Hospitals in Turkey and Poland are filling up. Pakistan is restricting internal travel. The United States government will send more aid to Michigan, the state with the highest increase in coronavirus infections in the country.
The global rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths includes Thailand, which has weathered the pandemic much better than other nations, but is now struggling to contain it.
The only exceptions to the situation are countries with advanced vaccination programs, basically Israel and Great Britain. The United States is also seeing an increase in new cases despite being a global leader in vaccinations, and the White House said Friday it would send federal assistance to Michigan to control the state’s infection rate, the worst in the country.
The World Health Organization indicated that infections are increasing in all regions of the planet, driven by new variants of the virus and because in many countries the population left confinement too early.
“We have seen increases (in cases) around the world for six weeks. And now, sadly, we are seeing increases in deaths in the last three weeks, ”said Dr. Margaret Harris, WHO spokeswoman, at a press meeting in Geneva.
In its weekly epidemiological update, the agency indicated that more than 4 million cases of COVID-19 were reported in the last week. Deaths were up 11% compared to the previous week, with more than 71,000 reported.
The rise in infections, hospitalizations and deaths extends to countries where vaccination is finally gaining momentum. That makes the prospects even worse for much of the world, where large-scale inoculation programs remain a distant reality.
One of the most affected countries is Turkey, where most of the new cases of coronavirus are related to a variant detected for the first time in Great Britain.
Ismail Cinel, director of the Turkish Intensive Care Association, said that the increase in cases is beginning to put pressure on the country’s relatively advanced health system, and “alarms are ringing” for intensive care units, which are still they are not saturated.
“The mutant form of the virus is causing more organ damage,” Cinel said. “Before, 2 out of 10 patients died; now the figure is 4 out of 10. And if we continue like this, we will lose 6 ″.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan eased restrictions on COVID-19 in March to reduce damage to the country’s economy. But the new upturn forced him to announce new restrictions, such as lockdowns on weekends and the closure of cafes and restaurants during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, which begins on April 13.
In the US capital, the administration of President Joe Biden outlined how the federal government plans to help Michigan better manage vaccines that have already been assigned to the state, as well as expand diagnostic testing capacity and drug availability. Support will not include more vaccinations.
For its part, Brazil has the second highest total of deaths in the world, surpassed only by the United States. In Sao Paulo they have had to carry out nightly burials to cope with the demand, and school buses have been used to transport coffins. The rate of vaccination is advancing slowly – less than 3% of the 210 million Brazilians have received the two doses, according to the research portal Our World in Data – and some state governors have expressed concern about the supplies.
Pakistan is in the midst of a third wave of infections, and its rulers will restrict transport in cities on weekends starting at midnight on Friday.
In Thailand, the authorities ordered new restrictions to try to contain the infections.
Poland has seen a dramatic increase in deaths, and hospitals have been forced to turn away patients with cancer and other illnesses as intensive care units and other areas are full of COVID-19 patients. Hospitalizations for coronavirus have increased 20% in the last two weeks.