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WHO chief says India’s Covid-19 situation hugely concerning, warns pandemic to be far more deadly this year

Ghebreyesus said the WHO has shipped thousands of oxygen concentrators, tents for mobile field hospitals, masks and other medical supplies to India.

WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday said India’s unprecedented second wave of deadly Covid-19 is concerning as several states continue to see a huge surge in the number of infections, deaths, and hospitalisations. He warned that the pandemic’s second year will be far more deadly than the first for the world.

Ghebreyesus said the WHO has shipped thousands of oxygen concentrators, tents for mobile field hospitals, masks and other medical supplies to India. Addressing the media briefing, the WHO Chief said India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths, he said at the daily media briefing. He thanked all the stakeholders who are supporting India.

About 3,43,144 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, taking the country’s caseload to 2,40,46,809. The death count stands at 2,62,317.

India’s Covid-19 tally crossed the 10 million mark on December 19 and in under six months the Covid-19 numbers surpassed the grim milestone of 20 million cases on May 4.

However, Ghebreyesus pointed out that the emergency-like situation was not restricted to India. Countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt and Thailand are witnessing a surge in Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations. He also said that some countries in the Americas still have high numbers of cases and as a region, the Americas accounted for 40 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths last week.

Spike in Covid-19 cases has been reported in some countries in Africa too. These countries are in heightened response mode and WHO will continue to provide support in all ways possible, the WHO chief said.

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Noting that Covid-19 has already claimed more than 3.3 million lives across the world, Ghebreyesus said, the second year of this pandemic is far more deadly than the first. He said that vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic.

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