WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that India’s Covid-19 situation remains extremely alarming, with a troubling number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continuing to be recorded in many nations, warning that the pandemic’s second year will be “much more deadly” than the first for the nation.
The WHO is responding to the Covid-19 outbreak in India by shipping thousands of oxygen concentrators, tents for mobile field hospitals, masks, and other medical supplies, according to Ghebreyesus.
In a daily briefing meeting, he said, “India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths.”
“And we thank all the stakeholders who are supporting India,” said the WHO Director-General.
The coronavirus pandemic is sweeping India, with 3,43,144 people testing positive for the virus on Friday, bringing the country’s total caseload to 2,40,46,809. The death toll has risen to 2,62,317 people.
On December 19, India’s Covid-19 count surpassed 10 million cases, and in less than six months, it had doubled, surpassing the dreadful landmark of 20 million cases on May 4.
The emergency-like condition, according to Ghebreyesus, was not limited to India.
“Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Egypt are just some of the countries that are dealing with spikes in cases and hospitalisations,” he said, adding that some countries in the Americas continue to have large numbers of cases, with the region accounting for 40% of all Covid-19 deaths last week.
“We’re on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first,” Ghebreyesus said, noting that Covid-19 has already claimed the lives of over 3.3 million people around the world.
He lamented that vaccine supply remains a major issue, and that the only way out of the pandemic is to save lives and livelihoods by a combination of public health initiatives and vaccination – not one or the other.