Asia: COVID-19 cases surge due to Delta variant

Asia: COVID-19 cases surge due to Delta variant

World leaders should vaccinate at least 10 percent of their respective populations by the end of September, according to the Director of the World Health Population.

Following the second wave of COVID-19 in India, new cases surge in some of its immediate neighbors across Asia. These include Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

The countries saw a dramatic surge in May but have since reportedly seen downward trends. Despite this, though, other neighboring locations across the continent now experience a similar scenario.

BBC reported that the new COVID-19 cases are now at an “all-time high” in several Asian countries. These are in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

COVID-19 cases continue to surge across Asia

The publication noted that the cases in Afghanistan reached an all-time high in June. The country’s Health Minister, Wajid Majrooh stated that over 60 percent of the number was due to the Delta variant.

In Bangladesh, the surge of cases reportedly started in mid-May. The country is now on a “national lockdown” following the growing fears toward the Delta variant, which officials first detected in India.

It was only nearly three weeks ago when they continued the vaccination drive across the country. To date, reports said that only less than 3 percent of the population has completed their shots.

Meanwhile, the vaccination rate in Mongolia is “relatively high,” with more than 50 percent of its population already fully vaccinated. However, there has been a surge in new COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country. The numbers have even reportedly become “one of the highest in Asia per head of population.”

This then led many reports to suggest that the vaccines were ineffective. But, officials in the country asserted that the surge was due to the lifting of lockdown, and not because of the vaccines.

Increasing trend of cases and deaths in Southeast Asia

Countries across Southeast Asia experiences the same scenario, specifically in Indonesia and Thailand. As per the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, the two countries have continued to report “record daily highs” for new coronavirus infections. Experts also reportedly link the surges to the Delta variant.

On July 3, Indonesia reported more than 27,000 new infections across the country. As for Thailand, officials noted a record-breaking over 6,000 cases.

Increasing trend of cases and deaths in SEA

Delta variant is “dangerous”

Experts and officials link the recent surge of new COVID-19 cases and deaths among Asian countries to the infamous Delta variant. This comes after the World Health Organization deemed the strain as the “most transmissible” variant among all.

Following the recent series of events, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged world leaders to vaccinate at least 10 percent of their respective populations by the end of September. He also pointed out that the variant is “dangerous,” adding that it continues to evolve.

The WHO Director-General stated, as well, that no country, including even those outside of Asia, “is out of the woods yet.”

Images courtesy of Vox/YouTube

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