As COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the world, fueled by the more transmissible Delta variant, more countries are enacting or considering health passes for vaccinated people. Meanwhile, infections continue to surge and hospitals are pushed past their breaking point in Southeast Asia.
- France has approved a highly contested law-making proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test mandatory for accessing certain indoor venues. Germany says it is considering similar measures amid surging cases there.
- In Indonesia, hundreds of children have died in recent weeks as infections continue to surge. Children may make up as many as 12.5% of Indonesia’s confirmed infections.
- Other Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Malaysia, have recently reported record case numbers. Meanwhile, a recent study by The Lancet found that over 1.5 million children lost a primary or secondary caregiver to COVID-19. In Tokyo, Japan, Olympic organizers reported 10 new cases related to the games Sunday.
- Thailand’s worsening Covid outbreak is placing intense pressure on hospitals, forcing doctors to treat patients in parking lots and turn away people who are severely ill. The country was widely praised for its Covid response last year when it maintained one of the lowest caseloads in the world.
- New South Wales reported a record-high number of coronavirus cases on Tuesday despite more than four weeks of lockdown for the Sydney region, with signs tough measures could extend until September. The lockdown had been due to end on Saturday but with less than 13% of the state’s population fully vaccinated; curbs in some form were expected to remain.
Lockdowns have raised the prospect of Australia recording its second recession in as many years, though treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Tuesday talk of this was premature. Frydenberg said last week the country’s $2tn (US$1.5tn) economy is expected to shrink in the latest GDP figures.