The World Health Organization warned the countries distributed between Morocco and Pakistan of a “fourth pandemic wave” of the Corona virus, at a time when US President Joe Biden announced new measures to vaccinate more citizens, including giving them financial rewards.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia announced the opening of its doors to tourists and the lifting of the suspension of entry of tourist visa holders to its lands, after about a year and a half of stopping due to measures to reduce the Corona pandemic.
Yesterday, Thursday, the World Health Organization expressed concern about the high number of coronavirus infections in 15 countries extending from Morocco to Pakistan, warning that these countries distributed over the Maghreb, the Middle East, Africa and Asia are facing a “fourth pandemic wave”, at a time when immunization rates are still Its very low.
The World Health Organization said in a statement that the delta mutant, which was first detected in India, has spread to 15 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, which is covered by the WHO Regional Office.
The Eastern Mediterranean region covers a vast area extending from Morocco to Pakistan through Somalia and Saudi Arabia and includes 21 member states in addition to the Palestinian territories. The total population of this region is approximately 680 million.
The statement added that the spread of the mutated version of Delta increases the rise in Covid-19 infections and deaths (caused by the virus) in an increasing number of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
In the countries of the region, the organization recorded a monthly increase in the number of corona infections by 55% and by 15% in the number of deaths caused by the virus, bringing the weekly rate of new infections to 310 thousand new infections and the weekly death rate to 3 thousand and 500 deaths.
In turn, Saudi Arabia announced, yesterday, Thursday, the opening of its doors to tourists and the lifting of the suspension of entry of tourist visa holders to its lands, starting from the beginning of next August, after about a year and a half of stopping due to measures to reduce the Corona pandemic.
And the Saudi Press Agency stated that the Ministry of Tourism decided to open the doors of the Kingdom to tourists, and to lift the suspension of entry for holders of tourist visas, starting from the beginning of August.
Fully vaccinated tourists - according to the agency - can enter the Kingdom without the need for an institutional quarantine period, provided that an official vaccination certificate is presented upon arrival, and proof of a PCR test (Corona examination) and the appearance of its negative result within 72 hours from the time of departure.
The Hajj season this year was limited to 60,000 residents in Saudi Arabia who received the vaccination against Corona (Reuters)
The Kingdom had launched the tourist visa in September 2019, before approving the suspension of travel and the closure of ports and borders due to the Corona pandemic.
On May 17, the Saudi authorities allowed their citizens to travel outside the Kingdom under health conditions.
As of yesterday, Thursday, Saudi Arabia had recorded more than 523,000 infections with the Corona virus, including 8,212 deaths, while the number of people recovered reached more than 503 thousand.
In Algeria, Prime Minister Ayman bin Abdel Rahman revealed - yesterday, Thursday - that the state has taken a package of measures to confront the unprecedented demand for oxygen, as a result of the rapid increase in infections with the emerging Corona virus.
Bin Abdul Rahman said - in a press statement - that it was decided to take a package of measures on the instructions of the President of the Republic with the aim of responding to the increasing demand for oxygen in various hospital centers at the national level.
He stated that among these measures, more than 15,000 oxygen concentrators were imported.
Ben Abdel Rahman noted that Algeria has submitted orders to acquire 10 units for the production of oxygen, with a capacity between 20 thousand and 40 thousand liters, to be distributed to major hospital units, and this will alleviate the pressure currently present on various hospitals.
He also pointed out that there is an "urgent" measure to import more than 160,000 liters of oxygen from abroad, in addition to other quantities.
Bin Abdul Rahman highlighted other measures, such as allocating hotel structures for patients, in order to better take care of them and provide them with the necessary quantities of oxygen.
In a related context, US President Joe Biden announced - yesterday, Thursday - new measures to vaccinate more citizens, and to prevent the spread of the mutated Delta from the Corona virus, which raises fears in the country, especially with the increase in infections again with the virus.
Biden said - during a press conference held at the White House - that the country, after months of declining cases of corona, is witnessing a rise again due to this new and highly contagious mutant called Delta.
A 12-year-old girl receives a dose of the vaccine against corona at a vaccination center in Pennsylvania, USA (Reuters)
He indicated that among the new measures, all federal employees and workers contracted with the federal government are required to receive the vaccine, or wear a muzzle throughout their work, regardless of the region in which they are located.
There are 4 million federal employees in the United States, including 2 million civil servants.
With regard to the military, Biden called on the military to study how to add the anti-Covid-19 vaccine to the list of mandatory vaccinations for the military and set a date for that.
On the other hand, Biden called on local authorities to give $ 100 to each person who receives the vaccine, from the funds of emergency funds opened to confront the pandemic.
Paris described Britain's decision to lift the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and the European Union, with the exception of France, as "incomprehensible", and called for a review of this "discriminatory" step.
French European Affairs Minister Clement Peon said - in a press statement on Thursday - that this decision has no scientific basis.. It is discriminatory towards the French;
It excluded all Europeans, including those from countries with more difficult health conditions than ours.
Thus, it is an exaggerated and incomprehensible decision - frankly - from a health point of view.
People queue in the rain to get the Corona vaccine in Paris (Getty)
This came just a day after the British authorities lifted 10-day self-isolation restrictions for travelers from the orange-colored list countries, which include the United States and European Union countries, especially those who have been fully vaccinated against Corona with vaccines recognized in the United Kingdom.
The measure, which comes into effect on August 2, does not include France, which the United Kingdom has placed in an advanced orange list because of the delta mutation.
The French official added that his country does not want to enter what he described as a "sanitary or retaliatory war" at the present time, and hopes to review the decision (by Britain) within a week.
The Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, currently being held in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, announced today, Friday, that 27 new cases of infection with the new Corona virus were recorded, among those concerned with the Olympics.
This is the highest daily toll of injuries recorded by the organizing committee, since the start of issuing its daily report in this regard, as of July 1, and yesterday, Thursday, 24 new cases were recorded.
The list of new cases included 3 athletes, including American pole vaulting star Sam Kendricks, and the identity of the other athletes was not revealed in the report.
Thus, the total number of infected people among those involved in the Olympics reached 220.
Tokyo is under a state of emergency for a period that includes the Olympics, which are being held without spectators.