• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: Russia approves vaccine; New Zealand reports new cases; global cases top 20.2 million.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now reached more than 20.2 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 741,000.

Australia has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic so far. It also reported its biggest daily case rise in three days.

Passenger numbers were down 88% in July at London Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports. Its operator is calling for COVID-19 testing in airports.

The impact of coronavirus has seen universities turn to the bond markets, reports Reuters. Although only a small part of the global bond market, issuances by universities globally are double the whole of last year so far in 2020.

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A burst of bonds.
Image: Reuters

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has warned that the country's coronavirus infection rate is heading in the wrong direction. More than 5,000 new cases were recorded from Saturday to Monday.

The World Health Organization is calling for non-essential dental treatments to be delayed, citing uncertainty about the risk.

The UK's economic output fell by 20% in the second quarter.

2. Russia approves COVID-19 vaccine

President Vladimir Putin says Russia has become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Putin told a government meeting: “I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the necessary checks."

But the approval comes before the start of a larger clinical trial, commonly known as Phase III. Some experts have raised concerns about the decision to grant approval before these trials are complete.

3. Auckland returns to lockdown

Auckland, New Zealand, has returned to lockdown after four new cases of COVID-19 were discovered in the city.

It marked the first evidence of domestic transmission for 102 days. The city has moved to a level 3 restriction, meaning that people should stay away from work and school, and gatherings of more than 10 are restricted.

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A plateau?
Image: Our World in Data

“I am urging Aucklanders to come together like we did last time to stamp out community transmission," said Mayor Phil Goff. "Please remain calm, please do not panic buy and please follow the lockdown rules."

Initially, the new restrictions will apply until Friday, giving authorities time to assess the situation, gather information and make sure contact tracing is in place. The rest of the country has also moved to alert level 2, meaning social distancing measures will be applied again and mass gatherings will be limited to 100 people.

Officials later announced they were considering whether the cases had been imported via freight.