How countries are still struggling due to coronavirus pandemic

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 15, 2021, 10:31 PM(IST)

Coronavirus patients on ventilators Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Coronavirus has caused at least 2,400,543 deaths since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019

COVID-19 cases in India are shrinking in comparison to the other countries of the world.

Coronavirus has caused at least 2,400,543 deaths since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019.

At least 108,785,960 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 66,547,800 are now considered recovered.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 485,337 deaths followed by Brazil with 239,245, Mexico with 174,207. 

The western nations are the hardest hit. In the United States, a batch of seven homegrown mutations has emerged.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the kent variant has become a 'variant of concern'

WATCH|

Britain is aiming for a "cautious but irreversible" plan to exit coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, as the country greeted the first arrivals subject to a new hotel quarantine regime.

The policy, designed to fight emerging variants of the coronavirus, requires all UK citizens and permanent residents entering England from 33 "red list" countries to self-isolate at their own expense in an approved hotel for 10 days.

Germany said on Monday its decision to impose border controls with the Czech Republic and Austria is a temporary measure of last resort and defended a lockdown extension against business demands for a roadmap to reopening.

The new restrictions along the normally open borders were prompted by alarm over outbreaks in the Czech Republic and Austria's Tyrol region of strains of the coronavirus that spread faster and cause more illness.

Germany installed frontier checks on Sunday, drawing protest from Austria and concerns about supply-chain disruptions that could damage the country's export-oriented manufacturing sector.

As India edges closer towards defeating the pandemic, the struggle is still not over for many countries. 

Highly contagious coronavirus mutations such as Robin 1 in the US, Pelican in Mexico are spreading quickly. 

How widespread are these variants?

Researchers are not sure how widespread these variants are but the cases are surging.

The United Kingdom is one of the worst affected countries with almost 115,000 deaths from the virus, while authorities hope the peak has passed.

The number of cases has topped 3.9 million but new cases, hospitalisation figures and death rates have fallen steeply.

England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty said last week the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic appeared to have peaked.

In early January, the government imposed a fresh lockdown and closed schools after a dramatic rise in cases at the end of 2020, linked to the new more infectious variant first found in Kent, southeast England. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is hoping to start lifting lockdown on March 8, banking on its mass vaccination drive to cut infection rates. 

France's Health Ministry has asked regional health agencies and hospitals to enter "crisis organisation" to prepare for a possible surge in coronavirus cases as a result of highly contagious variants.

The move, which would echo measures taken in March and November when France went into lockdown, involves increasing the number of hospital beds available, delaying non-urgent surgery and mobilising all medical staff resources.

French President Macron said, ''Timing and scale are absolutely critical. We have to maximize but we have to deliver vaccines very rapidly otherwise we will give a window of opportunity to the virus to create new mutants in the coming months and to come back in this new form in the high-income countries a few months later.''

The west is still overwhelmed by the pandemic. There is a glaring gap between expectations and the actual performance of western nations.

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