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Delta variant spread disrupts EU’s plan to return to a relatively normal state – EURACTIV.com


Moscow and Indonesia on Sunday (June 27) recorded the worst daily coronavirus deaths due to the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, and EU countries envisioned new restrictions that could disrupt them this year Resuming a relatively normal plan in the summer.

As countries in the Asia-Pacific region extend or re-implement restrictions in response to a new wave of cases, the number of infected people in Indonesia in one day exceeds 21,000, a record high.

Although vaccination campaigns have reduced the number of infections in many wealthy countries, the delta strain of the virus has received increasing attention.

According to data from the World Health Organization, the Delta variant was originally discovered in India, has now spread in 85 countries, and is the most infectious of all Covid-19 strains found so far.

Although in most parts of Europe and the United States, as the vaccination program has achieved results, restrictions on daily life are being relaxed, but Russia is struggling to deal with the deadly third wave of epidemics.

Moscow recorded 144 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours on Sunday, the second day after the highest number previously recorded in Russia in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg has hosted six Euro 2020 matches, and the quarter-finals are scheduled to be held on Friday. The maximum number of spectators is half, but it still exceeds 26,000.

Since mid-June, new infections in Russia have surged, driven by the Delta variant. Moscow officials are pushing for the vaccination of Russians who are skeptical of vaccines.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin told state-run television on Saturday that rapid and large-scale vaccination is the only answer.

Germany declares Portugal a “variant zone”

On Monday, Germany declared Portugal a “mutation zone” from Tuesday, which reportedly prompted a large number of German tourists to return before this date.

A report late Friday stated that more than 70% of coronavirus cases in the Lisbon area are from the Delta variant, which is rapidly spreading to other parts of the country.

The National Institute of Health stated in its report that the Delta variant accounted for 51% of cases in mainland Portugal, indicating that the variant is “spreading rapidly”, as happened in the UK.

The number of new coronavirus cases increased by 1,604 on Friday, the largest increase since February 19, when the country with a population of more than 10 million was still in lockdown. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Portugal has recorded a total of 871,483 cases and 17,081 deaths.

secondThird wave in Africa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the new restrictions in a televised speech on Sunday. He said the country “is facing a massive comeback of infection.”

The government has banned the sale of alcohol and all gatherings except funerals, with a cap of 50 people. The curfew has been extended for an hour, and restaurants and other shops can now only provide takeaway food.

The President warned: “The peak of the third wave seems to be higher than the previous two waves.” South Africa is the worst-hit country on the African continent, with nearly 60,000 deaths.

The Delta variant has also caused new outbreaks in Southeast Asia and Australia, where the authorities have restored or extended restrictions.

On Sunday, more than 5 million Sydney residents spent the first day of the two-week lockdown. Restaurants, bars, and cafes were closed, stay-in-home orders were issued, and the city center was almost empty.

Since a driver of the international flight crew tested positive for the Delta variant in mid-June, more than 110 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Sydney.

For a place that returned to relatively normal after a few months of local cases, the sudden outbreak was shocking.

The northern Australian city of Darwin also entered a separate 48-hour lockdown on Sunday after a small number of cases related to the coronavirus outbreak in a remote gold mine.

Re-impose restrictions

A similar peak of infections occurred in Southeast Asia, with Indonesia setting a new record of more than 21,000 daily infections.

In the capital city of Jakarta and other Covid-19 hotspots in the hardest-hit countries in the region, hospitals were crowded with patients.

Thailand will re-limit restaurants, construction sites and parties in the capital Bangkok from Monday. Its newest wave started in April, when a cluster was discovered in Bangkok’s high-end clubs.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut stated that he plans to fully reopen the country before October, but this needs to achieve the goal of vaccinating 50 million Thais within four months.

In neighbouring Malaysia, the Prime Minister announced that the nationwide blockade that has been in place for about a month will continue. He did not give a date for lifting the restrictions.

Bangladesh also stated that a new nationwide lockdown will be implemented from Monday, with offices closed for a week and only medical-related transportation will be allowed.

The news prompted tens of thousands of migrant workers to flee the capital Dhaka, where the blockade would cut off their sources of income.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, the number of infections declined in May, but started to rise again this month, with 119 deaths on Sunday.

Greece raises test requirements for Russian tourists

Athens announced on Sunday that all Russian travelers, whether vaccinated or not, must show negative PCR or rapid test results when they arrive in Greece. They must also undergo another test immediately upon arrival.

Since March, tourism officials have repeatedly stated that they will recognize Russia’s Sputnik-5 vaccine.

However, according to media reports, at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, German Chancellor Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Greece and other countries that rely on tourism for accepting travelers who have not been tested and vaccinated against China and Russia.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Kyriakos Mitsotakis) refuted the reports on Friday, calling them “news exaggerations.”

On Friday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi warned that Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine might never be approved by the European Union and cast doubt on China’s Konok vaccine.

He also mentioned “certain differences in the declarations” between the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the national medical agency regarding the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Germany is trying to ban British tourists?

According to a report from The Times on Monday, Germany will try to bar British travelers from entering the European Union, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The newspaper stated that the German Chancellor wanted to designate the UK as a “country of concern” because the delta variant of the coronavirus is so common.

The newspaper added that these plans will be discussed by senior European and national officials of the European Union’s Comprehensive Political Crisis Response Committee and will be boycotted by Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal.

Merkel will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Checkers next week.

The UK plans to announce its plan next month to allow fully vaccinated people to travel to all countries without restrictions, except those at the highest risk of COVID-19.





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