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Short on vaccine, Asia fights Delta – Eagles Vine

NEW DELHI: In recent days, Indonesia has reported nearly twice as many coronavirus cases as the US. Malaysia’s per capita caseload is roughly on par with those of Brazil and Iran. And the latest Covid surges in Japan and South Korea have prompted harsh new restrictions on movement there, effective Monday. Across the Asia-Pacific region, the Delta variant is driving new outbreaks in places where transmission was once kept relatively low, but where the pace of vaccination has been too slow to contain the latest outbreaks.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, is a case in point. Only about 13% of its 270 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and the rise of Delta is pushing its health system to the brink and forcing some patients to hunt for oxygen. The daily average of new cases — more than 33,000 as of Sunday — has continued to climb. The government has said it will administer a third dose, of the Moderna vaccine, to about 1.5 million health workers starting this week. In other Southeast Asian countries, too, the percentages of populations that have gotten even one shot are in the single or low double digits.
In Myanmar, cases are sharply rising and schools have been closed until July 23. People in several Malaysian cities are chafing under strict lockdowns as the country reports the region’s highest per capita caseload. Vietnam is restricting movement in its two major cities and scrambling to import vaccines. And a terminal at Thailand’s largest international airport is being converted into a field hospital.
Richer countries in the region too are vulnerable as they have made little progress in their vaccination drives. In Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, less than one person in three has had a shot, according to a New York Times tracker. South Korea reported 1,378 new cases on Saturday, its third consecutive daily record. The government plans to raise restrictions to the highest level in Seoul as of Monday. Schools, bars and nightclubs will be shut. And in Japan, Tokyo’s fourth state of emergency will take effect on Monday.

The Times of India

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper and digital news media owned and managed by The Times Group. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations, it is ranked 9th in the world by circulation and 3rd in India.

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