Beijing: The mushroom outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant prompted China and Australia to implement stricter Covid-19 restrictions on Saturday as the World Health Organization urges the world to quickly control this mutation so that it does not become something more deadly and cause a pandemic .
On Saturday, China’s worst coronavirus infection surge in months spread to two other regions-Fujian Province and the huge city of Chongqing.
More than 200 cases are related to the Delta cluster in Nanjing. Nine cleaners at an international airport in the cluster have tested positive. As of Saturday, the epidemic has spread across Beijing, Chongqing and five provinces.
The country where the disease first appeared has put more than 1 million people under lockdown and restarted large-scale testing activities to prevent this highly spreading strain from taking root.
Globally, coronavirus infections are on the rise again. The World Health Organization has announced an average increase of 80% in five of the six regions of health institutions in the past four weeks, which is mainly driven by the Delta variant.
It was first discovered in India and has now spread to 132 countries and regions.
“Delta is a warning: it’s a warning that the virus is evolving but it is also a call to action that we need to move now before more dangerous variants emerge,” the WHO’s emergencies director Michael Ryan told a press conference.
He stressed that the “game plan” still works, namely physical distancing, wearing masks, hand hygiene and vaccination.
But both high- and low-income countries are struggling to gain the upper hand against Delta, with the vastly unequal sprint for shots leaving plenty of room for variants to wreak havoc and further evolve.
In Australia, where only about 14 percent of the population is jabbed, the third-largest city of Brisbane and other parts of Queensland state were to enter a snap Covid-19 lockdown Saturday as a cluster of the Delta variant bubbled into six new cases.
“The only way to beat the Delta strain is to move quickly, to be fast and to be strong,” Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles said while informing millions they will be under three days of strict stay-at-home orders.