The European Union stated that more than half of European adults are now fully vaccinated, but this milestone comes when countries around the world are fighting a new epidemic caused by the rapidly spreading delta variant.
The European Union said on Thursday that 200 million Europeans have been fully vaccinated, accounting for more than half of the adult population, but still below the 70% target set during the summer.
The new data came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that the number of cases in her country was “exponentially” rising and urged more Germans to receive injections.
“In the past few days, the number of infections has risen again, and the momentum is obvious. In my opinion, it is worrying. The whole thing is driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus,” she said at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday.
In the past 7 days, the incidence in Germany was 12.2 new cases per 100,000 people-more than double the rate at the beginning of July.
“As the incidence rate increases, we may need to take additional measures,” she said.
Germany has joined the ranks of some European countries, which have seen an increase in the number of cases in recent weeks, spurred by the Delta variant that was first discovered in India.
The President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, warned that the Delta variable has led to increasing economic uncertainty because the bank firmly maintained its huge stimulus to the euro zone after its 25-member management committee meeting. measure.
“The Eurozone economy is rebounding strongly,” Lagarde said, but delta variables may inhibit the recovery of “service industries, especially tourism and hospitality” after the lockdown, she said.
France introduced new regulations this week, requiring all events or venues with more than 50 people to hold a so-called health pass, which will then be extended to restaurants, cafes and shopping centers in August.
After the country reports a surge in new cases, people need to show a vaccination certificate or test results are negative. There were more than 21,000 new cases on Wednesday, the highest level since early May.
The Italian government also hopes to curb the new surge in coronavirus cases. It announced on Thursday that from August 6th, people must show proof of immunization in order to receive a series of services and leisure activities.
Cases in the UK are also soaring. The UK lifted most of the restrictions this week. On Thursday, British supermarkets warned of possible food shortages because employees were forced to self-isolate.
At the same time, Asian countries are experiencing the worst epidemic to date, As Vietnam and Thailand face new anti-virus rules, Indonesia has become a new global hot spot.
To date, Indonesia has over 3 million COVID cases.
However, Al Jakarta’s Jessica Washington reported in the capital Jakarta on Thursday that the government has been able to step up testing.
“They were able to test 200,000 people in one day, which is a significant improvement, but still far from the goal of testing 400,000 people every day,” she said.
“Epidemiologists say that the government must take strong action because the situation in the intensive care unit of hospitals continues to deteriorate, not only in Jakarta… but also across the country.”
In Tokyo, after a year-long postponement of the pandemic, the Olympics were originally scheduled to open on Friday, but most of the spectators were banned, and athletes, journalists and organizers were subject to strict viral measures.
“This is completely different from the last Olympic Games (1964), when the whole city was filled with a festive atmosphere,” said Michiko Fukui, an 80-year-old Tokyo resident.
South Africa fights against surge
Elsewhere, South Africa is also struggling to deal with the surge in infections. However, the vaccination campaign is making progress, with a record one quarter of 1 million people receiving injections in one day.
But so far, only 7% of the population has received a dose of the vaccine.
South Africa is the worst-hit country in Africa, and health experts have warned that cases may increase after the riots last week after former President Jacob Zuma was imprisoned.
“The government is really pushing people over 35 to register,” Al Jazeera’s Fahmeda Miller reported in Johannesburg.
Delta Air Lines pushes the U.S. soaring
Rochelle Varensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Thursday that the average number of new cases in the United States over seven days has increased by 53% from the previous week.
Varensky said that as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, some hospitals across the United States are reaching capacity limits.
The increase in cases is concentrated in areas with low vaccination rates in the United States.
Israeli Prime Minister urges people to get vaccinated
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday called on hundreds of thousands of citizens who have not yet been vaccinated against the coronavirus to be vaccinated, as new infections have soared in recent weeks.
Just a few weeks ago, Israel lifted almost all remaining virus restrictions, but the arrival of the Delta variant forced the government to reimplement these measures, including mandatory indoor masks.
The Israeli Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday recommended a partial resumption of the Green Pass program to restrict vaccinated people from participating in certain activities. This decision may be approved by the Bennett government on Sunday.