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Countries Tighten Restrictions Amid Spread of Delta Variant

  • An elderly person receives a COVID-19 vaccine, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 17, 2021

    An elderly person receives a COVID-19 vaccine, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 17, 2021 | Photo: Xinhua

Published 28 June 2021

On June 21, the World Health Organization warned that the Delta COVID-19 strain will "pick off" the most vulnerable people.

During the last week, the countries of the Pacific area have tightened their restrictions to curb the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant, which is already present in over 90 countries and regions around the world.


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On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country will move to lockdown Level 4 for 14 days with stringent measures to contain the surge in cases. From June 28 to July 11, all gatherings whether indoors or outdoors are prohibited. A curfew will be in place from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., and all non-essential establishments will need to close by 8 p.m.

To ease the pressure placed on hospital services by alcohol-related emergency incidents, the sale of alcohol is prohibited for both on-site and off-site consumption. Schools will start closing from June 30.

Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform explained that the Delta variant has been was the major contributor to the South Africa's third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuwait is also suffering from an increase in contagions. On Sunday, the Health Ministry reported 1,558 new COVID-19 cases, which raised the tally to 351,481. This country started to implement a government decision to allow only vaccinated people to visit shopping malls, salons, gyms, and restaurants.

On Saturday, the Australian state of New South Wales reported a record daily increase of 30 locally acquired cases, all of which were linked to the Bondi cluster in east Sydney. The number of local cases reached 112 since June 16, when the index case for the Bondi cluster -- a driver who transported international flight crew -- was reported. The driver was confirmed to be infected with the Delta variant.

Identified in India in Dec. 2020, the Delta variant is the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain that will "pick off" the most vulnerable people, the World Health Organization warned on June 21.

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