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COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on February 18

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  • This daily roundup 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.
  • Top stories: the pandemic adds $ 24 trillion to global debt; Mexico calls for a more equitable deployment of vaccines; India to test arrivals from UK, South Africa and Brazil.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the world

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now exceeded 109.9 million worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 2.43 million.

India does COVID-19 molecular tests mandatory for people arriving directly or indirectly from the UK, South Africa and Brazil to prevent the spread of more infectious variants.

US President Joe Biden told 10 top labor leaders that his $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan and a separate measure to modernize US infrastructure will boost the US economy and create millions of jobs.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will begin a gradual return to normal life province by province from March.

South Africa has launched its COVID-19 vaccination lead yesterday, with a deployment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the first time outside of a major clinical trial.

Switzerland plans to take its first “ prudent measures ” to end its Confinement linked to covid-19 from next month, the government said.

Britain has proposed a UN Security Council Resolution calling for ceasefires to allow vaccination against COVID-19 in conflict zones around the world.

A report in the United States suggests that pandemic has changed the way consumers use credit. Home buying has exploded, spurred on by falling interest rates, while credit card use has plummeted and debt repayments have risen.

As part of work to identify promising technology use cases to fight COVID, the Boston Consulting Group recently used contextual AI to analyze more than 150 million English-language news articles from 30 published countries between December 2019 and May 2020.

The result is a compendium of hundreds of use cases for the technology. It more than triples the number of solutions, providing better visibility into the various uses of technology for the COVID-19 response.

To see a full list of over 200 exciting technology use cases during COVID, please follow this link.

2. Mexico calls for a more equitable distribution of vaccines

Mexico yesterday appealed to the UN Security Council, calling on countries to stop storing COVID-19 vaccines, because the poorest are falling behind in the vaccination race.

Three quarters of the first doses were applied to citizens in just 10 countries representing 60% of global GDP, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.

We urge countries to avoid stockpiling vaccines and to speed up the early stages of COVAX deliveries, to prioritize countries with fewer resources, Ebrard told the council, of which Mexico is currently a member.

There is an urgent need to act, to reverse the injustice that is being done because the security of all humanity depends on it, Ebrard said.

Pan American Health Organization officials said yesterday that countries should expect confirmation of their COVAX vaccine shipments shortly.


3. The pandemic adds $ 24 trillion to global debt

The pandemic and the COVID-19 response added $ 24 trillion in global debt over the past year, according to a new study from the Institute of International Finance.

Global debt is now a record high of $ 281 trillion and the global debt-to-GDP ratio at over 355%.

Government support accounted for half of the increase, reported the organization’s global debt monitor. Global businesses, banks, and households added $ 5.4 trillion, $ 3.9 trillion, and $ 2.6 trillion, respectively.

The report warned that public debt is expected to increase further this year.

Image: IIF

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