Bangladesh to Australia: List of countries imposing fresh curbs due to Delta variant

Published on Jun 26, 2021 06:14 PM IST

Britain has already extended the date of full reopening by four weeks after the country started reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases, with the Delta variant becoming the dominant strain.

A man walks through the city centre on the first day of a two-week lockdown to curb the Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney, Australia.(Reuters)
A man walks through the city centre on the first day of a two-week lockdown to curb the Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney, Australia.(Reuters)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The rapid spread of a more virulent version of coronavirus, B.1.617.2, also known as the Delta variant, has forced several countries to rethink their roadmap out of lockdown and many of them have started imposing fresh restrictions fearing another wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday revealed that the variant, first identified in India, is spreading in at least 85 countries, terming it the “most transmissible of the variants identified so far.” Britain has already extended the full reopening of businesses by four weeks after the country started reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases, with the Delta variant becoming the dominant strain.

London mayor Sadiq Khan warned that the reopening scheduled for July 19 could be at risk unless enough people get vaccinated. “Unless sufficient numbers of Londoners have the jab it makes it more likely that we won’t be able to fully reopen on 19 July,” said Khan after attending a vaccine summit in London.

Also Read | As Delta variant cases rise, WHO asks fully vaccinated to keep masks on

Here’s the list of countries and territories that have announced fresh curbs:

Taiwan: The self-governed island reported its first domestically transmitted case of Delta variant on Saturday. Six people in Pingtung county had been confirmed to have the Delta variant, of which one has been classified as a domestic infection, according to Taiwan health minister Chen Shih-Chung. The government will tighten border controls to keep out the Delta variant, requiring arrivals from five countries to be placed in centralised quarantine facilities.

Australia: Australia’s New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced a two-week lockdown across all of Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong. The stay-at-home order will remain in effect until July 9. According to health authorities, expansion of curbs was needed after more infections were recorded, with exposure sites increasing beyond the initial areas of concern.

Bangladesh: India’s neighbouring country announced a tougher lockdown starting Monday due to a “dangerous and alarming” surge in Delta variant cases. As per the fresh guidelines, all offices, government and private, will be shut for a week. The government said in a statement that no one can step out of their homes except in emergency cases.

“It is a dangerous and alarming situation. If we don’t contain it now, we will face an India-like situation,” health department spokesperson Robed Amin told news agency AFP, referring to the catastrophic second wave of Covid-19 in India.

Also Read | Can Indians travel to Germany, South Korea, US? Check latest visa, vaccine rules

Israel: The country with around 60% of fully vaccinated individuals reimposed an indoor-mask requirement and other measures amid a sustained surge in Covid-19 cases attributed to Delta variant. Nachman Ash, the head of Israel’s pandemic response task force, said that the measures were reimposed after Israel reported more than 100 daily Covid cases for four consecutive days. “We are seeing a doubling every few days,” Ash told public radio.

Portugal: The European nation has announced new restrictions in the Lisbon area and two other regions amid a spike in Covid-19 cases. More than 70% of coronavirus cases in the Lisbon area are from the Delta variant, which is said to be rapidly spreading to other parts of the country. Portugal is witnessing a surge in infections after the tourism-dependent nation opened to visitors from the European Union and Britain in mid-May. On Friday, the country reported 1,604 new cases, the biggest daily rise since February 19, when the country was still under lockdown.

Indonesia: Indonesia on Thursday confirmed a daily high of 20,574 new Covid-19 cases, a jump of more than 5,000 from the previous day. The rise in cases prompted the government to announce the tightening of neighbourhood-level social restrictions in high-risk "red zones" for two weeks, starting last Tuesday. Offices, restaurants, cafes and malls have been allowed to operate at 25% capacity. Earlier this month, Indonesian officials revealed that more than 350 doctors and medical workers have been infected and dozens hospitalised despite being vaccinated with Sinovac, raising concerns about the vaccine against more infectious variants like Delta and Alpha.

Russia: Moscow authorities have ordered bars and restaurants from Monday to serve people only if they can present a QR-code showing they have been vaccinated, had an infection indicating immunity or recently tested negative. Russia is facing a surge in coronavirus cases that authorities blame on the Delta variant and slow progress in vaccination.

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