20 million in India

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India have passed 20 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins. It's the world's second-worst affected country after the United States.

The country reported 355,832 new cases on Tuesday, with officials saying the daily tally has been consistently falling since 30 April, when it hit 400,000.

Experts warn that the actual number of deaths and cases is likely higher.

What is the COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda?

The COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda builds on the actions that its members have already taken and seeks to inspire new commitments. It outlines 25 concrete recommendations for five key stakeholder groups to support social entrepreneurs during COVID-19:

  • Intermediaries and networks are called on to surface the needs of the social entrepreneurs they serve on the ground and provide them with fitting support
  • (Impact) investors are called on to adapt their investment priorities and processes and to provide flexible capital and must-have technical assistance
  • Corporations are called on to stand with the social entrepreneurs in their supply chains and ecosystems, and join forces with them to “shape a new tomorrow”
  • Funders and philanthropists are called on to expand and expedite their financial support to social entrepreneurs and intermediaries, taking risks reflective of today’s unprecedented times
  • Government institutions at all levels are called on to recognize social entrepreneurs as a driving force in safeguarding jobs and in building a greener and equitable society, and to back them accordingly.

3. Moderna deal and Swedish donation boost COVAX

Moderna has agreed a deal to supply 34 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility this year.

The overall contract will see up to 500 million doses of the jab supplied, but the roll-out will only start in the fourth quarter of 2021, with the bulk of these shots available next year.

The announcement comes after the shot was listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

Sweden has also donated 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"These are doses that we do not need ourselves. We are going to get large deliveries (of other vaccines) in the future," Per Olsson Fridh, Swedish minister for international development cooperation, told the news agency TT.