COVID-19: Top news stories about the pandemic on 5 January | World Economic Forum – World Economic Forum

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Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 295.3 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.45 million. More than 9.25 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.
Germany needs to offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to an additional 15 million people to slow the spread of Omicron, its health minister said in remarks published today.
Mexico’s confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic have passed 4 million. However, authorities have said the real number is likely much higher.
The US government has doubled its order for Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 antiviral treatment, providing a total of 20 million courses.
New COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in Japan’s Okinawa region, with authorities considering imposing emergency steps to contain it.
Authorities in the Philippines have cancelled the annual ‘Black Nazarene’ parade for a second year as a result of concerns about COVID-19.
New COVID-19 cases have hit 58,097 in India, a doubling of the daily tally over the past four days.
A fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine boosts antibodies five-fold a week after the shot is administered, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday, citing preliminary findings of an Israeli study.

COVID-19 cases are rising across several Gulf states, with the daily number of cases more than doubling in Saudi Arabia over two days to more than 2,500 and crossing the 1,000-level in Qatar and Kuwait.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that England could withstand a surge in COVID-19 infections without shutting down the economy, as Britain reported another record daily high in cases.

More evidence is emerging that the Omicron COVID-19 variant is affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing milder symptoms than previous variants, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said yesterday.
“We are seeing more and more studies pointing out that Omicron is infecting the upper part of the body. Unlike other ones, the lungs … would be causing severe pneumonia,” WHO Incident Manager Abdi Mahamud told Geneva-based journalists.
“It can be good news, but we really require more studies to prove that.”
While case numbers have surged to all-time records around the world, the hospitalization and death rates are often lower than at other phases in the pandemic.
“What we are seeing now is … the decoupling between the cases and the deaths,” he said.
The United States reported nearly 1 million new COVID-19 infections on Monday, the highest daily tally of any country in the world and nearly double the previous US peak set a week ago as the spread of the Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.
The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has risen nearly 50% in the past week and now exceeds 100,000, according to data collected by Reuters, marking the first time that threshold has been reached in a year.
The latest surge, which forced waves of cancellations – from commercial airlines flights to Broadway shows – in recent weeks, was disrupting plans for public schools to welcome students back from winter vacation.
The 978,856 new infections documented on Monday included some cases tallied on Saturday and Sunday, when many states do not report.
The new variant was estimated to account for 95.4% of cases identified in the United States as of 1 January, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday.
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.

Joe Myers, Writer, Formative Content
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
Inflation has risen in many emerging and developed economies. Levels remain lower in Asia than in many regions, but high shipping costs could change that.
Top COVID-19 news stories: US reports nearly 1 million new COVID-19 infections; WHO sees more evidence that Omicron causes milder symptoms; countries around the world report rising COVID-…
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