Global COVID-19 cases top 200 million

Philippines vaccination team
Philippines vaccination team

Asian Development Bank / Flickr cc

With the world adding about 500,000 cases a day as the Delta (B1617.2) variant surges continue in many countries, the global total today topped 200 million cases, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the Delta variant has now been detected in 135 countries, and it expected the overall total to reach the 200 million mark within days.

Asian hot spots set new records

In Japan, Tokyo's daily cases topped 5,000 for the first time, according to the Associated Press. The government tightened COVID-19 measures for eight more prefectures but stopped short of expanding the state of emergency beyond the current four, which include the area around Tokyo and Osaka in the west.

The expanded measures mean that about 70% of the country is covered by some restrictions. As the Olympic Games continue in Tokyo, Games-related COVID-19 cases have risen to 353, according to Reuters.

Elsewhere, Thailand reported another daily high, with 20,920 cases reported. And in China, the government reported 62 new local cases, including 40 in Jiangsu province and 3 in Beijing, where officials are quarantining travelers from the country’s medium- and high-risk areas. Currently, China has 4 high-risk areas and 154 medium-risk areas, according to CNN.

Indonesia, where cases are past the peak of a massive surge but still high, the government said that, in Jakarta, deaths were more than three times higher in unvaccinated people than in those who were vaccinated, according to Reuters. The country is using the Sinovac and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines.

More global headlines

  • In central Asia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan both reported record single-day highs for cases.

  • Both Germany and France say they'll pursue COVID-19 vaccine boosters for older people and other vulnerable groups starting in September, despite a WHO request yesterday for a moratorium on boosters until more supplies are delivered for initial doses for lower-income countries, according to Reuters.

  • After a slight dip, Africa's cases are surging again, rising by 19% last week, officials from the WHO’s African regional office said today at a briefing. The region is still on the crest of its third wave. Deaths rose by 2%, more than half in South Africa and Tunisia. So far, 1.7% of people in African countries are fully vaccinated, and the region needs 183 million more doses to immunize 10% of its population by the end of September.

  • Melbourne, Australia, today entered a 1-week circuit breaker lockdown to curb its most recent COVID flare-up, according to the Washington Post.

  • US intelligence agencies have gained access to genetic information on virus samples that were being studied at a lab in Wuhan, China, though it will be difficult to translate the raw data into useful information, according to CNN. Amid investigations into the source of SARS-CoV-2, the main theory is a jump from animals to people, but experts are also weighing the possibility of a lab leak.

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