COVID-19 surges accelerate in Southeast Asia


Health officials in Indonesia and Thailand reported record daily highs for new COVID-19 infections, much of it driven by the Delta (B1617.2) variant, as the leader of the World Health Organization (WHO) today said countries have two options for pushing back: public health measures and sharing tools such as medical supplies, oxygen, and vaccine.

At a briefing today, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said no country is out of the woods yet with COVID-19 and that the Delta variant is dangerous and continue to evolve.

He called on world leaders to vaccinate at least 10% of their populations by the end of September, which would protect health workers and those most at risk, tamping down the pandemic’s acute phase.

“There is now some sharing of vaccines happening but it’s still only a trickle, which is being outpaced by variants,” Tedros said. “In those countries whose hospitals are filling up, they need vaccines and other health tools right now.”

Southeast Asia cases surge

Global health officials have feared an explosive outbreak in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country. And today the country’s cases yesterday soared to new record levels, with nearly 25,000 reported.