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As COVID Devastates India, New Surges Prompt Restrictions Across Asia; Brazil Tops 15 Million Cases

HeadlineMay 10, 2021

India’s government faces growing calls for a nationwide lockdown as its Health Ministry reported 366,000 new coronavirus infections and nearly 3,800 deaths today. Those figures are down only slightly from world records set by India last week and fail to account for widespread underreporting. Health officials say recent superspreader events have combined with a more transmissible coronavirus variant to drive a massive surge in cases.

Dr. Anil Kumar: “So, this new mutant strain has high infectivity compared to last time. So more than five times the number of people are getting affected in the second wave. It’s the specialty of these two strains, the U.K. strain and the Maharashtra strain.”

The World Health Organization warns India is driving surges elsewhere in Asia, with cases rising in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and elsewhere. In Pakistan, officials have ordered a nine-day partial lockdown ahead of the Eid holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Tunisia has begun a week of coronavirus restrictions — including during the Eid holiday — with the prime minister warning Tunisia faces the worst health crisis in its history.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s official COVID-19 caseload has topped 15 million — the third highest in the world, after India and the United States. Infectious disease experts say far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is largely to blame for the pandemic’s devastating toll.

Roberto Medronho: “All of this COVID pandemic is down to a disastrous policy from the federal government, of an anti-scientific policy of denial.”

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