A spokesman for the World Health Organization said today, Tuesday, that it is concerned about the spread of the Corona virus in Afghanistan, where the turmoil caused by the Taliban’s advance and seizure of power has slowed vaccination operations.
“With the situation in Afghanistan continuing to rapidly deteriorate, WHO is gravely concerned about the safety and unfolding humanitarian needs in the country, including the risk of disease outbreaks and increased transmission of COVID-19,” Tarik Jasarevic said at a UN press briefing.
He said that the WHO mobile health teams have been suspended in the capital for 24 hours due to the insecurity and unexpected situation. Chaos at Kabul airport, where thousands of people were seeking to flee the Taliban, has slowed the delivery of medical supplies, exacerbating the current shortage.
Jasarevic said the WHO, like other UN agencies, was committed to staying in the country.
-From Reuters, last updated at 8:30 a.m. ET
What’s happening all over Canada
What is happening around the world
As of early Tuesday morning, more than 207.8 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to the coronavirus tracker published by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll has reached more than 4.3 million.
In the Asia Pacific In the region, Japan on Tuesday extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions and announced new measures covering seven more prefectures to counter the surge in COVID-19 cases threatening the medical system. The current state of emergency, the fifth of the pandemic so far, was due to end on August 31 but will last until September 12.
Meanwhile, New Zealand reported its first case of COVID-19 in the community in six months after a person tested positive in Auckland, its largest city.
In the Middle eastIn Israel, more than a million people over the age of 50 have received a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Israel began providing boosters to its older residents two weeks ago, becoming the first country in the world to use a Western vaccine to do so.
In the Americas, several US states are dealing with a slight increase in hospitalizations from COVID-19, including Alabama, where intensive care units are nearing capacity amid the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases.
The president of the Alabama Hospital Association said the state had 1,562 ICU beds and 1,560 patients requiring intensive care Monday. “This is the biggest demand for our intensive care system ever,” says Dr. Don Williamson. Williamson said COVID-19 patients made up 48 percent of ICU patients in Alabama on Monday. He said the vast majority of them are not immune.
Alabama has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus and the state’s low vaccination rate. The numbers of infections and hospitalizations are fast approaching what they were at the height of the epidemic in the winter.
in a AfricaOn Monday, South African health officials reported 7,983 new cases of COVID-19 and 299 additional deaths.
in a EuropeFrench health authorities said on Monday that the total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reached 10,151, an increase of more than 10,000 for the first time since June 22.
More patients were also treated in intensive care units for this disease, an increase of 56 over 24 hours to 1,908 – more than double the July 21 rate of 859.
— From The Associated Press, Reuters, and CBC News, last updated at 8:25 a.m. ET
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