The dreaded Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads throughout the world leaving a record of infections in Saint Petersburg, the second city of Russia, and causing a return to strict confinement in places like Sydney, Australia, or Bangladesh.
Although the number of new cases in the world is the lowest since February according to the WHO, this strain detected in India, considered more contagious than the rest, threatens a new waveEven in countries where the crisis seemed to have been left behind like Australia and Israel.
This variant was behind the strong rebound of the virus in Moscow, which seems to have now moved to St. Petersburg.
The old imperial city, one of the venues of the soccer Eurocup, registered 107 deaths from Covid in the last 24 hours, the highest number in a day in a Russian city since the start of the pandemic.
These figures coincide with the celebration of the end of the school year in the second Russian city that, according to local media, brought together thousands of people in its streets practically without respecting sanitary measures.
At the national level, Russia registered 619 deaths, its highest toll since December. Faced with this rebound, the authorities are trying to convince their skeptical citizens to get vaccinated.
Restaurants closed and deserted streets this Saturday in Sydney, Australia, under a new confinement by the coronavirus. Photo: AFP
“To solve this problem, you need to be vaccinated or confined,” said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobianin.
Present in at least 85 countries in the world, the Delta variant is the most contagious of those discovered so far and expands rapidly among unvaccinated groups, according to WHO.
It is currently the main focus of concern around the pandemic, which has already claimed 3.9 million lives and caused some 180 million infections in the world.
Your breakthrough is causing a return of the restrictions even in countries that seemed to have left the health crisis behind such as the United Kingdom, Israel or Australia, one of the countries that has best managed the pandemic.
The countries that detected a case of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. / AFP
Restrictions in Australia
This Saturday, its authorities announced that they extended the strict confinement to all of Sydney initially decreed in four districts of the city, for the detection of more than 80 cases of the Delta variant linked to the crew of an international flight.
The nearly five million affected will have to stay home for two weeks and they will only be able to go out for essential activities.
After months with few local infections that had allowed a certain normalcy to be restored, the measure impacted this bustling city, which woke up with the empty streets and closed restaurants.
“We have suffered to recover from the confinements of last year. Today is like a kick while little by little you got up,” said Chris Kriketos, 32, with a bakery near the port.
Bangladesh, with 170 million inhabitants and a neighbor of India, also decided to impose a harsh confinement after registering on Friday the second worst balance since the start of the pandemic.
Companies and public administration will have to close and citizens will only be able to travel for medical reasons.
The Delta variant is also considered responsible for the spikes in Portugal, Uganda or South Africa, the most punished country on its continent, which is considering imposing “tougher” restrictions “urgently”.
A patient with coronavirus arrives at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, days ago. Photo: AP
Worry in Africa and relief in Europe
WHO warns of a third virulent wave in this continent, where only 1% of the population is vaccinated.
On Friday, in Pretoria, South Africa, thousands of people demonstrated demanding more vaccines.
On the other side of the coin, vaccination progresses in Europe and allows a lifting of measures in Switzerland, Holland or Spain, where the chinstraps were no longer mandatory outdoors this Saturday.
But the virus continues to threaten Spain with hundreds of young people infected and thousands of isolated people, linked to a student trip to the tourist island of Mallorca.