The World Health Organization is warning countries against dropping public health measures like social distancing and masking, as the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant continues to spread worldwide. This is Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies director.
Dr. Michael Ryan: “I think, overall, we’ve made a very premature run, rush back to 'full normality.' And I think we’re going to pay a price for that, because we’re not there with vaccination, the variants are really there, and we haven’t protected enough people.”
In Indonesia, dozens of patients died Saturday when a public hospital on the island of Java ran out of oxygen. Indonesia has ordered a partial lockdown amid a massive rise in new cases mostly driven by the Delta variant.
Russia is reporting record deaths from COVID-19 cases increasingly caused by the Delta variant. Fewer than 13% of Russians are fully vaccinated, even though Russia’s highly effective Sputnik V vaccine is widely available.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to end nearly all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England on July 19. COVID-19 cases have soared in recent weeks even though more than half of the U.K. population is fully vaccinated.