Covid-19 curbs reimposed in Moscow as Asia-Pacific outbreaks flare – News Vibe24

    Covid-19 curbs reimposed in Moscow as Asia-Pacific outbreaks flare - Times of India
    Moscow: Restrictions on work from home were reinstated in Moscow on Monday as Russia tried to contain a deadly wave of coronavirus powered by the Delta variant, while several Asian nations also tightened barriers to curb growing epidemics.
    While many rich countries have reduced infections through rapid vaccination, cases are still raging from Bangladesh and Indonesia in South America, including many fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant first identified in India.
    Russia has seen a spike in new cases in the past two weeks because of this variation, and authorities announced new restrictions Monday in the capital as they pushed skeptics to get vaccinated.
    “One thing is needed to stop the pandemic: rapid, large-scale vaccinations,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told state television on Saturday.
    “No one has invented another solution.”
    From Monday, people will have to work from home in Moscow – the epicenter of the Russian epidemic – with the exception of vaccinated employees.
    They will also need to present a QR code to enter restaurants, certifying that they have either been vaccinated, taken Covid-19 in the last six months or have a valid negative test.
    The outbreak in Russia – already one of the worst nations in the world – has also caused concern over the current Euro 2020 football tournament, which has seen thousands of fans watch matches in various countries on the continent.
    St. Petersburg has already hosted six matches and is the venue for one of the quarterfinals on Friday. Spectator numbers have been reduced to half capacity, but are still over 26,000 people.
    Covid-19 is known to have killed nearly four million lives worldwide since it first appeared in China in late 2019 and is still spreading with many variations now being released.
    The Delta variant is now in 85 countries and is the most contagious of any identity identified so far, according to the World Health Organization.
    The virus also lingered across the Asia-Pacific region, where Bangladesh tightened its grip on Monday, curtailing most economic activity.
    The South Asian nation, home to more than 160 million people, will gradually close shops, markets, transportation and offices by Thursday, and the decision sparked an exodus of tens of thousands of migrant workers from the cities.
    “We had no choice but to leave (the capital Dhaka),” Fatima Begum, 60, told AFP as she waited for a ship.
    “At the lock, there is no work. And if we do not work, how do we pay rent?”
    Thailand on Monday also reinstated restrictions on restaurants, construction sites and gatherings in the capital Bangkok and its suburbs due to an increase in cases.
    Indonesia faced one of the worst cases in Asia, reporting 21,000 new cases daily on Sunday as fears grew about the ability of its strained hospitals to handle the tide.
    In the south, Australia was also battling new epidemics caused by the Delta variant, with its largest city in Sydney and Darwin in the north closing on Sunday.
    New restrictions were also announced Sunday in South Africa, where President Cyril Ramaphosa said “health facilities are limited”.
    The government of the country most affected by Africa has banned the sale of alcohol and all gatherings except funerals. The overnight ban has been extended by one hour and is only allowed in a packed restaurant.
    But the situation has improved dramatically in affluent western nations that were once the epicenter of the pandemic, thanks to rapid vaccination efforts.
    All of Italy has become a “low-risk” zone without a mask since Monday, a dramatic change from early last year when it was a global symbol of the coronavirus crisis.
    Despite the progress, however, Health Minister Roberto Speranza urged Italians to be careful.
    “It requires caution and prudence, especially because of the new variants,” he wrote on Saturday.
    “The battle is not won yet.”

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