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Covid-19

COVID-19 Update: WHO redeploys 2,600 health experts to help India tackle second wave

The World Health Organization said that it has bolstered its COVID-19 response in India by redeploying 2,600 health experts from other programs to counter the recent daily spike.

Representative Image (WHO)

Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it has bolstered its COVID-19 response in India by redeploying 2,600 health experts from other programs to counter the recent daily spike in cases and deaths. According to WHO survey, among its member countries, more than half the countries consulted say they have recruited additional staff to boost the health workforce; redirected patients to other care facilities; and switched to alternative methods to delivering care, such as providing more home-based services, multi-month prescriptions for treatments, and increasing the use of telemedicine.

In an email to CNN, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic on Tuesday said, “As is true in any country, WHO has said the combination of relaxing of personal protective measures, mass gatherings and more contagious variants while vaccine coverage is still low can create a perfect storm.”

WHO also said that the problem of hospital overcrowding is being aggravated by patients who may not need to be there. “Currently, part of the problem is that many people rush to the hospital (also because they do not have access to information/advice), even though home-based care monitoring can be managed very safely,” said Jasarevic.

The WHO spokesperson further said that less than 15 per cent of people who have contracted the virus actually need hospital care and even fewer will need oxygen. WHO is also appealing for people to not stockpile essential supplies like oxygen cylinders and drugs, CNN reported.

The World Health Organization (WHO) will provide 4,000 oxygen concentrators to India which is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and related deaths, a spokesperson of the global health body said on Tuesday.

India is reeling under the impact of the second wave of coronavirus. The country has been reporting over three lakh daily cases in the last few days. As India fights against the unprecedented health crisis of COVID-19, global support in the form of oxygen supplies, ventilators, raw material for vaccines, PPT kits and oxygen concentrators have started pouring in.

Technology giants like Google and Microsoft have also chipped in to support the country in the current crisis. The UK has said 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators will be sent to India this week. Out of these 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators arrived on Tuesday. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said earlier in the day that Australia will send 500 ventilators, one million surgical masks, 500,000 P2 and N95 masks, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves and 20,000 face shields. US President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and pledged America’s steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

The United States is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics. India reported over 3.60 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases and close to 3,300 related deaths in the last 24 hours, its biggest single-day hike since the onset of the pandemic. The total count of positive cases now stands at 1,79,97,267 whereas the death toll has soared up to 2,01,187 deaths. A total of 1,48,17,371 people have recovered so far from the disease.

(With ANI inputs)

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