/Global Covid toll tops 4m; Asia battles Delta, Health News, ET HealthWorld
Global Covid toll tops 4m; Asia battles Delta

Global Covid toll tops 4m; Asia battles Delta, Health News, ET HealthWorld

More than four million people have now died of Covid cases, the WHO said on Wednesday, as many richer nations prepared to loosen restrictions even as countries in Asia battle surging cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant. “The world is at a perilous point in this pandemic,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, calling the 4 million figure an underestimate of the true toll.

Indonesia has become a global hotspot, with hospitals having to turn away patients, authorities forced to import oxygen supplies and a record 1,040 deaths reported on Wednesday. The government has expanded restrictions across the archipelago following earlier clampdowns on the capital Jakarta.

Thailand is planning to convert a terminal at the nation’s main airport into a field hospital amid a surge in infections that’s straining the nation’s public health system. The country’s Covid taskforce is also considering lockdown proposals from health officials.

South Korea reported its second highest number of daily cases ever (1,212) on Wednesday, just days after it began easing social distancing curbs. Delta-fuelled outbreaks have also led to the imposition of restrictions in Australia, including in its biggest city Sydney where lockdown orders were extended by another week.

As some countries peel back Covid curbs, the WHO sounded alarm over a lack of funding to fight the pandemic. It said its global appeal for funding for vaccines, treatments, and equipment was still $16.8 billion short — almost half its total needs. It also said most regions around the world have seen increasing cases over the last week. Over two dozen countries have epidemic curves that are almost vertical right now. AFP