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Russia sees record COVID deaths for 5th straight day as world battles Delta variant

Russia reports its fifth record for daily COVID-19 deaths in a row, as countries around the world rush to contain the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The variant has propelled a resurgence of the virus which has already killed nearly four million people, forcing numerous nations to reimpose restrictions, well over a year after the pandemic first swept the world.

Russia has so far ruled out a new lockdown to fight surging Delta cases, even as it reports 697 more deaths today — setting a new nationwide record for the fifth straight day.

The Russian city of Saint Petersburg hosted a Euro 2020 quarter-final between Spain and Switzerland last night, with concern raised after hundreds of cases were detected among spectators attending games across the continent.

Russia had hoped its vaccination campaign would tamp down a new wave, but it has met with widespread skepticism and a sluggish rollout, with only 16 percent of Russia’s 146 million people having been jabbed.

Thousands of troops and police hit the streets in Indonesia to enforce a partial lockdown imposed today, as the country records a record 27,913 new daily cases as well as 493 deaths.

Mosques, restaurants and shopping malls are shuttered in the capital Jakarta, across the main island of Java and on Bali, after the daily caseload quadrupled in less than a month, with the Delta variant blamed.

The overwhelmed healthcare system is teetering on the brink of collapse, as jammed hospitals turn away patients, forcing desperate families to hunt for oxygen tanks to treat the sick and dying at home.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Myanmar orders two million people in the city of Mandalay to stay at home Friday, as the coup-hit country struggles to contain coronavirus cases.

New measures are also put into place in Portugal, with an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew entering into force overnight for nearly half the population, in a bid rein in rising Delta infections.

Iran, battling the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus, warns it could be hit by yet another wave of infections.

The Delta variant, first identified in India and now present in at least 85 countries, has driven outbreaks in places that had previously been able to, for the most part, avoid the pandemic’s ravages.

Fiji, which went an entire year without recording any community coronavirus cases until Delta arrived in April, records its biggest-ever infection increase today.

Authorities report two deaths and warn of more to come, as the virus threatens to overwhelm the South Pacific nation’s health system.

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