The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak that has ravaged the world for more than a year and originated in Wuhan, China, has exceeded 3.8 million. Despite mass vaccinations in many countries, with some 2.5 billion doses administered worldwide by June 18, some countries are still struggling to contain the outbreak.
Russia reported 17,611 new infections on Sunday, including 8,305 in the capital Moscow, of which 450 people have died in the past 24 hours, Reuters reported. So far, 5,316,826 people have been infected and 129,361 have died in Russia since the outbreak first began.
However, the Russian Federal Statistics Agency calculates the numbers separately and says it recorded 270,000 deaths related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Also in Brazil, in South America, the number of people who died from the new coronavirus has exceeded 500,000 on Saturday (June 19), second only to the United States with about 600,000, AFP reported.
Vaccination has also been slow in Brazil, with only 11 percent of the country’s population currently vaccinated. Meanwhile, Brazil faces a third wave of the virus spreading. Brazil’s president, who has been criticized for his response to handling the outbreak, has promised to vaccinate the country’s population by the end of the year. But experts say that’s unlikely.
In India, doctors are concerned that the population is not taking the threat of the new coronavirus seriously enough and is letting their guard down too soon. Shopping malls and markets everywhere are bustling with activity again. For weeks, crematoriums around the world were processing the bodies of people who died from the outbreak around the clock.
In addition, the new coronavirus outbreak continues to cast a shadow over the Tokyo Olympics, which begin in just over a month. According to Japanese media reports, a member of the Ugandan Olympic team tested positive for the virus when he arrived in Japan on Saturday and has been placed under strict quarantine. The nine-member Ugandan delegation, which includes coaches, officials and boxers, is only the second Olympic team to arrive in Tokyo, with the Australian women’s softball team, which arrived in Japan on June 1, being the first.
The World Health Organization said the Delta variant strain, which first appeared in India, has become the main strain of the global 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic because the Delta variant is “significantly more infectious,” according to CNBC, a U.S. business television station.
The WHO recently said that the Delta variant has spread to more than 80 countries and continues to mutate. The WHO last month classified Delta as a “strain of high concern,” indicating that the virus is more infectious, more deadly, or more difficult to combat with existing vaccines and therapies.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients with the Delta strain now account for 10 percent of new confirmed cases in the United States, up from 6 percent last week.
President Joe Biden said Friday that the Delta variant strain poses a greater threat to Americans who remain unvaccinated.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky called on Americans to get vaccinated against the new coronavirus and expects Delta to become a major epidemic strain in the United States.
A variant of Delta has also recently become prevalent in the United Kingdom, with more than 60 percent of new confirmed cases being infected with the Delta strain.