United Nations- WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Friday that the pandemic's second year would be "far more deadly" than the first for the world, with India's COVID-19 situation deteriorating with every passing day as the cases of coronavirus infections keep skyrocketing and spiraling beyond control, resulting in a worrying number of hospitalization and COVID-19 induced fatalities.
The WHO is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak in India by shipping thousands of oxygen concentrators, tents for mobile field hospitals, masks, and other medical supplies, said Ghebreyesus. "India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths," he briefed the media. WHO Director-General also thanked all the stakeholders who have supported India.
India, which is currently under the demonic grasp of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, on Friday registered 3,43,144 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the country's total caseload to 2,40,46,809. 3,980 COVID-induced fatalities have been reported in the last 24 hours taking the total death count to 2,62,317. On December 19, the COVID-19 count in India passed the ten million mark, and in less than six months, it had doubled, surpassing the dreadful landmark of 20 million cases on May 4.
While on a positive note, this is the fourth time in the last five days that recoveries have outnumbered daily cases.
The emergency-like situation, according to Ghebreyesus, was not limited to India.
"Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Egypt are just some of the countries that are dealing with spikes in cases and hospitalisations," he said, adding that some countries in the American continent continue to have high numbers of cases, accounting for 40% of all COVID-19 deaths last week.
Ghebreyesus declared that many African countries too are faced with a massive surge in the COVID-19 cases and added, "these countries are in heightened response mode and WHO will continue to provide support in all ways possible."
"We're on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first," he said adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed the lives of over 3.3 million people around the world.
Ghebreyesus said that the only way out of the pandemic is to save lives and livelihoods by a combination of public health initiatives and vaccination - not one or the other, expressing grief about the challenges faced in the process of making the COVID-19 vaccines available for the people.