Indonesia gasping for medical oxygen as Covid cases soar

Covid-19 has infected more than 186 million people and killed more than 4 million. Here are the latest coronavirus-related developments for July 10:

Oxygen tanks are prepared for patients in the hallway of an overcrowded hospital amid a surge of COVID-19 cases, in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Friday, July 9, 2021 (AP)

Saturday, July 10:

Indonesia gasping for medical oxygen as Covid cases soar

Just two months ago, Indonesia was coming to a gasping India’s aid with thousands tanks of oxygen.

Today, the Southeast Asia country is running out of oxygen as it endures a devastating wave of cases and the government is seeking emergency supplies from other countries, including Singapore and China.

A shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health devices arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia, said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response.

Beside those donations, Indonesia plans to buy 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators, devices that generate oxygen, from neighbouring Singapore, Pandjaitan said.

He said he is in touch with China and other potential oxygen sources. The US and the United Arab Emirates also have offered help.

Sydney reports record daily rise in cases

Australia’s New South Wales state reported its biggest daily rise in locally acquired infections this year, with authorities warning that worse may yet to come for Sydney, which is in a three-week hard lockdown.

There were 50 new cases of community transmission in the country’s most populous state, up from 44 a day earlier, the previous 2021 record high.

This brings the outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant to 489 cases.

Of Saturday’s cases, 26 were people who had spent time in the community while they were infectious, deepening concerns that the lockdown of more than 5 million people in Sydney and surroundings will be extended.

India records more than 1,200 new deaths

India registered more than 1,200 virus deaths in the last 24 hours, according to official figures.

With a total of 1,206 news deaths, virus-related fatalities have reached 407,145, according to the Health Ministry.

The country has registered less than 1,000 daily deaths in the past few days.

A statement by the ministry said 42,766 new cases were registered during the last 24 hours.

Pakistan registers over 1,800 new cases

Pakistan has confirmed over 1,828 new cases, more than 1,737 registered a day before, the Health Ministry said.

Another 35 people died of the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the overall numbers to 971,304 cases, 22,555 related deaths and 912,295 recoveries.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the nation to follow safety precautions, terming the Delta variant, which was first identified in India, “the biggest concern”.

Entertainment venues in England to make customers use vaccination passports

Entertainment venues in England will force customers to use so-called vaccination passports from autumn to prove they have had either both doses of a vaccine or a negative test the day before, The Times newspaper reported.

Certificates will be required for customers to enter bars, restaurants and nightclubs under plans to tackle a fourth wave, the newspaper said.

The government plans to lift capacity restrictions on pubs, restaurants and other public events on July 19 in England.

Arab countries pledge aid as Tunisia struggles with pandemic

Several countries promised to help Tunisia fight the coronavirus as the North African country recorded its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began, putting its health care system under severe stress and depleting oxygen supplies.

President Kais Saied said in a statement that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had pledged to send vaccinations and whatever medical equipment Tunisia needed.

Libya also pledged to send medical aid, the president’s office said in a separate statement. Officials and local media said that Kuwait, Turkey and Algeria had promised to help.

Qatar had already sent a military plane with a field hospital on board, including 200 medics and 100 respirators.

South Korea reports third consecutive record high new cases

South Korea has posted its highest-ever number of new daily infections in the last 24 hours, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said, the third consecutive day of record highs in new infection cases.

Starting on Monday, coronavirus curbs will be tightened to the strictest level possible in Seoul and neighbouring regions for the first time, South Korea said, as the streak of record new cases fanned concern.

The country reported 1,378 new cases as of midnight Friday, up from Thursday’s previous record of 1,316 a day.

Saudi Arabia approves Moderna vaccine

Saudi Arabia’s Food and Drug Authority has approved Moderna Inc.’s vaccine for use in the kingdom, the state news agency (SPA) said.

The authority added that after this approval, authorities will start procedures to import the two-dose vaccine, the news agency said.

Saudi Arabia had earlier approved the use of the Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca Plc and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Pakistani authorities recommend banning air travel for unvaccinated

Pakistan’s top body overseeing the pandemic response recommended on Friday that anyone who did not hold a Covid-19 vaccination certificate should not be allowed to travel by air after August 1.

The guidance by the National Command and Operation Centre would need the federal government’s approval, and came as the country’s leadership warned a fourth wave of the pandemic was beginning and dangerous variants of the virus, including the Delta variant, had been detected.

Brazil case count tops 19 million

Brazil registered 57,737 new Covid-19 cases and 1,509 new deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed.

This means the total case count in Brazil has now exceeded 19 million, and the country has recorded 531,688 deaths.

Mexico reports over 9,000 new cases

Mexico has reported 9,319 new confirmed Covid-19 infections, according to data from the health ministry, as case numbers continued to rise this week amid signs of a resurgence in the pandemic.

The ministry also registered 217 additional fatalities, bringing Mexico’s total tally to 2,577,140 infections and 234,675 deaths, according to the data.

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