NewsWorldFaced with the threat of the Delta variant, several...

Faced with the threat of the Delta variant, several countries are tightening the screw

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WHO has warned of a risk of a new wave of the pandemic carried by the Delta variant in Europe, when it launches its health pass in the hope of reviving tourism. In Africa and Asia, the number of cases is increasing at “an alarming rate”. Faced with this threat, countries have reinstated restrictions.

As several European countries seemed to see the end of the tunnel and gradually lifted their health measures, the European branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) said the number of Covid-19 cases had increased of 10% last week, in this region which has 53 territories. This is “due to the increase in mingling, travel, gatherings and the relaxation of social restrictions.”

Asia and Africa are not spared. As a result, faced with an upsurge in the coronavirus epidemic due to the Delta variant, some countries have decided to re-establish measures to curb contamination.

Portugal: The country crossed, Wednesday, June 30, the bar of 2,000 new cases in 24 hours, according to the report of the health authorities. This is the highest level recorded since mid-February, when the country of 10 million inhabitants was under general containment. The Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has caused a rebound in contagions, has become predominant. The authorities have therefore decided to re-establish a nighttime curfew from Friday, July 2, in 45 municipalities including Lisbon. The reduction in the opening hours of cafes and restaurants, already in place in Lisbon and in two other municipalities, will also be extended to 16 new towns. These establishments will have to close their doors at 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and at 3:30 p.m. on weekends.

Russia: Moscow, epicenter in Russia of the upsurge in the coronavirus carried by the Delta variant, has announced the return of compulsory teleworking for 30% of company employees.

Germany: Berlin has also added Portugal and Russia to its list of “variant” countries, which prohibits practically all arrivals from these two countries.

Spain: Wearing a mask is no longer compulsory outside since Saturday June 26, but a student trip to the Balearic archipelago has resulted in a giant “cluster” of several hundred cases of Covid-19 and the placement of several thousand young people in quarantine in seven regions of the country.

United Kingdom: The new British Minister for Health, Sajid Javid, has maintained the goal of lifting, on July 19, the last restrictions in England despite the increase in contamination. Country in Europe with the most people killed by the pandemic (128,000), the United Kingdom has gradually come out of a third lockdown since March, but certain restrictions remain, preventing, among other things, the reopening of nightclubs.

Bangladesh: This South Asian country, where the government recorded a “worrying and dangerous” increase, attributed to the Delta variant, in the number of cases, entered, Thursday, July 1, in strict confinement for a week. The army has been deployed to enforce it, while hospitals are overwhelmed, especially in areas bordering India.

Indonesia: President Joko Widodo announced Thursday July 1 that “emergency restrictions” would be imposed, as the health system is also close to breakdown. These will be applied from Saturday July 3 and until July 20 in the capital Jakarta, the island of Java and that of Bali, the most affected by the epidemic.

Uzbekistan: This Central Asian country last week recorded its record for new daily coronavirus infections since the start of the year and introduced restrictions in its capital. The authorities have announced that they have identified the Delta variant in their territory. Entry into the capital Tashkent by bus and car requires an “urgent” reason since Monday, June 28, for two weeks. In this predominantly Muslim country, the government commission in charge of managing the epidemic has also recommended that prayers be held outside mosques.

Australia: The country is also facing the Delta variant, due to loopholes in quarantine arrangements for travelers coming from abroad. About 10 of 25 million Australians have been told to confine themselves to several cities. As of Friday, the residents of Sydney and Brisbane, a total of 10 million people, were still confined after the outbreak of epidemic outbreaks. Flash containment measures taken in Alice Springs, Perth and Darwin and Gold Coast in Queensland have been lifted, but clusters continue to grow, notably in Sydney. Prime Minister Scott Morrison also announced that the number of travelers who can travel to Australia will be halved. Only 6,000 people are allowed to land on commercial flights in Australia each week. They are then subjected to a mandatory two-week quarantine at the hotel.

Israel: The Hebrew state announced on Friday, June 25, new restrictions in the face of an increase in contamination. The country, which prided itself on being the first to come out of the health crisis thanks to a vast vaccination campaign, has reinstated the obligation to wear a mask in closed public places and businesses.

South Africa: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday June 27 new restrictions in his country, the most affected on the continent. “All gatherings – whether indoors or outdoors – are prohibited,” except for funerals, with a maximum of 50 people who can attend, he said, adding that the sale of alcohol was now banned. The curfew already in place has been extended by one hour, from 9 p.m. (7 p.m. GMT) to 4 a.m. (02 a.m. GMT).

Eswatini: The government has instituted a curfew and deployed the army, officially “to protect sensitive national infrastructure and enforce measures against Covid,” Prime Minister Themba Masuku said in a statement. But these measures have mostly been taken as the country experiences violent protests against the monarchy.

Tunisia: The capital Tunis and the seaside town of Bizerte, in the north of the country, were placed in partial containment, Thursday, July 1. Gatherings are prohibited there and cafes and restaurants can only be served on the terrace or to take away. Public festivals, sporting and cultural events and collective prayers are also prohibited until July 14 in the four regions of Greater Tunis and in the seaside towns of Sousse and Monastir.

With AFP

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