New Delhi: The coronavirus pandemic fuelled by the Delta variant continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being 242,335,738 cases and 4,928,968 deaths.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro faces murder charges over the massive Covid death toll in his country. The UK sees a fresh surge in cases making the government rethink lifting restrictions. Meanwhile, Covid outbreak halts development of a rocket launch in China and an 11-year-old boy in Israel has been detected with the country’s Delta Plus variant.
Charge Bolsonaro with murder over Covid toll, draft senate report says
A 1,078-page-long senate inquiry report into Brazil’s Covid-19 crisis says president Jair Bolsonaro should face murder charges for more than 600,000 Covid deaths in the country due to the administration’s “neglect, incompetence and anti-scientific denialism”, reports The Guardian.
The draft report, a six-month congressional investigation into Brazil’s Covid outbreak, claimed that Bolsonaro’s “deliberate and conscious” decision to delay buying Covid vaccines needlessly condemned thousands of citizens to early graves.
“The decision not to acquire vaccines between the months of July 2020 and at least January 2021, which lacked any technical or scientific basis, and flew in the face of recommendations from international health authorities, ended up claiming the lives of thousands of Brazilians who would undoubtedly have made use of such vaccines,” the report said. Brazil is the third-worst hit country in the world, according to data compiled by worldometer.
21,664,879 Brazilians have tested positive for Covid-19 and 603,902 have died due to the virus, so far.
UK sees surge in cases, experts call for return of restrictions
The United Kingdom Monday registered 49,156 new coronavirus cases Monday, the highest number since mid-July. This has pushed health experts to alert the government to reimpose social restrictions and speed up booster vaccinations in the country before things get worse, reported Al Jazeera.
With people quick to go back to “pre-pandemic behavior”, doing away with masks and social distancing, the country has been seeing new cases averaging 43,000 a day over the past week, a 15 per cent increase compared with the week before.
This is combined with the Conservative government lifting the need to show proof of vaccination to attend nightclubs, concerts and other mass events in England.
According to the Office for National Statistics last week, one in 60 people in England had tested positive for Covid-19, one of the highest levels seen in Britain during the pandemic.
Around 6 per cent of Covid cases in the United Kingdom are of the new Delta variant, which is believed to be 10 per cent more transmissible than the Covid variant. However, scientists are yet to confirm the exact level of risk associated with the strain.
Britain has reported 8,541,192 Covid-19 cases and 138,852 deaths.
China’s space programme hit by Covid outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak has hit the country’s space programme, halting development of a rocket to launch satellites into orbit, reports The South China Morning Post.
The team at the Jiuquan satellite launch centre had been put under “emergency state of semi-lockdown” and the work related to the fifth Kuaizhou 1A rocket has been suspended.
The team is located in northern China’s Gansu province, where Covid-19 infections were reported in travellers who visited the place tested positive for the virus.
The reports of new infections come a day after 17 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and neighbouring Gansu province.
China has registered 125,284 cases of Covid-19 and 5,695 deaths.
11-year-old Israeli detected with new Delta mutation
An 11-year-old Israeli boy returning from Moldova to Israel Monday tested positive with the Delta Plus variant, reports The Jerusalem Post. This is Israel’s first case of the Delta Plus variant.
The child tested positive for the virus upon his arrival and has since been in self-isolation.
According to the country’s health ministry data, Israel’s coronavirus death toll Monday crossed 8,000, with unvaccinated people accounting for three-quarters of serious cases, while the number of Israelis who have received booster shots has reached about 3.85 million.
What else are we reading:
Mix-and-Match Covid Boosters: Why They Just Might Work: The New York Times
The vaccine system is broken — but Covid shows us how to fix it: The Financial Times