The World Health Organization warned the highly transmissible strain of the virus, first detected in India, could unleash a “fourth wave” of cases in its Eastern Mediterranean zone — an area stretching from Morocco to Pakistan.
Those countries are especially at risk because vaccination rates are low — only 5.5 percent of the region’s population has been fully vaccinated. So in nations where vaccines are more available, public officials are sounding the alarm.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also urged people living in Covid hotspots — even the vaccinated — to mask up indoors.
The surge in cases across America has left the early vaccine adopters angry at those who have so far opted against the jab.
The global coronavirus situation is a mixed one: while some places like the French territory of La Reunion and Spain’s Catalonia region are instituting new curbs, others are easing up on restrictions.
Portugal said it would lift its anti-virus measures in several phases from Sunday, with shops and restaurants allowed to open for longer hours and working from home no longer compulsory.
Japan hit a new record for the number of daily cases — more than 10,000 — on Thursday, and a state of emergency already in place in Tokyo was to be extended to four more regions.
In Mexico, the national statistics institute said more than 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus were recorded in 2020 — 35 percent more than originally reported by the government
China is racing to vaccinate at least 65 percent of its 1.4-billion population by the end of the year.
So far, the virus has killed more than 4.1 million people around the world, with the United States having the highest death toll, at more than 612,000. – NDTV