COVID-19: Top news stories about the coronavirus pandemic on November 26

  • This daily news feed provides you with a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and resources to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top Stories: New COVID-19 variant emerges in South Africa; Europe tackles rising COVID-19 cases; UK data shows that vaccination against COVID-19 is safe for pregnant women.

1. How COVID-19 Is Affecting the World

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 260 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.18 million. More than 7.81 billion vaccination doses are managed globally, according to Our World in Data.

Suitability for COVID-19 booster shots has expanded in the United States, with millions of Americans receiving their third dose last week.

Czech Republic reported 27,717 new COVID-19 cases yesterday – the highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

Pfizer and MSD – known in North America as Merck & Co – have agreed to license companies in Vietnam to COVID-19 treatment pills, the Vietnamese government has announced.

Three locally broadcast COVID-19 cases in the city of Shanghai have urged authorities to curtail tourism activities, while the city of Xuzhou has halted some public transport after a confirmed asymptomatic case.

COVID-19 vaccination is safe for pregnant women and not associated with higher complications, data released Thursday by the UK Health Security Agency shows.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries.

Image: Our world in data

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship is a coalition of 85 global leaders organized by the World Economic Forum. Its mission: to join forces to support social entrepreneurs around the world as essential first responders to the pandemic and as pioneers of a green, inclusive economic reality.

The COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda outlines 25 concrete recommendations for key stakeholder groups, including financiers and philanthropists, investors, government agencies, support organizations and businesses. In January 2021, its members launched its Roadmap 2021, with which its members will roll out an ambitious series of 21 action projects in 10 work areas. Including access to businesses and policy change to support a social economy.

For more information, see the Alliance website or the “impact story” here.

2. New COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa

South African scientists have discovered that new variant of COVID-19 and are working to understand its potential implications, they said yesterday.

The variant — called B.1.1.529 — has a “highly unusual constellation” of mutations, which are worrisome because they could help it evade the body’s immune response and make it more transmissible, scientists told reporters at a news conference.

South Africa has requested an urgent meeting today of a World Health Organization working group on virus evolution to discuss the new variant.

Other countries including: India, Australia, Japan and the UK, have expressed concerns, with some taking steps to impose travel restrictions from South Africa and some neighboring countries.

“This is the most significant variant we have encountered so far and urgent research is underway to learn more about vaccine transmissibility, severity and susceptibility,” said Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency.

3. European countries tackle rise in COVID-19 cases

Countries across Europe have expanded COVID-19 vaccine booster programs, introduced plans to vaccinate young children and imposed stricter restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 cases.

Slovakia has gone into a two week lockdown, the Czech Republic has declared a 30-day state of emergency, including the early closure of bars and clubs and a ban on Christmas markets, while Germany has crossed the threshold of 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths. Germany also reported a record number of daily COVID-19 cases – 75,961 on Thursday.

In France authorities have said booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine would be available to anyone over the age of 18, while the The Netherlands plans new restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Portugal also announced that it would reintroduce restrictions.

The European UnionThe medical regulator has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 5 to 11 years. The EU Commission has also proposed that residents need: booster shots if they want to travel free of tests or quarantines to other countries in the block next summer.

It also suggested accepting all World Health Organization-approved vaccines for travel. The move would allow non-essential travel to the EU from outside the bloc for those vaccinated with vaccines made in China or India.

Meanwhile, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimate that: 470,000 lives have been saved among people over 60 and since the start of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination in 33 countries in the WHO European region.

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