Nations around the world reached new pandemic highs and re-imposed restrictions on COVID-19 on Saturday, as the highly contagious variant of the Delta forced governments to curb plans to return to normalcy.
The highly transmissible delta variant, first detected in India, is sweeping the world as countries rush to inoculate their populations to prevent further outbreaks and allow economies and daily life to recover.
The European Union, criticized at the beginning of the pandemic response for a failed vaccine acquisition program, said Saturday it delivered enough shots to cover 70 percent of the bloc’s population.
“By tomorrow, some 500 million doses will have been distributed to all regions of Europe,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
But according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the proportion of adults aged 18 and over completely vaccinated in the EU and the European Economic Area is still only 44.1%.
The shortage of supply in South Korea has meant that only 11% of the country’s population, a total of 52 million, is fully vaccinated. health authorities.
The nation, defended as a model to fight the pandemic, reported 1,378 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, a third consecutive record.
From Monday, meetings of more than two people will be banned from 18:00, schools, bars and clubs will be closed.
In Pakistan, where less than eight percent of the population has been vaccinated, the government said only those who had been stung would be allowed to fly.
“We could face dangerous consequences if we do not take steps to control the Delta variant,” the National Command and Operation Center said in a statement.
The country of about 215 million people has escaped much of the worst of the pandemic, with less than a million registered infections and some 23,000 deaths, although cases are rising again.
The party is over before it starts
After an “exponential” increase in cases in recent days, officials in the autonomous region of northeastern Spain in Catalonia said they had no choice but to re-impose restrictions.
Nightclubs will be closed and a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination test will be required to participate in outdoor activities involving more than 500 people.
“The pandemic is not over, the new variants are very contagious and we still have important segments of the population who are not vaccinated,” regional government spokeswoman Patricia Plaja told a news conference.
Russia also announced on Saturday that cases continued to rise and had a new record number of daily deaths, the fifth since the beginning of the month.
The 752 new deaths bring Russia’s total number to 142,253. The country also recorded 25,082 new infections, meaning there have been more than 5.7 million cases.
The state statistics agency Rosstat, which more broadly defines coronavirus-related deaths, put the figure at 270,000 at the end of April.
Less than 20 percent of Russians have received a single dose, although locally developed vaccines are readily available.
Despite the rise in infections and deaths, 54 percent of a deeply skeptical Russian public has no plans to get vaccinated, according to an independent Levada Center poll released this week.
Although vaccines have been successful in mitigating the worst effects of infections, concerns have been raised about the degree of coping with some of them. virulent strains.
In Indonesia, which is battling a fierce wave of infections, more than a dozen fully inoculated front-line health workers have died, according to the country’s medical association.
Authorities said Friday that doctors will receive a third booster shot using the vaccine made by the American company Modern, to provide them with additional protection.
The Southeast Asian nation has depended heavily on China’s Sinovax features amid the global shortage of alternatives that have been supplied primarily to rich nations.
The rapid spread of the Delta variant through Asia, Africa and Latin America is exposing a crucial shortage of vaccine supply for some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations.
Senegal, the EU, the United States, several European governments and other partners signed an agreement in Dakar on Friday to fund vaccine production in the West African state.
And Cuba approved its home-grown Abdala vaccine for emergency use, the first Latin American coronavirus shot to get the green light and a possible lifeline for a region trying to fight a killer pandemic with modest means.
© 2021 AFP
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