Socialist Worker

Delta variant outbreaks around the world show new Covid danger

by Sam Ord
Issue No. 2766

Cases have soared in Tokyo amid the Olympic Games

Cases have soared in Tokyo amid the Olympic Games


The US’s chief medical adviser has warned that “things will get worse” as coronavirus cases soar across the country.

There are more than 60,000 new cases a day in the US—the highest since April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 80 percent of those are infections of the Delta variant strain.

Infections reached a record high last Saturday—with 21,683 new cases reported. That’s the highest one-day total reported in the state since the pandemic began.

And the following day, the state also broke its previous record hospitalisations—also set more than a year ago.

White House politicians and officials blame the increase on a slowing uptake of vaccines, particularly in areas with strong Republican support.

Anthony Fauci, the chief White House medical adviser, said, “We have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not vaccinated.

“They are the ones that are propagating this outbreak.”

Yet Fauci also ruled out the idea of more lockdowns to contain the virus’s spread. Bosses in the US don’t want the spread of the Delta variant to stop people from going to work.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari fretted that the variant was “creating a bunch of caution” among workers.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo where the Olympic games are still in full swing, more than 4,000 cases were recorded last Saturday.

That’s the highest ever recorded in the city.

Emergency

A day before this record figure Japanese authorities extended the state of emergency across three prefectures, including Osaka in the west until 24 August.

But this fails to offer real protection as the Paralympic games are only due to end on 5 September.

The increase in infections across Japan has triggered more discontent with the Olympics being held during an international pandemic.

Protesters in Japan called for the Games to be delayed further or scrapped entirely.

Meanwhile, in China, millions of people have been put under new lockdowns as the Delta ­variant spreads.

More than 300 cases have been reported in the last two weeks, and the Delta variant has been detected.

Now all 1.5 million residents of the city of Zhangjiajie have been placed under lockdown restrictions with all tourist attractions closing. The outbreak in that city was linked to travellers arriving in the Nanjing airport.

The spread of the Delta variant across the world raises the terrifying prospect of new mutations and variants developing, which could be resistant to current vaccines.

Despite Tory triumphalism in Britain, the pandemic is far from over.


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