Death Rates Soar In Southeast Asia As Virus Wave Spreads

Residents wait on line to receive shots of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Central Vaccination Center in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

(AP) — Images of bodies burning in open-air pyres during the peak of the pandemic in India horrified the world in May, but in the last two weeks three Southeast Asian nations have surpassed India’s peak per capita death rate as a new coronavirus wave tightens its grip on the region.

The deaths have followed record numbers of new cases, which have left health care systems struggling to cope and governments scrambling to implement new restrictions to try to slow the spread, fueled by the virulent delta variant. Vaccinations are sluggish but have been picking up.

There are also growing concerns that China’s Sinovac jabs are less effective against the delta variant, and both Indonesia and Thailand are planning booster shots of other vaccines.



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