The total number of Covid-19 cases across the globe since the pandemic began crossed 200 million on Thursday with the highly contagious Delta variant driving a resurgence of the virus in several countries, AFP reported.
The number of daily new cases worldwide has increased by 68% since mid-June. However, deaths have increased at a slower rate of 20% since July, the agency reported, noting that this may have been on account of increased vaccination rates, especially in wealthy countries.
Hospitals strained in Thailand, Indonesia
On Wednesday, Thailand reported 20,200 new Covid-19 cases in a day and 188 fatalities – both records since the pandemic began in early 2020, Al Jazeera reported.
On Thursday, the government introduced stricter containment measures in Bangkok and several high-risk provinces.
About 80% of hospital beds in Thailand are occupied, according to Reuters. Last month, the government introduced home isolation measures for over 30,000 citizens with mild or no symptoms. Earlier, all coronavirus patients in the country were admitted to hospitals
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Covid-19 toll crossed 100,000 on Thursday, with the southeast Asian country struggling to cope with the Delta variant of the virus. The total number of Covid-19 infections in the country has now increased to 3.53 million since the pandemic started.
With healthcare systems increasingly overburdened, hospitals are struggling to treat new patients, The Guardian quoted medical professionals as saying. Hundreds of people are now reportedly dying in their homes.
Virus surges in China
On Friday, China reported its highest single-day coronavirus count in the current wave, on account of a surge in locally transmitted infections. A total of 124 cases were reported in the mainland, an increase of 85 from the previous day, according to Reuters.
In the eastern province of Jiangsu, 61 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Thursday. The province had recorded 40 cases on the previous day.
Earlier this week, authorities in Wuhan – the city where Covid-19 was first reported – confirmed eight new Covid-19 cases. These are the first coronavirus cases in Wuhan since mid-May 2020.
Chinese premier Xi Jinping on Thursday said that the country will “strive to provide” two billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to the world this year, AFP reported. The country will also donate $100 million to the global vaccine distribution system Covax, he said.
Curbs extended in Australia
Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, on Thursday went into a sixth lockdown after eight new infections were reported there.
“To be really frank, we don’t have enough people that have been vaccinated and, therefore, this is the only option available to us,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria state, in which Melbourne is located, was quoted as saying by AP.
Sydney on Thursday reported the worst day of its outbreak of the coronavirus Delta variant, AP reported. The city registered a record 262 new local infections and five deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday.