Big surge in virus cases in In­dia and Pak­istan

Khaleej Times - - FRONT PAGE - NEW EPI­CEN­TRE?

The coron­avirus pan­demic is ac­cel­er­at­ing across Latin Amer­ica, Rus­sia, In­dia and Pak­istan while the num­ber of cases are flat­ten­ing and busi­nesses start to re­open in much of Europe, Asia and the United States.

In­dia saw its big­gest sin­gle-day spike since the pan­demic be­gan, and Pak­istan and Rus­sia recorded their high­est death tolls. Even so, many gov­ern­ments say they need to shift their fo­cus to sav­ing jobs.

In the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, the un­em­ploy­ment num­bers are stag­ger­ing. The Fed­eral Re­serve chair­man has es­ti­mated that 25 per cent of Amer­i­cans could be job­less by June, while in China an­a­lysts es­ti­mate about a third of the ur­ban work­force is un­em­ployed.

The cy­clone that bat­tered eastern In­dia’s coastal re­gion has left author­i­ties deal­ing with both de­struc­tion on the ground and the pan­demic. The pan­demic made evac­u­a­tions harder since many of the now-crowded cy­clone shel­ters were be­ing used for quar­an­tin­ing virus pa­tients.

Mean­while, the pan­demic is in­ter­rupt­ing im­mu­ni­sa­tion against diseases, in­clud­ing measles, po­lio and cholera that could put the lives of nearly 80 mil­lion chil­dren un­der the age of 1 at risk, ac­cord­ing to a new anal­y­sis from the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion and part­ners. Health of­fi­cials warned that more than half of 129 coun­tries re­ported mod­er­ate, se­vere or to­tal sus­pen­sions of vac­ci­na­tion ser­vices dur­ing March and April. —

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