WHO says India accounts for almost half of all global Covid cases in past week

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<p>Rohan Aggarwal, 26, a resident doctor treating patients suffering from coronavirus, talks to the relative of a Covid-19 patient about the unavailability of hopsital beds during his 27-hour shift at the Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi, India</p> (Reuters)

Rohan Aggarwal, 26, a resident doctor treating patients suffering from coronavirus, talks to the relative of a Covid-19 patient about the unavailability of hopsital beds during his 27-hour shift at the Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi, India

(Reuters)

India accounted for nearly half of all global Covid-19 cases and one in every four deaths due to the virus in the past week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in its latest report.

The global health body said the “Southeast Asia region continues to report marked increases in both case and death incidences. India accounts for over 90 per cent of both cases and deaths in the region, as well as 46 per cent of global cases and 25 per cent of global deaths reported in the past week.”

According to the WHO, for the second successive week, the number of Covid-19 cases globally remains at the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic, with over 5.7 million new weekly cases and 93,000 deaths.

Of these, India accounts for nearly 2.6 million new cases, a 20 per cent increase compared to the previous week, and 23,231 deaths.

India is currently witnessing a severe second wave of the pandemic reporting record daily cases of coronavirus– on average over 300,000 every day for the past two weeks now. Since the start of the pandemic, India has recorded over 20.6 million cases - of that, over 42 per cent (about 8.6 million) were recorded in less than 40 days between 29 March-5 May.

During the same period, India recorded 64,636 deaths due to Covid-19 which is over 28 per cent of the total 226,188 deaths recorded in the country since the pandemic started.

The consistently high number of cases includes those from an infectious variant of the virus which is sometimes not even detected in tests conducted to confirm its presence in humans.

The pressure of rising cases has led to hospitals running out of medicines, beds and oxygen while the crematoriums are overflowing too. As a result of this huge pressure on the country’s health infrastructure, social media in India is flooded with information, pictures and videos of those whose seeking help.

There also have been scenes of people dying in ambulances and car parks while waiting for oxygen beds in the hospitals.

The worrisome part is that the WHO figures are based on India’s official numbers which are considered conservative figure. The authorities are often accused of underreporting the actual number of cases and deaths.

India is only second to the US in terms of total coronavirus cases which has recorded over 32.08 million cases and over 571,000 deaths.

India’s neighbours are also witnessing an increase in their cases of Covid-19. For instance, according to the WHO, Nepal recorded a 137 per cent increase in cases to 31,088 last week, while Sri Lanka’s coronavirus outbreak was also growing.

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