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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bangladesh and Elements of India Look to Lockdowns Amid Surges

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NEW DELHI — As a brand new wave of coronavirus infections grips the densely populated area of South Asia, house to 1 / 4 of the world’s inhabitants, Bangladesh on Saturday introduced a second lockdown and officers in Mumbai, India’s largest metropolis, stated they have been on the verge of declaring one.

The authorities in Bangladesh stated the nation of 165 million individuals would go right into a weeklong lockdown starting on Monday to curb the unfold of the virus. The nation shut down for 2 months beginning in March final yr.

Bangladesh on Friday registered practically 7,000 circumstances in 24 hours, the best for the reason that unfold of the virus within the nation final yr. The each day loss of life toll has been round 50 for the previous week, however what has notably alarmed officers is the excessive check positivity price, with 24 p.c of virus exams carried out coming again optimistic.

Farhad Hossain, Bangladesh’s state minister for public administration, advised the native information media that “industries and factories will stay open,” however would function in shifts and comply with strict well being protocols. The exceptions gave the impression to be aimed toward decreasing the financial impression and avoiding the sort of exodus of laborers that led to a humanitarian disaster in India final yr.

Infections have additionally been rising sharply in Pakistan, which has struggled to supply vaccines for its inhabitants, and in India, the place a vaccination drive is solely now choosing up tempo — regardless of the nation being house to one of many world’s largest suppliers of vaccines.

Only a few weeks in the past, India was a significant exporter of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it was utilizing that to exert affect in South Asia and all over the world. However as infections soared, the nation determined to in the reduction of on exports and is now holding again practically the entire 2.4 million doses that the Serum Institute of India, the personal firm that is among the world’s largest producers of the AstraZeneca vaccine, makes every day.

India on Saturday recorded its greatest single-day spike in circumstances since September, with authorities officers reporting practically 90,000 circumstances and 714 deaths over the previous 24 hours. Single-day figures typically include anomalies, however the nation’s seven-day common of recent circumstances, a extra dependable gauge, has been rising sharply since early March.

Almost half of deaths and new infections in latest weeks have been traced to the state of Maharashtra, house to Mumbai, the nation’s monetary hub.

Uddhav Thackeray, the state’s chief minister, warned in a televised tackle on Friday {that a} lockdown was imminent if individuals continued with their relaxed perspective. Even when persons are vaccinated, he famous, safety from an infection isn’t absolute.

“The vaccine is like an umbrella within the rain,” Mr. Thackeray stated. “However what we face proper now could be a storm.”

As circumstances rise, legislation enforcement officers throughout India are adopting stringent measures, together with fining violators who don’t put on masks. India has additionally expanded its vaccination drive, now administering over three million jabs a day.

However the authorities’s messaging is at occasions contradictory, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and plenty of senior officers proceed to carry giant rallies in a number of states the place native elections are underway.

The federal government has additionally allowed a large monthlong Hindu competition to go forward on the banks of Ganges River. A million to 5 million persons are anticipated to take part within the festivities within the metropolis of Haridwar every day, officers say.

In different virus information from all over the world:

  • On Saturday, Catalonia grew to become the most recent area of Spain whose authorities defied a authorities decree {that a} face masks have to be worn in all public areas, together with seashores, impartial of whether or not social distancing could be maintained. Miquel Sàmper, the area’s inside minister, advised a Catalan radio station that the regional authorities believed that it was “pure logic” that “when you’re sunbathing, you needn’t put on a masks,” though the masks must be worn on the seashore if an individual moved about and obtained into shut contact with others. Regional politicians from the Canary and Balearic Islands, two Spanish archipelagoes which are main tourism hubs, have additionally criticized the decree, which the central authorities made with out consulting them first.

  • Italy entered a three-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Saturday to discourage Easter journey and get-togethers even because the nation’s variant-fueled spike in new infections started to wane, The Related Press reported. Journey between areas and visits to relations have been being restricted by means of Monday. Nonessential retailers have been closed and eating places and bars have been solely open for takeout.

  • San Marino, a microstate surrounded by Italy, feared being left behind in Europe’s inoculation marketing campaign. Now it has jumped forward, with the Sputnik vaccine despatched by an unlikely, faraway pal.

  • Turkey started administering Pfizer-BioNTech photographs. With coronavirus infections surging and Ramadan approaching, the federal government additionally just lately moved to reimpose strict social distancing measures, together with a prohibition on the big gatherings for meals earlier than dawn and after sundown which are conventional in the course of the Muslim holy month.



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