Cases, deaths are increasing all over the world

By Vanessa Gera | Associated press

WARSAW, Poland – Hospitals in Turkey and Poland are filling up. Pakistan restricts domestic travel. The U.S. government will send more aid to the state with the nation’s worst rise in infections.

The global spike in coronavirus cases and deaths even includes Thailand, which has weathered the pandemic much better than many countries but is now struggling to contain COVID-19.

The only exceptions to the deteriorating situation are countries with advanced vaccination programs, notably Israel and Great Britain. The United States, which is a world leader in immunization, is also seeing a slight increase in the number of new cases, and the White House announced Friday that it will send federal aid to Michigan to control the worst rate of transmission of the virus. ‘State.

The World Health Organization has said infection rates are rising in all parts of the world, due to new virus variants and too many countries coming out of lockdown too soon.

“We’ve seen increases (cases) all over the world for the past six weeks. And now, unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in the number of deaths over the past three weeks, ”WHO spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris said at a briefing in Geneva.

In its weekly epidemiological update, the WHO said more than 4 million cases of COVID-19 were reported last week. New deaths are up 11% from last week, with more than 71,000 reported.
The rise in infections, hospitalizations and deaths is spreading to countries where vaccinations are finally gaining momentum. This leaves an even bleaker outlook for much of the world, where large-scale immunization programs remain a more distant prospect.

In Turkey, which is among the hard-hit countries, most new cases of the virus can be traced to a variant first found in Britain.

Ismail Cinel, head of the Turkish Intensive Care Association, said the surge was starting to strain the country’s relatively advanced healthcare system and that “alarm bells are ringing” for intensive care units, which have not yet reached their full capacity.

“The mutant form of the virus causes more organ damage,” Cinel said. “While 2 in 10 patients previously died, the number is now 4 in 10. And if we continue like this, we will lose six. “

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan eased COVID-19-related restrictions in early March to minimize pain for his country’s struggling economy. The new peak forced him to announce new restrictions, such as weekend closings and the closure of cafes and restaurants during Ramadan, which begins on April 13.

Turkish medical groups say the reopening in March was premature and the new measures do not go far enough. They called for complete closures during the Muslim holy month.

In the US capital, President Joe Biden’s administration explained how the federal government plans to help Michigan better administer doses already allocated to the state, as well as expand testing capacity and drug availability. . The effort will not include any additional vaccine doses, a decision requested by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Doses are currently allocated to states in proportion to population. Whitmer has called for additional doses to be shifted to states like his with a sharp increase in the number of cases. She also asked for a two-week voluntary cessation of in-person high school classes, youth sports and indoor dining, but did not issue new restrictions.

In Brazil, which has the second-largest death toll in the world after the United States, Sao Paulo has started night burials to keep up with demand, and school vans have been used to transport coffins. With the pace of vaccination already slow – less than 3% of Brazil’s 210 million people have received both doses of the vaccine, according to the Our World in Data research site – some governors have expressed concern over the vaccine supply.

The death toll in Iran is also rising, prompting new restrictions that will take effect for 10 days in 257 cities from Saturday. They involve the closure of all parks, restaurants, candy stores, beauty salons, malls and bookstores.

Pakistani authorities, which are in the midst of a third wave of infections, restrict intercity transport on weekends from midnight Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Thai officials ordered new restrictions on Friday in an attempt to contain a growing coronavirus outbreak just days before Songkran’s traditional New Year’s holiday, when millions of people travel.

In Germany, Poland and other countries of the European Union of 27, vaccination programs are finally stepping up after a slow start blamed on shortages of deliveries.

Thousands of German medical offices joined the vaccination campaign this week, helping the country achieve consecutive daily records of doses administered. So far, 14.7% of the population has received at least one dose and 5.8% has received both injections.

Yet German health authorities are warning of a sharp increase in the number of intensive care patients and calling for stronger action to contain infections.

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