The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a grim warning stating that India's COVID-19 situation remains hugely concerning, with many of the country's states continue to witness an alarming rise in cases, hospitalisations, and deaths.
Addressing a media briefing on Friday, May 14, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the second year of COVID-19 will be "far more deadly" than the first for the world. He added that the WHO is tending to the coronavirus glut in India and has already shipped thousands of oxygen concentrators, masks, tents for mobile field hospitals, and other medical equipment to the country.
"India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths," he said at the daily media briefing.
"And we thank all the stakeholders who are supporting India," the WHO Director-General said.
India is in the midst of a deadly wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with 3,43,144 people testing positive for the virus on Friday, taking the country's caseload to 2,40,46,809. The death toll stands at 2,62,317.
India's COVID-19 tally crossed the 10 million mark on December 19 and in under six months it has doubled, surpassing the grim milestone of 20 million cases on May 4.
Ghebreyesus pointed out that the emergency-like situation was not restricted 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 Americas still have high numbers of cases and as a region, the Americas accounted for 40 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths last week.
There are also spikes in some countries in Africa. "These countries are in heightened response mode and WHO will continue to provide support in all ways possible," he said.
Noting that COVID-19 has already cost more than 3.3 million lives across the world, Ghebreyesus said, "We're on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first."
He lamented that vaccine supply remains a key challenge and that saving lives and livelihoods with a combination of public health measures and vaccination - not one or the other - is the only way out of the pandemic.
(With inputs from PTI.)