A public health digital board warns the public of a Covid-19 variant of concern affecting the community in Bolton, northwest England on May 14, 2021 Photograph:( AFP )
Authorities in Australia's Melbourne announced another lockdown as Sydney continued to witness a surge in coronavirus coronavirus cases
The number of COVID-19 infections recorded worldwide passed 200 million on Thursday, an AFP count showed, as the pandemic surges around the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where the Australian city of Melbourne locked down again.
Authorities in Australia's Melbourne announced another lockdown as Sydney continued to witness a surge in coronavirus coronavirus cases.
Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said there was "no alternatives to lockdown".
"This thing moves so fast. There is no debate or discussion about this - the Delta variant moves at lightning speed and by the time you get the people they have already infected, all the people they live with," Victoria premier Dan Andrews said.
"We can't allow that to happen otherwise we are locked down until Christmas," the Victorian premier informed.
At least half of Australia will be under lockdown when Victoria enters into a lockdown later on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Sydney continued to witness a surge in coronavirus cases as New South Wales recorded 262 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday which was the highest since the pandemic began along with five deaths.
Officials said people in New South Wales will receive additional 180,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses next week as the government considers relaxing restrictions on August 29 for the vaccination campaign.
New South Wales has reported 4,300 cases in the last seven weeks with Sydney's southwest area becoming the epicentre of the virus as officials extended stay-at-home restrictions to neighbouring areas.
The authorities urged people to be vaccinated as Newcastle and Hunter region announced a week-long lockdown.
Australia has vaccinated just 20 per cent of its population even as it closed its border since the pandemic began and put mandatory travel quarantine.
The Delta variant has been running rampant in Southeast Asia, with Thailand recording 20,000 new daily cases for the first time on Wednesday, and again on Thursday.
The country also announced 160 deaths in 24 hours, as exhausted morgue workers struggle to cope with the mounting bodies.
"I've seen our personnel faint quite a few times lately so fatigue is definitely starting to set in and we're almost at our limits," forensic scientist Thanitchet Khetkham told AFP.
Indonesia's total Covid death toll passed 100,000 on Wednesday after it recorded 1,739 of the 10,245 fatalities registered worldwide, the global toll rising past 4.25 million.
Japan's capital Tokyo had a new record number of daily cases with 5,042, just three days before the end of the Olympics.
Africa also posted a new record with the 6,400 deaths in the week to August 1 representing the continent's most since the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization said.