Governments around the world on Thursday, July 29 raced to head off a surge in coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant, with US President Joe Biden offering new incentives to vaccine holdouts and Israel authorizing booster shots. The World Health Organization warned the highly transmissible strain of the virus, first detected in India, could unleash a “fourth wave” of cases in its Eastern Mediterranean zone – an area stretching from Morocco to Pakistan.
Those countries are especially at risk because vaccination rates are low – only 5.5 per cent of the region’s population has been fully vaccinated. So in nations where vaccines are more available, public officials are sounding the alarm. He said all federal government workers would be asked to reveal their vaccination status — and those without the jab would have to mask in the workplace and submit to Covid-19 tests. The Democratic president also said he would ask the Pentagon to consider making the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for active duty military personnel, and asked state and local governments to offer $100 to holdouts who get the shot. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also urged people living in Covid hotspots — even the vaccinated — to mask up indoors. The surge in cases across America has left the early vaccine adopters angry at those who have so far opted against the jab.