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Bangladesh and components of India look to lockdowns as a wave of circumstances hits South Asia, and extra information world wide.


NEW DELHI — As a brand new wave of coronavirus infections grips the densely populated area of South Asia, home to a quarter of the world’s population, Bangladesh on Saturday introduced a second lockdown and officers in Mumbai, India’s largest metropolis, stated they have been on the verge of declaring one.

The authorities in Bangladesh stated the nation of 165 million individuals would go right into a weeklong lockdown starting on Monday to curb the unfold of the virus. The nation shut down for 2 months beginning in March final yr.

Bangladesh on Friday registered almost 7,000 circumstances in 24 hours, the very best because the unfold of the virus within the nation final yr. The each day loss of life toll has been round 50 for the previous week, however what has notably alarmed officers is the excessive take a look at positivity fee, with 24 p.c of virus checks performed coming again constructive.

Farhad Hossain, Bangladesh’s state minister for public administration, informed the native information media that “industries and factories will stay open,” however would function in shifts and comply with strict well being protocols. The exceptions seemed to be aimed toward lowering the financial impression and avoiding the kind of exodus of laborers that led to a humanitarian disaster in India final yr.

Infections have additionally been rising sharply in Pakistan, which has struggled to supply vaccines for its inhabitants, and in India, the place a vaccination drive is only now picking up pace — regardless of the nation being house to one of many world’s largest suppliers of vaccines.

Just some weeks in the past, India was a significant exporter of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it was utilizing that to exert influence in South Asia and around the world. However as infections soared, the nation determined to cut back on exports and is now holding again almost all the 2.4 million doses that the Serum Institute of India, the personal firm that is among the world’s largest producers of the AstraZeneca vaccine, makes every day.

India on Sunday reported greater than 93,000 new circumstances, its greatest one-day enhance since September. Single-day figures generally include anomalies, however the country’s seven-day average of latest circumstances, a extra dependable gauge, has been rising sharply since early March.

Almost half of deaths and new infections in latest weeks have been traced to the state of Maharashtra, house to Mumbai, the nation’s monetary hub.

Uddhav Thackeray, the state’s chief minister, warned in a televised tackle on Friday {that a} lockdown was imminent if individuals continued with their relaxed angle. Even when individuals are vaccinated, he famous, safety from an infection is just not absolute.

“The vaccine is like an umbrella within the rain,” Mr. Thackeray stated. “However what we face proper now’s a storm.”

As circumstances rise, regulation enforcement officers throughout India are adopting stringent measures, together with fining violators who don’t put on masks. India has additionally expanded its vaccination drive, now administering over three million jabs a day.

However the authorities’s messaging is at instances contradictory, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lots of senior officers proceed to carry large rallies in a number of states the place native elections are underway.

The federal government has additionally allowed a huge monthlong Hindu festival to go forward on the banks of the Ganges River. A million to 5 million individuals are anticipated to take part within the festivities within the metropolis of Haridwar every day, officers say.

In different virus information from world wide:

  • On Saturday, Catalonia turned the newest area of Spain whose authorities defied a authorities decree {that a} face masks have to be worn in all public areas, together with seashores, impartial of whether or not social distancing will be maintained. Miquel Sàmper, the area’s inside minister, informed a Catalan radio station that the regional authorities believed that it was “pure logic” that “if you find yourself sunbathing, you needn’t put on a masks,” though the masks ought to be worn on the seashore if an individual moved about and obtained into shut contact with others. Regional politicians from the Canary and Balearic Islands, two Spanish archipelagoes which might be main tourism hubs, have additionally criticized the decree, which the central authorities made with out consulting them first.

  • Italy entered a three-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Saturday to discourage Easter journey and get-togethers even because the nation’s variant-fueled spike in new infections started to wane, The Related Press reported. Journey between areas and visits to kin have been being restricted by Monday. Nonessential retailers have been closed and eating places and bars have been open just for takeout.

  • San Marino, a microstate surrounded by Italy, feared being left behind in Europe’s inoculation marketing campaign. Now it has jumped forward, with the Sputnik vaccine despatched by an unlikely, faraway buddy.

  • Turkey has begun administering Pfizer-BioNTech shots, the second Covid-19 vaccine licensed within the nation after China’s Sinovac. With coronavirus infections surging and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaching, the federal government can be reimposing strict social distancing measures, together with a prohibition on large gatherings for the standard meals earlier than dawn and after sundown.