The World Today for July 14, 2021

NEED TO KNOW

WORLD

Alphabet Pandemic

Just when the world thought it was safe to go inside without a mask again, the delta variant of the coronavirus showed up.

Luckily, many vaccines protect against the delta, which CNBC predicted would cause high infection rates in the US in the fall among those who have not received jabs.

As the Conversation explained recently, vaccinated attendees at a so-called “superspreader” event in New South Wales in Australia didn’t contract Covid-19. But, of course, not everyone is vaccinated, and people can still contract new variants even when they take precautions.

Spain now has the highest rate of infection in Europe due to the delta variant, which has surged among unvaccinated young people, the Financial Times reported. The number of infected people in a seven-day period went from less than 60 cases to almost 160 per 100,000 people recently. The hard-hit Catalonia region was instituting new curbs on nightlife.

The Australian city of Sydney mandated a new lockdown in late June, including “strict stay-at-home orders” that were recently extended until mid-July. Some people were annoyed. “Let’s lock down the people that are vulnerable, you don’t lock down healthy people because a few are sick,” Sydney resident Paul Coleman told Reuters.

Leaders in Africa, meanwhile, are screaming for help and vaccines in order to avoid a disaster due to fears of a looming delta pandemic.

“Not one vial has left a European factory for Africa,” declared Zimbabwean business magnate Strive Masiyiwa, the African Union’s special envoy for vaccine procurement, in the Washington Post. “They have vaccinated so many of their own people they can now watch football without masks. Our people have not been vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned of a potentially devastating third Covid-19 wave in India due to the delta variant. The country is still bouncing back from a second pandemic wave in April and May that claimed at least 150,000 lives – a number that is considered lower than the true toll, Sky News reported. India spends 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product on a healthcare system that has not been able to handle the crisis, the British news agency added.

Modi and his colleagues in China are also worried that the Chinese Sinovac vaccine might not prevent delta infections well enough, think tank Stratfor wrote. Officials in China were locking down cities where the variant has been discovered, added China-based Caixin.

In South America, officials are waiting to see whether the new lambda variant of the coronavirus is more dangerous than its cousin, the delta, the New York Times reported.

When will masks be unnecessary? No one is sure. After all, there are a lot of letters left in the alphabet.

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