The WHO expressed grave concern over rising COVID-19 cases in South Asia and warned that the region is at its critical point.
“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic when we have proven control measures. We are in a critical point of the pandemic right now,” explained WHO technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove.
India now has the second-highest number of infections worldwide, after logging more than 168,000 new cases on Monday while Bangladesh gained 7,462 cases last Friday followed by Pakistan with 118 deaths on Tuesday.
The World Bank also reported that a third of the businesses in South Asia were not in operation because of the high number of cases.
Most businesses were still in operation in India but very few healthcare policies were reportedly observed by citizens.
“Nobody follows the rules in the restaurant… If we tell customers to wear masks, they are rude and disrespectful to us,” said a waiter in Mumbai.
Apart from disregard for health protocols, many people also flocked to the Ganges river for Kumbh Mela.
In Bangladesh, the government took stricter measures to counter their surge.
Starting Wednesday, the Bangladeshi government will ban all international and domestic flights for a week.
Pakistan has resorted to private vaccine sales due to delayed deliveries and limited supplies.
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