Many world leaders are re-imposing mask requirements in an effort to contain the highly contagious Delta variant.
“Vaccines alone will not stop community transmission,” stated Dr. Mariangela Simao, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General. The Delta variant has been shown to be 50% more infectious than the alpha variant. Dr Simao underscored that people need to continue to practice hand hygiene and avoid crowding. The variant now makes up 10% of all new cases in the U.S., 60% of all new U.K. cases.
On June 25, the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly half of the adults infected in an outbreak of the Delta variant in Israel had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This prompted the government there to reimpose indoor mask requirements. Preliminary findings by Israeli health officials suggest that about 90% of new infections were likely caused by the Delta variant.
Indonesia has been the hardest hit country in southeast Asia, recording more than 21,000 daily cases. Hospitals in Jakarta are overwhelmed after millions travelled at the end of Ramadan. Thailand is re-imposing strict controls on Bangkok restaurants and gatherings to contain a fresh wave that is spreading across the capital. In Malaysia, the month-down nationwide lockdown will now continue indefinitely. Flights between India and the UAE are to remain suspended until July 21.
The Delta variant was first found in India, but has now spread to at least 92 countries. WHO officials are calling it the fastest and “fittest” strain yet. As it spreads, it continues to mutate. Researchers are looking at recent reports of a new variant dubbed “Delta Plus.”
“As much as we wish it, our fight to contain the COVID-19 virus is far from over,” comments David Youssef, Managing Director of VUMI® Global. “Making sure you have the proper supplemental health insurance to protect you and your family remains a crucial concern as the virus continues to wreak havoc across the globe.”
Source: CNBC, June 25, 2021; The Guardian, June 27, 2021