Delta wave forces Asia to retreat

Governments in the Asia-Pacific region are eager to implement tougher lockdown measures to combat the spread of the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant.

The sudden resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak is putting pressure on the health system and causing public anxiety about the vaccination plan Suffering from delays And supply shortages.

Indonesia is one of the worst-hit countries in the region.Since the beginning of the pandemic, this country with a population of 270 million is facing the deadliest outbreak, and its medical system is struggling to cope Record number of cases.

In the past week, the daily death toll has doubled to more than 1,000, and the authorities warned that the number of new infections could surge to 70,000 after exceeding 34,000 on Wednesday.

Many hospitals have reached capacity and have shut out patients. As the supply ran out, the government had to import oxygen tanks from neighboring countries.

President Joko Widodo (Joko Widodo) has been on the main island of Java, And BaliBut Jakarta refuses to impose greater restrictions because of fear that it will harm Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Indonesia has always relied on China’s Sinovac jabs, but the vaccination rate has been slow and Suffering from supply problems.

In Australia, the authorities warned that unless measures are taken, thousands of people may die. Sydney outbreak Issues related to the Delta variant have been brought under control. The two-week lockdown on the city of 5 million people failed to quell a series of active cases, prompting the tightening of restrictions on Friday.

“We cannot accept this variant. Unless their vaccination rate is much higher than ours, there is nowhere on earth,” said New South Wales Governor Gladys Berejiklian.

“Otherwise, it will expose the population to thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths,” she added.

Australia and South Korea are among these countries Won international praise The virus was contained last year. Although the death toll in these countries is still relatively low compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, the poor promotion of vaccination has made the public vulnerable to the epidemic.

South Korea imposed the highest level of virus-related restrictions in Seoul and surrounding areas on Friday, affecting about half of the country’s 52 million people.

“We are facing the biggest crisis, and our containment work is facing the biggest crisis, with daily new cases hitting record highs every day,” Prime Minister Kim Phu Kyun said when announcing the latest lockdown measures.

These measures include banning gatherings of more than two people after 6 pm and closing schools.

The head of South Korea’s disease prevention and control agency Jeong Eun-kyung warned that although there are signs that the vaccine campaign has ended, the worst has yet to come. speed up.

General Paul LaCamera, who led 28,500 US troops in Korea, also Reintroducing strict controls Regarding the actions of military personnel in response to the latest outbreak.

LaCamera said: “Although we have achieved a vaccination rate of more than 80%, we are witnessing small clusters of the virus spreading in specific locations.”

The surge in cases in Japan forced Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo on Thursday night, which means that the Olympics will be largely held. No audience.

As reported by Edward White, Song Jung-a and Kang Buseong in Seoul, Mercedes Ruehl in Singapore, Jamie Smyth in Sydney and Robin Harding in Tokyo

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