Russia sets new record for COVID deaths while Australia closes cities


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Russia reported the highest daily coronavirus figure on Tuesday and Australia closed major cities as the highly infectious Delta strain has caused chaos around the world.

Fears grew such as Euro 2020 and the Olympics, even when an AFP count showed that the world surpassed the milestone of more than three billion COVID-19 vaccines administered.

At least 3.9 million people have died from COVID-19 and the global vaccine pattern is highly uneven.

According to the AFP count, according to the World Bank definition, an average of 79 doses have been administered per 100 inhabitants.

But in low-income nations, the figure is just one shot per 100 people.

“The world is failing,” warned WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We are facing a two-way pandemic, fueled by inequality,” the head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

The WHO said it supported the remaining five countries that have not yet begun their vaccination campaigns against COVID-19: Burundi, Eritrea, Haiti, North Korea and Tanzania.

Russia reported 652 coronavirus fatalities in the past 24 hours, with a record number of daily deaths (119) in St. Petersburg, which will take place on Friday a quarter-final of Euro 2020

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said 151,000 people in Russia are currently in hospital with coronavirus.

In bad news, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted that Moscow’s goal of vaccinating 60% of the population by the end of the summer was unattainable.

Russia has also introduced mandatory traits for some groups of citizens to counter skepticism.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of the group of 20 major economies stressed the need for greater global cooperation.

“Multilateral cooperation will be key to our collective capacity to stop this global health crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi did not name the United States, but suggested reasons behind the rhetoric while calling on the G20 to show “true multilateralism.”

“China calls on countries able to avoid export restrictions or excessive hoarding” of vaccines, Wang said.

Western leaders have pledged to give a billion doses to the poorest countries.

Australia closes

In Australia, public anger is growing at the slow pace of vaccinations.

The Delta variant has pushed Sydney, Perth, Darwin and Brisbane to close, meaning there are more than 10 million Australians confined to their homes.

But so far, it is believed that less than five percent of adults received both doses of the vaccine.

Brisbane resident Nicola Hungerford, 57, said she hoped blockages would continue to occur “until the government rallies its bloody act” at launching the vaccine.

“It shows how little respect they have for people,” he told AFP.

Human tragedies

The transmission speed of the Delta variant has fueled concerns about ongoing or upcoming sporting events.

Germany urged the British government to reduce the number of fans allowed to enter Wembley Stadium for the last Euro 2020 matches.

“I think it’s irresponsible for tens of thousands to come together very close” in countries where the Delta variant is spreading, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told German newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine.

UEFA and the British authorities allowed 45,000 fans to attend a match between England and Germany on Tuesday, or about 50 per cent of the capacity.

Attendance will increase to over 60,000 in the semi-finals and finals at Wembley.

The Delta variant was first identified in India, which suffered a bloody wave of coronavirus that overwhelmed hospitals and crematoria at its height in April and May.

Now, bodies buried on the banks of the Ganges River by families who could not afford the funeral pyres have begun to reappear as floods drive them out.

“It was very sad to see poor people bury their loved ones unworthily, but rising water levels have worsened,” Sonu Chandel, a boatman, told AFP.

India authorized emergency use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday as it seeks to increase inoculations.

It is the fourth approved by New Delhi after Covishield, Covaxin, Oxford-AstraZeneca, developed by Indian firm Bharat Biotech, and Russian Sputnik V.

The United Arab Emirates, which has carried out an intense vaccination campaign that has produced some of the highest inoculation rates in the world, announced the braking of unvaccinated people in Abu Dhabi.

The Gulf state capital will only allow vaccinated people in many public places, including schools, shopping malls and restaurants, starting August 20th.

Russia lowers vaccination target amid death tolls

© 2021 AFP

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