Socialist Worker

Virus still on the rise, despite the vaccine

Covid-19 infections are still soaring around the world, and it’s no time to end safety measures, says Sam Ord

Issue No. 2749

A a testing distrobution centre in Chile

At a testing distribution centre in Chile


The world is not emerging from the pandemic—instead it is set to reach new record highs.

Covid-19 is not over, and analysis based on one country has to start with the bigger picture.

Premature loosening of lockdown restrictions following “vaccine success” in Chile, South America is a warning to other nations.

Despite having the fastest vaccination rate per capita, the return to work has led to a terrifying spike in Covid-19 cases.

Daily infections have hit a national record of over 7,000 causing intense pressure on both hospitals and morgues. In the city of Valparaiso, the morgue has run out of space and is now storing bodies in hallways.

President Sebastian Pinera has belatedly ordered a new lockdown.

But the lack of social support will further push the 70 percent of the population earning below £500 a month to the edge.

India hit over 100,000 new daily infections this week taking the national total to over 12.5 million cases.

India has the third largest coronavirus infection rate, and at least 165,000 people have died.

Global Covid-19 cases surge as Brazil faces health collapse
Global Covid-19 cases surge as Brazil faces health collapse
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Infection

Regional lockdowns and curfews have now been implemented. In the worst hit state Maharashtra—which reached over 57,000 daily infections this week—non-essential businesses and large gatherings have been shut down.

Top health official VK Paul described the outbreak as having “the potential to overwhelm resources.” India with a population of over 1.3 billion has currently issued 70 million first doses of the vaccine.

Far right prime minister Narendra Modi claims that the blame lies with ordinary people not complying with safety measures.

In France 66,000 new infections were recorded on Sunday. President Emmanuel Macron tried to curb infections without implementing a full lockdown.

Instead he decreed half-measures plus more repressive laws that will be used against poorer people.

The third wave has the potential to be one of the deadliest despite 2.6 million people being fully vaccinated.

Spike

Macron is desperately trying to increase the amount of intensive care unit beds following a spike of 150 seriously ill patients in a day.

And in the US Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said she felt a sense of “impending doom” about the pandemic.

Her warning was reinforced by Dr Michael Osterholm, a member of president Joe Biden's Covid-19 Advisory Board.

Last weekend Osterholm said, “Here we are opening up as wide as we can. We are literally just walking into the mouth of the virus saying, ‘Don’t worry.’

“We will see in the next two weeks the highest number of cases reported globally since the beginning of the pandemic.”

The fights for safety—and for vaccines for everyone—have to be redoubled.


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