1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 185 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4 million. More than 3.29 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Confirmed new COVID-19 cases have risen for the first time in more than two months in Germany.

It comes as the German government also announced plans to donate all its remaining AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses in August.

The Dutch government is reviewing its options following a spike in COVID-19 cases after an easing of restrictions.

Viet Nam is set to impose restrictions in Ho Chi Minh city for 15 days from Friday to tackle an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

Turkmenistan has announced it’s making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all residents over 18 years old.

The Australian state of New South Wales has reported its biggest daily rise in locally acquired COVID-19 cases so far this year, despite a lockdown in capital Sydney.

South Korea has reported its highest ever single-day rise in new COVID-19 infections. Officials are considering imposing a semi-lockdown in capital Seoul in an effort to clamp down.

COVID-19 infections in England have quadrupled in a month since early June, a large study led by Imperial College London has shown.

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths globally and in selected countries.
Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths globally and in selected countries.
Image: Our World in Data

2. World at ‘perilous point’: WHO

The Director-General of the World Health Organization warned in a media briefing yesterday that the “world is at a perilous point in this pandemic.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while some countries were planning to roll out booster shots and ease restrictions, the global inequity in vaccine production and distribution means that “variants are currently winning the race against vaccines”.

“Vaccine nationalism, where a handful of nations have taken the lion’s share, is morally indefensible and an ineffective public health strategy against a respiratory virus that is mutating quickly and becoming increasingly effective at moving from human-to-human,” he said.

Dr Tedros also acknowledged that more than 4 million confirmed COVID-19 deaths have now been recorded. He cautioned though that this “likely underestimates the overall toll”.

“From a moral, epidemiological or economic point of view, now is the time for the world to come together to tackle this pandemic collectively,” he said.

Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, also warned countries “not to lose the gains you’ve made” by opening up too quickly.

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