As countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe battle new outbreaks of COVID, an increase in cases of Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants in Israel – known for its strong vaccine rollout and COVID measures – sounds new alarm bells.
World Health Organization (WHO) officials have characterized a “two-track” pandemic, made up of high-income countries reducing cases as vaccination efforts gain traction, while others grapple with it. with new or ongoing outbreaks, due to many factors, including rare vaccine, more transmissible variants and social mix.
And yesterday, WHO officials warned that a steady global decline was slowing, with some countries in all regions struggling with flare-ups.
Africa, cases, deaths continue to rise
In its weekly health emergency report, the WHO African regional office said today that cases in Africa last week rose for the sixth week in a row and rose 31% from the previous week.
An ongoing third wave in South Africa accounted for more than 58% of cases, but officials said the high number of cases there and in Eritrea, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda and Zambia is cause for concern. They also said infections of health workers continue to rise in many countries. Deaths have also increased over the past week.
Factors fueling the rise include poor compliance with distancing measures, cooler weather in southern Africa, and the spread of more transmissible variants, according to the WHO. So far, the Delta variant (B1617.2) has been detected in 14 African countries.
Although the region is making progress on immunization, the global supply imbalance remains severe, with only 1% of the population immune to COVID-19.
The number of cases in Israel at its highest for 2 months
As more transmissible variants keep all countries on high alert, Israel reported 125 cases yesterday after seeing the numbers drop to single digits earlier this month, according to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper.
The head of the country’s health ministry said 70% of cases involve the Delta variant, and half of them are children, and a third of those cases are vaccinated. The diseases are caused by several local epidemics, including one involving school staff.
More Global Headlines
- Amid a wave in Russia with Moscow as the country’s hotspot, city officials added new restrictions that restrict bars and restaurants to people who have been vaccinated or have had infections in the past, according to Reuters. In addition, amid concerns about the slowness of vaccination, the Kremlin has warned that unvaccinated people and those not immune to natural infections will have limited employment options, due to the threat they may encounter. represent for others.
- In the Philippines, another country struggling with a lukewarm vaccination, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised address yesterday that those who refuse to be vaccinated risk jail time.
- China signaled today that it will maintain its border restrictions for another year, amid concerns over more communicable variants, the the Wall Street newspaper reports.
- The global total has risen to 178,770,932 cases, with at least 3,872,909 deaths, according to the New York Times.