- 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 in India; COVID-19 infections pass 1 million in Australia; UK death toll from COVID-19 passes 150,000.
1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 307.1 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.48 million. More than 9.43 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.
The northern Chinese city of Tianjin tightened exit controls and is requiring residents to obtain approval from employers or community authorities before leaving town, in an effort to block the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Hungary’s daily tally of new COVID-19 cases could exceed 13,000 in the new wave of infections caused by the Omicron variant, the minister for human resources told local radio yesterday.
The Philippines has ordered an increase in hospital beds and medical resources in and around the capital Manila. It comes as the country set another record for new confirmed daily COVID-19 cases – 28,707.
Mexico also reported a record number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday – 30,671.
The UK’s official total death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 150,000 on Saturday.
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.
2. New COVID-19 restrictions imposed in India
India has reported 179,723 new COVID-19 cases – the highest figure since late May. It comes after several state governments announced new restrictions over the weekend.
Maharashtra said on Saturday it would close swimming pools and gyms from Monday while schools and colleges have been closed until 15 February after daily cases in the state jumped to over 41,000.
The state government has said only fully vaccinated people will be allowed into private offices while limiting the capacity to 50% of the total workforce.
In the neighbouring state of Gujarat, authorities have extended night curfew hours and cancelled leave for all healthcare personnel.
A weekend curfew was also in place in Delhi this weekend, closing all but essential shops, restaurants and public parks and gardens from 10pm on Friday to 5am this morning.
3. COVID-19 infections pass 1 million in Australia
Confirmed COVID-19 cases have passed 1 million since the start of the pandemic in Australia. More than half of these have come in the last week, according to a Reuters tally.
New daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 also passed 100,000 for the first time on Saturday. Health officials have warned today’s tally of just over 67,000 could be an underestimate as reports from some states do not include those who tested positive in at-home rapid antigen tests.
“Omicron is a gear change and we have to push through,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a media briefing. “You’ve got two choices here: you can push through or you can lockdown. We are for pushing through.”
Some states have reintroduced restrictions, though. Several have brought back mask mandates and suspended non-urgent elective surgery. New South Wales resumed bans on drinking while standing up and dancing in bars on Friday.
Joe Myers, Writer, Formative Content
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
Subscribe for updates
A weekly update of what’s on the Global Agenda