The new wave is causing further misery for hundreds of millions of people across South Asia.
The new wave is causing further misery for hundreds of millions of people across South Asia.

Omicron Threatens to Overwhelm Health Systems in South Asia: Red Cross

English India south asia Omicron
Wahyu Dwi Anggoro • 12 January 2022 12:14
Delhi: The Omicron variant is fuelling a rapid surge of COVID-19 across South Asia that threatens to overwhelm health systems still reeling from a deadly wave of the Delta variant last year, according to International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
 
Countries across South Asia from India to Nepal and Bangladesh are reporting alarming increases in COVID-19 infections, with India alone reporting a 2,013 per cent increase in COVID-19 infections in the past month, with cases now topping 179,000 in a day.
 
The new wave is causing further misery for hundreds of millions of people across South Asia, already living in extreme poverty, exacerbated by COVID-19 over the past two years.

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"This latest surge of COVID-19 spells immense danger for millions of people and health systems across South Asia. Omicron is spreading fast and while vaccination rates have been soaring, after such tragic loss of life last year, fear is mounting of record infection rates," Udaya Regmi, IFRC's Head of Delegation in South Asia, said in a press release on Wednesday.
 
"People everywhere want this pandemic to end but we must boost efforts to keep people safe with the basics, by wearing masks, avoiding crowds, and getting fully vaccinated where possible," Regmi added.
 
In South Asia, a majority of countries have vaccinated less than 50 per cent of their population, putting people at greater risk of developing severe illness and requiring hospitalisation.  India has fully vaccinated 45 per cent of its population, while Pakistan has 32.8 per cent and Bangladesh 33 per cent who have received two jabs, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data.

 
(WAH)
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