The World Health Organization (WHO) cites the spread of the delta variant in Africa as the driver behind a 43% surge in coronavirus-linked deaths on the continent in the last week. The delta variant is now present in 16 countries on the African continent. More than one million new cases were confirmed in Africa over the last month, the fastest growth to date. Less than 2% of people on the African continent have received a vaccine. That deficit is due to vaccine nationalism and western nations hoarding vaccine supplies and inadequate healthcare infrastructure in many African countries. In other words, even if African nations can secure access to the vaccines, they cannot distribute the vaccines to the people fast enough.
In the United States, more than half the population remains unvaccinated. While that percentage is better than many countries worldwide, there is growing concern that the country is positioning for a dire autumn season once again. Coronavirus infections are rising in nearly every state. The nation’s new case numbers increased at least 15% in the last two weeks in 49 states. Nineteen states reported twice as many new cases per day compared to what was reported two weeks ago. States with lower vaccination rates, including Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Nevada, have reported new outbreaks in the last week. One month ago, the US was reporting 11,000 new coronavirus cases per day nationally. This month that number is hovering around 26,000 per day. Counties, where less than 30% of the population is vaccinated, are seeing the most significant increases in newly confirmed cases throughout the country. Chicago issued a travel advisory to travelers arriving from Arkansas or Missouri. Those travelers must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test or quarantine for ten days.
Read our backgrounder on the delta and lambda variants here.
The Chinese coronavirus vaccine flooded much of the developing world as the Chinese government hoped to use vaccine diplomacy to make inroads across the planet. That vaccine is now falling out of favor as the delta variant produces high infection rates even among nations that have high rates of vaccinations from the China vaccine. Indonesia is currently experiencing southeast Asia’s largest surge of the virus. Indonesia was a location for final-stage testing of the Chinese-made Sinovac virus and hoped the country established a wall against the pandemic through those efforts. Malaysia’s health minister said his country would stop using the Sinovac vaccine once its current supplies are exhausted. Malaysia is now looking to build new supplies for vaccines from the Pfizer vaccine. More than 600 medical workers in Thailand, fully vaccinated with the Chinese vaccine Sinovac, tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, other countries are seeking to mix vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer in the absence of adequate vaccine supplies. The World Health Organization has warned against that practice
- Argentina became the fifth country in Latin America to surpass 100,000 coronavirus-linked deaths.
- Spain reached 4 million confirmed cases. In some regions of the country, curfews were restored.
- Russia reported its highest daily death totals since the pandemic began on Friday.
- Amid the political turmoil following the president’s recent assassination, Haiti received its first batch of 500,000 vaccines from the US.
- Nearly 100 people were killed when a fire consumed a coronavirus ward at a hospital in Iraq.
- Protesters took to the streets in Paris and Athens to argue national coronavirus restrictions discriminated against citizens unwilling to receive vaccinations.
- Israel became the first nation to allow citizens with weaker immune systems to secure a third Pfizer BioNTech booster.
- El Salvador banned mass gatherings, including sporting events, political rallies, concerts, and festivals, due to a surge in new cases.
- The FDA attached a warning regarding a rare nerve syndrome to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- Peru extended its state of emergency to the end of August. After 193,000 deaths in Peru, nearly everyone in the country now knows someone who has died from the coronavirus.
- A total of 30 athletes at the Olympics in Japan, scheduled to start next week, have tested positive for the coronavirus.