COVID-19: Most important news on the coronavirus pandemic on November 29

  • This daily news summary brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, along with tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Headlines: world reacts to new variant of Omicron COVID-19; Philippines launches new vaccination campaign; Singapore and Malaysia are reopening their land borders.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the world

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have exceeded 261.5 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now exceeded 5.19 million. More than 7.9 billion doses of vaccination have been administered worldwide, according to Our World in Data.

Singapore and Malaysia have reopened one of the world’s busiest land borders, allowing vaccinated travelers to cross. It has been closed for almost two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the country will transition to a living system with COVID-19 this week despite the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Member states of the World Health Organization have reached a tentative consensus to negotiate a future pandemic prevention deal, diplomats said on Sunday.

New cases of COVID-19 in northern China have seen two cities suspend public transport and tighten control over the movements of residents.

The World Trade Organization on Friday became the first major diplomatic victim of the Omicron variant when it postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years due to the deteriorating health situation.

New daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 per million people in some countries.

Image: Our world in data

2. The world reacts to the new Omicron COVID-19 variant

The World Health Organization is working to better understand the Omicron COVID-19 variant, she said on Sunday.

WHO said it was not yet clear whether the new variant is more transmissible compared to other variants, or whether it has caused more serious disease. However, the organization reiterated the initial evidence that suggests there may be a higher risk of re-infection with Omicron.

WHO has also said it is working with experts to understand the potential impact of the new Omicron variant on existing COVID-19 countermeasures, including vaccines. However, he said there is currently no evidence that the variant causes different symptoms.

America’s top infectious disease official Dr Anthony Fauci told President Joe Biden on Sunday that it would take about two weeks to have definitive information on the new variant.

Countries around the world, including the United States, have also tightened travel restrictions in response to Omicron, with Japan and Israel both barring entry to all foreign nationals. Australia is also considering plans to reopen its borders to skilled migrants and students from December 1.

The Omicron variant has been confirmed in many countries around the world, with Switzerland detecting its first suspected case on Sunday evening, adding to a list that includes the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Germany . The Netherlands announced yesterday that 13 cases on the Omicron variant were found among passengers on two flights from South Africa on Friday, while Botswana announced 15 more cases, in addition to the four confirmed cases that he reported on Friday.

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

Its COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda presents 25 concrete recommendations for key stakeholder groups, including funders and philanthropists, investors, government institutions, support organizations and businesses. In January 2021, its members launched its 2021 roadmap through which its members will roll out an ambitious set of 21 action projects in 10 work areas. Including business access and policy change in support of a social economy.

For more information, see the Alliance’s website or its “Impact Story” here.

3. The Philippines launches a campaign to vaccinate 9 million people in 3 days

The Philippines has launched an ambitious campaign to immunize nine million people against COVID-19 over three days, deploying security forces and using tens of thousands of volunteers to help administer the program.

Three million vaccinations a day is almost four times the average of the 829,000 daily injections in November. An official said news of the Omicron variant made the campaign even more vital.

“It’s best to prepare for the effects of Omicron,” Carlito Galvez, the country’s immunization manager, told CNN Philippines on Monday.

About 35.6 million people have been fully vaccinated, or one third of its 110 million inhabitants. The country aims to vaccinate 54 million people by the end of 2021 and 77 million by next March.

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