© Reuters. File picture: During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand on July 26, 2021, Thailand began to provide the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine to high-risk groups, and people lined up at the Central Vaccination Center. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
(Reuters)-The Olympic host city Tokyo, Thailand and Malaysia announced a record number of COVID-19 infections on Saturday, mainly caused by the highly contagious delta variant of the disease.
There has also been a surge in cases in Sydney, and the police have sealed off the Central Business District to prevent protests from being severely blocked until the end of August.
The police closed the train station, prohibited taxis from dropping off passengers in the city center, and deployed 1,000 police officers to set up checkpoints and disperse the crowd. The New South Wales Government reported that there were 210 new infections due to the Delta mutation outbreak in Sydney and surrounding areas.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced a record 4,058 infections in the past 24 hours, exceeding 4,000 for the first time. Olympic organizers have reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 related to the Olympics, bringing the total to 241 since July 1.
The day before the record set, Japan extended the state of emergency in Tokyo until the end of August. In view of the recent surge in the number of infections, the state of emergency was extended to three prefectures near Tokyo and western Osaka prefecture.
Organizers of the Olympic Games said on Saturday that they had disqualified those associated with the Olympics from leaving the athletes’ village for sightseeing, which violated measures to safely host the Olympics during the pandemic.
Organizers did not disclose how many people were disqualified, whether the people involved were athletes, or when the violation occurred.
Malaysia is one of the hot spots of the disease, with 17,786 coronavirus cases reported on Saturday, setting a record for the number of infections.
More than 100 people gathered in the center of the capital Kuala Lumpur to express dissatisfaction with the government’s response to the epidemic and call on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to step down.
The protesters held up black flags and placards that read “Kerajaan Gagal” (failed government)-a label that has been popular on social media for several months.
Thailand has reported a record of 18,912 new coronavirus infections every day, bringing the total number of cumulative cases in the country to 597,287. The country also reported 178 new deaths, which is also a daily record, bringing the total death toll to 4,857.
The government stated that the Delta variant accounted for more than 60% of cases in the country and 80% of cases in Bangkok.
Supakit Sirilak, director-general of the Department of Medicine, told Reuters that the Delta variant is not necessarily more deadly than other variants, but it is easier to spread.
China is also fighting the outbreak of the delta virus in the eastern city of Nanjing, which can be traced to airport cleaners working on flights from Russia.
WHO Director-General Tedros Tedros said on Friday that the COVID-19 infection rate in most parts of the world has increased by 80% in the past four weeks.
Tedros said at the press conference: “The hard-won results are in danger or lost, and the health systems in many countries are overwhelmed.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control stated that this mutation was originally discovered in India and now dominates the world. It is as contagious as chickenpox and more contagious than the common cold or flu. It can even be spread by vaccinated people and can cause more serious illnesses than early coronavirus strains.