The Delta variant pushes Russia and Bangladesh to their limits. In Europe, the idea of compulsory vaccination is gaining ground
Russia has set new records: on Sunday it recorded its highest number of Covid-19 contaminations since January, while concerns are mounting in the world about the Delta variant, which could lead to a new wave of the pandemic.
The pandemic has accelerated this week in all regions of the world except Latin America. In Asia, strict restrictions have been imposed in Indonesia, where hospitals are on the verge of collapse, and Bangladesh. The Covid-19 has killed at least 3.974 million people since its appearance at the end of 2019, according to a report established this Sunday, July 4 by AFP.
Russia, which continues to be hit hard by a new wave of Covid-19 carried by the Delta variant, announced on Sunday that it had identified 25,142 new Covid-19 contaminations in the last 24 hours, a record since 2 January. The country had already this week recorded records of deaths from the coronavirus for five days in a row, with 697 deaths announced on Saturday. The toll for the last 24 hours was 663 dead on Sunday. Neighboring Kazakhstan announced Sunday a toll of 3,003 new cases in 24 hours, a record for the Central Asian country.
Faced with the progression of the Delta variant, the debate swells in Europe on the vaccination of caregivers. In Italy, three hundred of them have taken legal action to obtain the lifting of the obligation for medical and health personnel to be vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the press.
In France, on the other hand, a hundred doctors have asked the government to make vaccination compulsory for caregivers in hospitals and retirement homes “before the beginning of September”. Faced with an anti-Covid vaccine campaign running out of steam in the country, the French government’s “Mister Vaccine”, Alain Fischer, warned that those who wait “are making a mistake”. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal warned Sunday against the “vaccine divide” which could cause “resentment between the French” vaccinated and others.
“Huge pressure” in Bangladesh and Indonesia
In Asia, Indonesia imposed partial containment on Saturday. Mosques, restaurants and shopping centers have been closed. Thousands of soldiers and police have been deployed on the streets to enforce the new measures in effect until July 20, and hundreds of checkpoints have been set up.
The country recorded a new daily high of 27,913 daily cases on Saturday and its health system is on the verge of suffocation. Tents are set up in car parks to take care of patients, hospital corridors are overflowing with patients lying on stretchers, and some are refused.
In Bangladesh, which since Thursday imposed confinement in the face of a “worrying and dangerous” increase in the number of cases, the hospitals and families of the victims can no longer cope with the rate of contamination in the city of Khulna, which has become the epicenter of the new wave of Covid-19 contagion. “We are facing enormous pressure in terms of admissions,” admitted Niaz Muhammad, the government’s chief medical officer for the region.
Testimonies describe the deaths of relatives who could not receive oxygen. In this city near the Indian state of West Bengal, cemeteries are unable to handle the sudden influx of deaths in neighboring towns.
Protests in Brazil
In Brazil, the second most bereaved country after the United States with more than 520,000 dead, tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday against President Jair Bolsonaro, who is the subject of a preliminary investigation, suspected of having failed to report attempted corruption in vaccine procurement. “Genocidal Bolsonaro”, “This is not denial, it is corruption” or “Yes to vaccines”, could we read on placards brandished in a demonstration in São Paulo.
In the United States, the country most affected both in terms of the number of deaths and cases (605,493 deaths for 33,713,912 cases recorded), Joe Biden is savoring the American national holiday on Sunday. The US President has invited a thousand caregivers, exposed employees, military personnel and their families to celebrate July 4 Independence Day with him at the White House, as the United States has become a model of health recovery and economic rebound, even if the goal of a first dose administered to 70% of the adult population has not been reached.