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The head of the WHO says the situation in India is “heartbreaking”



During the mass cremation at a crematorium in New Delhi, India on April 26, 2021, health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) carried timber to prepare the funeral pyr for victims of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS / Adnan Abidi

WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that the situation in India with the surge in COVID-19 cases is “heartbreaking” and the World Health Organization is sending more personnel and supplies there to fight the epidemic.

Tedros said in the briefing: “WHO is doing everything it can to provide critical equipment and supplies, including thousands of oxygen generators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies.”

Citing figures provided last Friday, he said that the WHO has mobilized 2,600 staff from other programs in India to help support efforts to combat the disease.

India on Monday ordered its armed forces to help cope with the surge of new coronavirus infections, which are overwhelming hospitals, and countries including the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States pledged to provide emergency medical assistance.read more

Maria van Kerkhove, WHO’s head of COVID-19 technology, said at a press conference: “The number of cases we are seeing is increasing exponentially, which is really amazing.”

She said: “In many countries, we have seen similar transmission routes, and the scale of transmission has not reached the same level of burden on the healthcare system seen in India.”

The COVAX vaccine sharing facility operated by the GAVI Vaccine Alliance and WHO has provided more than 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 120 economies. So far, most of them are taken by AstraZeneca (AZN.L) by the Serum Institute of India.

GAVI CEO Seth Berkley asked how COVAX would compensate for India’s decision to delay vaccine exports, said: “We expect to provide 90 million in March and April to the 60 lowest-income countries, including India. Agents, but have not yet been provided. In view of the crisis, they are now being used domestically in India.

He said: “While we are waiting for supply to resume, we are considering other options at the same time.”

Our standard: “Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.”


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