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Covid pandemic — Indonesia reels under oxygen crisis, UK braces for surge after 19 July unlock

ThePrint brings you some important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic.

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New Delhi: Covid-19 cases around the world continue to remain high amid the ongoing vaccination drives. The current count stands at 18,76,48,217 cases and 40,49,374 deaths.

Ministers in the UK have been told to brace themselves for a significant surge in Covid-19 cases as the country prepares for a complete lift of the lockdown on 19 July. Meanwhile, restrictions tighten in Thailand, a state of emergency remains in Peru while Indonesia battles an oxygen shortage crisis.

UK ministers told to prepare for 1-2 million new Covid cases after 19 July ‘unlock’

A week before the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to lift nearly all Covid lockdown restrictions, the country’s ministers have been warned to brace for a spike in cases by 1 or 2 million in the coming weeks.

The Guardian reports that Johnson’s government will continue to urge people to exercise caution by wearing masks and exercising social distancing.

The predicted rise in cases from the current rate of 30,000 a day, however, is not expected to lead to the high hospitalisation rates and strains on the UK’s National Health Service, that occurred in previous Covid waves.

The UK has reported 51,21,245 total Covid cases and 1,28,425 deaths.

Thailand tightens restrictions around Bangkok due to Alpha, Delta variant outbreaks

Thailand has implemented heightened restrictions on public movement and gatherings in Bangkok and surrounding areas, due to a rise in Covid cases since April caused by the Alpha and Delta variants.

Reuters reports that Thai authorities have encouraged people in and around the national capital to work remotely and established 88 checkpoints within the capital, to implement non-essential travel restrictions.

Imposed on malls, salons and spas, the restrictions are expected to last for an initial two weeks, as the country aims to expand administering of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.

Thailand has recorded 3,45,027 Covid cases and 2,791 deaths in total.

Also read: Covid pandemic — Seoul to impose stricter curbs, first Delta Plus case found in Israel

Oxygen crisis engulfs Indonesia amid Covid wave

Two months after coming to India’s aid, Indonesia is suffering from its own crisis of oxygen shortage and overcrowded hospitals due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, and is seeking help from other countries.

Associated Press reports that the country has received 1,000 ventilators from Australia, as well as 1,000 cylinders, concentrators and other medical oxygen supplies from Singapore.

Indonesia’s Covid response minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the country is also looking to obtain 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators from Singapore.

Pandjaitan added that he has asked for 100 per cent of oxygen production to be used for medical purposes, as opposed to industrial, to address the shortage.

Indonesia has recorded 25,27,203 Covid cases and 66,464 deaths overall.

Also read: Richard Branson completes flight to edge of space & Jeff Bezos ‘can’t wait to join the club’

No let-up in rise in cases in Peru

Peru has extended a state of emergency related to the Covid pandemic that has been in place since March 2020, which includes a night curfew, as cases continue to rise.

Al Jazeera reports that Interim President Francisco Sagasti Sunday announced the extension from its scheduled 31 July date, and organised a 36-hour vaccination drive in the national capital, Lima.

Peru’s Covid situation had previously come under the scanner of international media in late May, when it adjusted its death toll and became the country worst hit by Covid per capita.

The decision comes amid political uncertainty in the country, following the victory of leftist Pedro Castillo in the presidential elections, which has been heavily disputed by his right-wing political rival Keiko Fujimori.

Peru has recorded 20,80,777 Covid cases and 1,94,387 deaths in total.

What else we are reading:

Spread of Delta variant casts shadow over Europe’s economic rebound: Financial Times

Young Americans Pass on Vaccines, Jeopardizing Pandemic Fight: Wall Street Journal

Also read: Covid pandemic — Seoul to impose stricter curbs, first Delta Plus case found in Israel


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