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Sunday, 05 December 2021 11.13 AM IST

India's Covid-19 situation 'beyond heartbreaking': WHO chief Tedros

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GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced alarm on Monday at India's prevailing Covid-19 crisis and described the situation as "beyond heartbreaking".

The World Health Organization is sending extra staff and supplies there to help fight the pandemic, the WHO chief said.

"It's pleasing to see small declines in cases and deaths in several regions, but many countries are still experiencing intense Covid-19 transmission, and the situation in India is beyond heartbreaking," the WHO chief said, according to news agency Reuters.

"WHO is doing everything we can, providing critical equipment and supplies," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said while speaking to reporters, adding that the organisation had sent "thousands of oxygen concentrators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies."

He also said that the WHO had transferred over 2,600 of its experts from various programmes, including polio and tuberculosis, to work with Indian health authorities to help respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

India battles catastrophic wave of Covid-19

Tedros's comments came as India battles a catastrophic wave of Covid-19 that has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums working at full capacity.

The country of 130 crore has become the latest hotspot of a pandemic that has killed over three million people worldwide, even as richer countries take steps towards normality with quickening inoculation programmes.

A recent spurt in Covid-19 cases has seen patients' families taking to social media to beg for oxygen supplies and locations of available hospital beds, and has forced the capital New Delhi to extend a week-long lockdown.

The US and the UK have rushed ventilators and vaccine materials to help India weather the devastating crisis, while a range of other nations also pledged support.

The United States remains the worst-affected country, with some 572,200 deaths and over 32 million infections, followed by Brazil and Mexico.

But India, in fourth place, has in recent days been driving the global case numbers.

India, which has recorded over 195,000 deaths, registered 2,812 new deaths and 352,991 new infections today alone -- its highest tolls since the start of the pandemic.

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TAGS: WHO CHIEF, INDIA, TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, COVID 19 CRISIS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION, COVID 19 TRANSMISSION, NEW DELHI, PANDEMIC
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