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India COVID-19 infections top 20 million as cricket league suspended

The number of cases of coronavirus in India exceeded a huge number on Tuesday, but there are some hopes that the worst of the catastrophic waves may have passed.

The number of cases of coronavirus in India exceeded 20 million on Tuesday. This was due to the relentless surge that ultimately forced the suspension of a lucrative domestic cricket competition involving some of the sport’s biggest global stars.

The plight of South Asian countries was in stark contrast to Europe and the United States, where high-dose vaccination allowed many coronavirus restrictions to be relaxed.

More than 350,000 new cases were reported in India on Tuesday, down from last week’s peak of 402,000, showing optimism that the worst catastrophic wave may have passed.

“Analyzing daily cases and deaths shows very fast signs of positive movement,” a senior health ministry official, Love Agruwar, told reporters.

“But these are very early signals. We need to analyze them further.”

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India’s healthcare infrastructure is struggling to handle a huge number of cases, including a serious shortage of medicines, beds and medical oxygen.

However, the glamorous Indian Premier League, the world’s wealthiest Twenty20 cricket tournament, took place in an empty stadium, causing criticism that it was inappropriate in that situation.

The organizers said they do not want to jeopardize the safety of staff and athletes, including the world’s largest cricket stars in India, Australia, England and New Zealand.

“These are difficult times, especially in India, and we tried to bring some positiveness and cheers … but it’s imperative to interrupt the tournament now,” they said in a statement.

The waves of South Asian nations have highlighted the dangers of COVID-19, which has already killed more than 3.2 million people worldwide, stimulated by large-scale rallies, including the Hindu festival Kumbh Mela. did.

Religious events are also a threat in neighboring Pakistan, authorities are fighting a third wave of infection and urging Muslims to take precautions during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Despite the warning, thousands of Shiite Muslims (many not wearing masks) gathered in the eastern city of Lahore on Tuesday for an annual religious march.

Pakistani authorities have largely avoided cracking down on such religious activities in recent months, even if markets and schools are closed.

EU eyes resume travel

Meanwhile, European leaders sought to take another step towards recovery with a proposal to revive international travel and tourism as early as next month.

The European Commission has proposed on Monday that travelers who are fully vaccinated with EU-approved shots or who come from countries where COVID-19 is controlled should be allowed to enter the block. did.

The EU has so far approved vaccines for Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

But as a sign that the pandemic in Europe isn’t over yet, Germany has canceled the world-famous Oktoberfest Beer Festival for the second year in a row.

Americans are one of those looking for a vacation in Europe this summer, and more than 100 million people in the United States are now fully vaccinated.

US media reported on Monday that authorities are expected to approve Pfizer shots for children over the age of 12.

A successful drive has allowed authorities in many parts of the world’s largest economy, such as New York and Florida, to begin easing the curb.

And in China, where the virus first appeared in 2019, millions of tourists flock to domestic tourist attractions, and the outbreak of the country is almost suppressed.

Beijing’s historic alley was full of visitors with cameras on Tuesday. After the weekend, out-of-town people also hit a popular place in Shanghai.

WHO plea to the G7

However, in Brazil, which was hit hard, a vaccine shortage forced some big cities to stop a second dose of CoronaVac shots developed in China.

COVID-19 has killed more than 400,000 people in Brazil. This is second only to the United States.

WHO warns of global inequality in access to COVID-19 supply on Monday and must step up funding for vaccines, tests and treatments in poor countries to end the pandemic Stated.

“We will only resolve the vaccine crisis through the leadership of these countries,” said WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging decisive action at the June G7 Summit.

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