‘Devastating: South Africa buckles under Covid-19 wave driven by Delta variant
- South Africa has administered at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine to around 6% of its population and the percentage of the fully vaccinated population is just over 2%.
South Africa on Friday announced its plan to start vaccinating people under 50s as the country buckles under the third wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) largely driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. South Africa last week reported the highest single-day infections since the start of the pandemic, and reports suggest that South Africa’s healthcare system is at a breaking point.
A senior doctor at a major public hospital in Johannesburg said that Covid-19 patients are dying while waiting to be admitted in a ward, reported CNN. “It's devastating, it's soul destroying. We are trained to save lives, but you revert to that wartime mentality. You revert to becoming numbed, you revert to becoming blunted," the doctor was quoted by CNN as saying.
The decision to expand the age group for vaccination eligibility comes at a time when the number of daily new deaths related to Covid-19 is witnessing another surge. Reported average Covid-19 cases per day in South Africa over the past week has been hovering around 333 per million people, making it one of the worst-affect countries in the region per capita.
South Africa has administered at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine to around 6% of its population and the percentage of the fully vaccinated population is just over 2%, making the country vulnerable to deadly coronavirus variants, especially the Delta strain which has higher chances, as per recent studies, of evading vaccine-induced immunity as well as natural immunity.
With more than 2.1 million overall Covid-19 cases so far, South Africa accounts for 37 per cent of the continent's infections, followed by Morocco and Tunisia with nine and eight per cent respectively, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Leading virologist Tulio de Oliveira told a weekly media briefing that the Delta variant "is still fast spreading" in the country.
"What's happening in South Africa is happening in many countries that still have low vaccination rates."
The South African government recently approved the use of Chinese vaccines Sinovac and Sinopharm, extending the list of approved vaccines along with Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson jabs.
Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian militant commander and another fighter in a gunbattle in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military said, triggering further clashes in which Palestinians said two teens were killed in separate incidents. Israeli forces surrounded the house of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a senior commander of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant group long on Israel's wanted list.
United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Asia tour, which won bipartisan support at home and among the world's democracies, has escalated tensions with not just one, but two, regional rivals. Pelosi last week led a congressional delegation to Taiwan, in addition to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, despite weeks of warnings from Beijing of repercussions if the top leader in the US Congress landed in Taiwan.
NEW DELHI: China's “geostrategic ambitions” go well beyond Taiwan as its influence extends to Southeast and South Asia and all freedom-loving countries should work together to respond to the “expansion of authoritarianism”, Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu said on Tuesday. China's People's Liberation Army has said the drills focused on joint blockade and joint support operations. “China's influence also extends into Southeast Asia, South Asia, and even Africa and Latin America,” he said.
Three local witnesses told Reuters they had heard loud explosions and seen black smoke rising from the direction of a Russian military airbase at Novofedorivka in western Crimea on Tuesday. Three were particularly loud, triggering sparks and smoke. Also Read This country will train Ukrainian military on landmine removal Russia for decades leased the naval port of Sevastopol, home of its Black Sea Fleet, from Kyiv, but annexed the entire peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said members of Congress won't be intimidated by China's reaction to her visit to Taiwan and that Chinese President Xi Jinping was acting “like a scared bully.” Just because Xi “has his own insecurities, doesn't mean that I am going to have him do my schedule for members of Congress,” Pelosi said Tuesday on NBC's “Today” show.