Russia reported the fifth consecutive record of daily Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, as countries around the world are eager to curb the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
The variant promoted the virus’s comeback, which has killed nearly 4 million people, forcing many countries to re-implement restrictions more than a year after the pandemic first swept the world.
Thousands of soldiers and police took to the streets of Indonesia to enforce the partial blockade imposed on Saturday. The country recorded a record daily increase of 27,913 cases and 493 deaths.
Mosques, restaurants, and shopping malls in the capital Jakarta, the main island of Java, and Bali have quadrupled the number of daily cases in less than a month and are blamed on the delta variant.
The overwhelmed healthcare system is on the verge of collapse, as crowded hospitals shut out patients, forcing desperate families to find oxygen tanks to treat the sick and dying at home.
Maya Puspita Sari, a resident of Jakarta, said:
The stricter restrictions came too late. In the past, people who were infected with Covid-19 were strangers, but now they are also infecting the people closest to me… The virus is getting closer and closer to us, which is terrible.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Myanmar ordered 2 million people in Mandalay, the second largest city, to stay at home on Friday as the coup-hit country is working to contain coronavirus cases.
Portugal has also taken new measures to control the increase in the number of infections in the delta, and nearly half of the population has imposed a curfew between 23:00 and 05:00.
New wave in Russia and Iran
So far, Russia has ruled out new lockdown measures to combat the growing number of cases in the Delta, although the number of deaths reported on Saturday increased by 697 — a national record for the fifth consecutive day.
On Friday night, the second city of St. Petersburg hosted the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 between Spain and Switzerland. People expressed concern after hundreds of cases were found among spectators watching the game across the European continent.
Russia had hoped that its vaccination campaign could contain the new wave, but it was widely suspected and slowly promoted. Only 16% of Russia’s 146 million population were stabbed.
AFP reporters saw hundreds of people waiting at vaccination points across Moscow on Friday.
21-year-old student Svetlana Stepereva said in northeast Moscow:
I have been in line for about two hours. I want to jab and feel safe.
This week, President Vladimir Putin urged Russians to “listen to the experts” instead of rumors about viruses and vaccines.
Iran is fighting the deadliest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East and has warned that it may be hit by another wave of infections.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of the Iranian Anti-Virus Working Group: “People are worried that we are spreading the fifth wave of the epidemic throughout the country.” He warned the public to be careful because “the delta variant is already in Spreading in southern provinces”. .
The rise of the delta in Africa and Fiji
The Delta variant was first discovered in India and is now present in at least 85 countries/regions. It caused epidemics in places where pandemics were basically avoided before.
Fiji did not record any community coronavirus cases throughout the year until Delta arrived in April, and the number of infections on Saturday increased by the largest ever.
Authorities have reported two deaths and warned that as the virus threatens the health systems of South Pacific countries, more deaths will occur.
Africa has basically not been affected the most by the pandemic, but driven by delta mutation, the number of infections on the African continent has increased for six consecutive weeks.
During the same period, the death toll in 38 African countries rose by 15% to nearly 3,000.
“The speed and scale of the third wave in Africa is something we have never seen before,” said Macidiso Morty, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa this week.
South Africa, the worst-hit country on the African continent, announced a new record of 24,000 cases on Friday.
“We are indeed…in the eyes of the third wave of storms,” said Joe Phaahla, the Deputy Minister of Health.
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