WORLD / CROSS-BORDERS
Russia sets another COVID-19 record
Delta variant continues spread, causing trouble for countries around globe
Published: Jul 04, 2021 06:58 PM
A man receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Moscow, Russia, April 28, 2021. Russia confirmed 7,848 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, below 8,000 for the first time since the end of September, taking the nationwide tally to 4,787,273, the country's official monitoring and response center said Wednesday.Photo:Xinhua

A man receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Moscow, Russia, April 28, 2021. Russia confirmed 7,848 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, below 8,000 for the first time since the end of September, taking the nationwide tally to 4,787,273, the country's official monitoring and response center said Wednesday.Photo:Xinhua


Russia reported its fifth record for daily COVID-19 deaths in a row on Saturday, as countries around the world rushed to contain the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The variant has propelled a resurgence of the virus which has already killed nearly 4 million people.

Thousands of troops and police hit the streets in Indonesia to enforce a partial lockdown imposed on Saturday, as the country reported a record 27,913 new daily cases as well as 493 deaths.

Mosques, restaurants and shopping malls were shuttered in the capital Jakarta, across the main island of Java and on Bali after the daily caseload quadrupled in less than a month, with the Delta variant blamed.

The overwhelmed healthcare system is teetering on the brink of collapse as jammed hospitals turn away patients, leading desperate families to hunt for oxygen tanks to treat the sick and dying at home.

New measures were also put in place in Portugal, with a night curfew entering into force for nearly half the population in a bid to rein in rising Delta infections.

Russia has so far ruled out a new lockdown to fight surging Delta cases, even as it reported 697 more deaths on Saturday - setting a new nationwide record for the fifth straight day.

Russia had hoped its vaccination campaign would tamp down a new wave, but it has met with widespread scepticism and a sluggish rollout, with only 16 percent of the 146 million population jabbed.

This week Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Russians to "listen to experts" rather than rumors about the virus and vaccines.

Iran, battling the Middle East's deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus, has warned it could be hit by yet another wave of infections.

"It is feared that we are on the way to a fifth wave throughout the country," President Hassan Rouhani told a meeting of Iran's anti-virus task force, warning the public to be careful as "the Delta variant has spread" in southern provinces.

Fiji, which went an entire year without recording any community coronavirus cases until Delta arrived in April, recorded its biggest-ever infection increase on Saturday.

Authorities reported two deaths and warned of more to come as the virus threatens to overwhelm the South Pacific nation's health system.

Africa has also been largely spared the worst of the pandemic. South Africa, the continent's worst-hit country, posted a new record of 24,000 cases on Friday.

Meanwhile in Italy 300 healthcare workers have lodged a legal challenge against the requirement that they get vaccinated against coronavirus, according to media reports.

"This isn't a battle by anti-vaxxers but a democratic battle," constitutional lawyer Daniele Granara, told the Giornale di Brescia newspaper.

AFP


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