The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised an alarm over the surge of Covid 19 cases in India even as the organisation sent additional critical lifesaving supplies to the country.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said “the tragic situation in India should raise alarm bells for all of us.” She said that there would be reverberations across the region and the world in terms of virus related deaths, mutations unless the world steps up and helps India now.
Meanwhile, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, George Laryea-Adjei pointed out that the surge of Covid 19 cases in the region was unlike anything seen before. He warned of a “real possibility” that health systems in the region will get strained, leading to even more loss of life.
In a statement, George Laryea-Adjei called for “urgent action and steadfast leadership” to stop the catastrophe.
He stressed that the governments should do everything within their power to stop the devastation. The countries and those who are able to send assistance must do so immediately. The international community must step up immediately, he said.
The countries across the region witnessed a rise in infections. India accounted for over 90 per cent of both cases and deaths in the region, as per the World Health Organization’s weekly epidemiological update. The country also accounted for 46 per cent of global cases and 25 per cent of global deaths reported in the past week, the WHO said.
The World Organisation also mentioned increasing cases and deaths in Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They said that the situation was particularly alarming in Nepal, where cases recorded a 137 per cent rise this week.
Pakistan is also experiencing a major surge COVID-19 and the number of cases increased rapidly in recent weeks.
According to a regional humanitarian bulletin humanitarian bulletin from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), healthcare system has been impacted in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with hospitals reporting shortages of available beds, oxygen, and other essential supplies.
LOW LEVEL OF VACCINATIONS
UNICEF also warned that very low levels of vaccination in the region could magnify the likelihood of the virus spiraling “even further out of control”. It said that fewer than one in ten people have been vaccinated in almost all countries in the region.