More than half of all European adults are now fully vaccinated, the European Union said, but the stage has come when countries around the world are struggling with fresh outbreaks of the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
The EU said on Thursday that 200 million Europeans had been completely vaccinated, more than half of the adult population but still at around a 70 per cent target set for the summer.
Fresh data came when German Chancellor Angela Merkel said homes in her country were growing “exponentially” and encouraged more Germans to receive strikes.
“The number of infections has been growing again for the last few days, with a clear and, in my opinion, disturbing impulse. Everything is driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, ”he said at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday.
Germany has seen an incidence rate of 12.2 new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days – more than double the rates at the beginning of July.
“With an increasing incidence rate, it could be that we need to introduce additional measures,” he said.
Germany joins a number of European nations that have seen escalation in recent weeks spurred by the Delta variant, first detected in India.
Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank, warned of the growing economic uncertainty caused by the Delta variant, as the bank maintained its broad stimulus for the eurozone firmly post-meeting after its 25-member government council meeting. members.
“The eurozone economy is in strong recovery,” Lagarde said, but the Delta variant could slow the post-lockdown recovery “in services, particularly in tourism and hospitality,” he said.
This week France launched new rules requiring a so-called health pass for all events or venues with more than 50 people before being extended to restaurants, cafes and shopping malls in August.
People need to show a vaccination test or a negative test to access it, after the country reported a new source – more than 21,000 new cases Wednesday, the highest level since early May.
The Italian government, also seeking to contain a new wave in coronavirus cases, announced Thursday that from August 6 people must present an immunity test to access a range of leisure services and activities.
Cases are also rising in the UK, where most restrictions have been lifted this week, and on Thursday British supermarkets were warned of possible food shortages because staff were forced to isolate themselves.
Epidemic in Asia
Meanwhile, Asian countries are seeing some of their worst fires to date, with Indonesia becoming a new global access point as Vietnam and Thailand face new antivirus rules.
Indonesia has now surpassed more than 3 million COVID cases to date.
However, Jessica Washington of Al Jazeera reported from the capital Jakarta on Thursday said the government has managed to increase evidence.
“They were able to test 200,000 individuals in a day which is a marked improvement, although still far from the goal of trying to test 400,000 people every day,” he said.
“Epidemiologists say the government must act forcefully because the situation continues to worsen in intensive care units in hospitals, not just in Jakarta … but across the country.”
In Tokyo, the Olympics were due to open Friday after a one-year pandemic delay, but spectators are mostly banned, and athletes, journalists and organizers are subject to severe virus measures.
“It’s completely different from the last Games (in 1964) when the whole city was full of festive mood,” said Michiko Fukui, an 80-year-old Tokyo resident.
South Africa struggles with a surge
Elsewhere, South Africa is also struggling with a growing number of infections. However, the vaccination campaign is making progress with a fourth record of one million people receiving their shots in a single day.
But so far only 7 percent of the population has received even a single dose.
South Africa is the worst-hit country in Africa and health experts have warned of a potential rise in cases following the unrest last week following the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.
“The government is really pushing for the registration of people over 35,” said Fahmida Miller of Al Jazeera from Johannesburg.
Delta is pushing for the rise of the United States
The seven-day average of nine cases in the United States is up 53 percent from the previous week, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky said Thursday.
Some hospitals around the United States are reaching their capacity limits as COVID-19 cases continue to grow, Walensky said.
Growth in cases is concentrated in regions of the United States with lower vaccination rates.
The 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 receive the shot as new infections escalated precipitously 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 reinstate the measures, including an internal mask warrant.
The Israeli coronavirus task force has recommended re-establishing part of the green pass program Thursday, limiting access to certain events to vaccinated people, a decision that may be approved by the Bennett government on Sunday.