Delta alert: world needs urgent response to Covid’s most ...

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Delta alert: world needs urgent response to Covid’s most infectious variant

Nations must crush infections, minimise variants and hasten vaccination drives, with the rich assisting the poor

Mohamed A. El-Erian

At the weekend Sydney was put under a mandatory stay-at-home order for two weeks in response to the risk posed by the Covid-19 Delta variant. This came as a surprise to many, especially those who rightly view Australia as having been among the best at managing the virus, with its very low infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

Australia was not the only recent Covid-19 surprise in advanced countries. Israel, long a vaccination leader, reimposed an indoor mask requirement on Friday. Again the catalyst was the Delta variant. Then there was the UK, which, other than India, has been battling the longest against the variant. According to government reports, the number of Delta infections rose 46% in one week. Indeed, whether it is the evidence from there or the reactions of Australia and Israel, four issues should be front and centre for many more countries, including the US, which need to realise that new Covid-19 risks are likely and do not respect borders.

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