COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 22 July

The Olympic Rings are seen in front of the skyline during sunset, three days ahead of the official opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2021.   REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach - RC2BOO9B9LCW
The Olympics is set to get underway in Tokyo.
Image: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
  • 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: Americas facing 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'; Two doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines effective against Delta variant; Hospitals in the Indonesian region of Papua near full capacity.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 192 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.12 million. More than 3.73 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Australia's New South Wales state has reported its biggest daily rise in locally acquired COVID-19 cases this year - 124, up from 110 a day earlier.

It comes as Australian authorities warn that infections are set to continue to rise, despite weeks of increased restrictions, and will take an economic toll.

A new study published in The Lancet says an estimated 1.5 million children around the globe experienced the COVID-19-related death of a parent, custodial grandparent, or another relative who cared for them during the first 14 months of the pandemic.

President Joe Biden has again pleaded with Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 'We have a pandemic of those who haven't gotten a vaccination,' he told a town hall event.

President Biden also said it's likely the US Centers for Disease Control will advise unvaccinated children to wear masks when they return to school after the summer break.

Hospitals in the Indonesian region of Papua are nearing full capacity amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

New York City will require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly tests for workers at city-run hospitals and clinics, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced. The new policy will come into effect from 2 August.

Share of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in selected countries.
Share of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in selected countries.
Image: Our World in Data

2. Americas facing 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned that the Americas are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated, with countries with low inoculation rates seeing increasing in COVID-19 cases.

"We face a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and the only way to stop it is to expand vaccination," PAHO director Carissa Etienne said at a weekly briefing. "Vaccines are critical, even if no vaccine is 100% effective."

Etienne also repeated calls for vaccine donations and the equitable distribution of supplies to those in need.

"We clearly need more vaccines and we need them now," she said. "At this time vaccine donations are really the only way for many countries in our region to secure the doses that they need quickly."

Just 15% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated, she said, adding that this figure obscures the fact that some countries like Honduras and Haiti have yet to reach even 1% inoculation.

COVID-19

How is the World Economic Forum helping to identify new technologies to fight COVID-19?

As part of work identifying promising technology use cases to combat COVID, The Boston Consulting Group recently used contextual AI to analyze more than 150 million English language media articles from 30 countries published between December 2019 to May 2020.

The result is a compendium of hundreds of technology use cases. It more than triples the number of solutions, providing better visibility into the diverse uses of technology for the COVID-19 response.

To see a full list of 200+ exciting technology use cases during COVID – please follow this link.

3. Two doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines effective against Delta variant

Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are nearly as effective against the Delta variant as they were against the previously dominated Alpha variant, a new study has shown.

The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms headline findings given by Public Health England in May.

"Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the Delta variant as compared with the Alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses," Public Health England researchers wrote in the study.

The study's authors cautioned that one shot of either vaccine is not enough for high protection.

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