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South Asia crosses 30 million Covid-19 cases

As India battles second wave

29 May 2021 12:30 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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BENGALURU REUTERS May 28 - Coronavirus infections in the South Asia region surpassed 30 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally of official data, led by India which is struggling with a second Covid-19 wave and a vaccine shortage across the region.   


 India, the second most-populous country in the world, this month recorded its highest Covid-19 death toll since the pandemic began last year, accounting for just over a third of the overall total.   


 The South Asia region - India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka - accounts for 18% of global cases and almost 10% of deaths. But there is growing suspicion that official tallies of infections and deaths are not reflecting the true extent of the problem.   To meet domestic demand, India temporarily halted vaccine exports in March after donating or selling more than 66 million doses. The halt has left countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and many in Africa scrambling for alternate supplies.   


 Since India is unlikely to resume major exports of Covid-19 vaccines until October, other South Asia countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh are making diplomatic efforts to secure Covid-19 vaccines to prop up their faltering inoculation drives as their stocks run out.   


 Pakistan, with purchases and donations from China and allocations from the World Health Organisation and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, has now secured more than 18 million doses. On Wednesday, Pakistan opened its vaccination campaign to everyone aged 19 or older. 


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