The Delta variant spreads through Asia with record infections in Tokyo, Thailand and Malaysia

Olympic Games organizers reported 21 new COVID-19 cases linked to the competition.

Variante Delta © Wikimedia Commons
Delta variant Photo © Wikimedia Commons

This article is from 2 years ago

(Reuters) - The host city of the Olympic Games, Tokyo, as well as Thailand and Malaysia, announced a record number of coronavirus infections on Saturday.COVID-19, mostly caused by theDelta variant of the disease, which is highly transmissible.

Cases also increased in Sydney, where police cordoned off the shopping district to prevent a protest against a strict confinement that will last until the end of August.

Sydney police closed train stations, banned taxis from dropping off passengers downtown and deployed 1,000 officers to set up checkpoints and disperse groups.

The New South Wales government reported 210 new infections in Sydney and its surrounding areas due to the outbreak of theDelta variant.

The metropolitan government ofTokyo announced a record number of 4,058 infections in the last 24 hours. Olympic organizers reported 21 new COVID-19 cases linked to the competition, bringing the total to 241 since July 1.

A day earlier, Japan extended its state of emergency for Tokyo until the end of August and extended it to three nearby prefectures and the western prefecture of Osaka.

Malaysia, one of the hotspots of the disease, reported 17,786 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, a record number.

More than 100 people gathered in the center of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, to express their discontent with the government's management of the pandemic and call for the resignation of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Thailand also reported a daily record of 18,912 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total cases to 597,287. The country also reported 178 deaths.

The government said the Delta variant accounts for more than 60% of cases in the country and 80% of infections in Bangkok.

The Delta variant is not necessarily more lethal than other variants, but it is much more transmissible, he toldReuters Supakit Sirilak, director general of the Department of Medical Sciences in Thailand.

China is battling an outbreak of the Delta variant in the eastern city of Nanjing, traced to airport workers who cleaned a plane that had arrived from Russia.

Nanjing has recorded 190 cases of local transmission of the Delta variant since July 20, while nationwide there have been a total of 262 cases, according to figures published on Saturday.

Vietnam, which is grappling with its worst COVID-19 outbreak, also announced tougher measures on Saturday, saying it would impose strict restrictions on movement in 19 cities and provinces in the country's south from Monday for another two weeks.

COVID-19 infections have increased by 80% over the past four weeks in most regions of the world, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

The Delta variant, first detected in India, is as contagious as chickenpox and much more contagious than the common cold or flu, the US Centers for Disease Control said in an internal document published this week.

The variant can be transmitted even by vaccinated people and cause more severe illness than previous coronavirus strains, according to the CDC document.

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat, Chayut Setboonsarng and Orathai Sriring in Bangkok, A. Ananthalakshmi in Kuala Lumpur, Lidia Kelly in Sydney, Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo and Yew Lun Tian in Beijing. Edited in Spanish by Javier Lopez de Lérida.

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