Coronavirus spreading like 'wildfire': UN official

The new wave of coronavirus infections is spreading like "wildfire" across India, leaving many young people destitute, with reports of four cases every second and more than two deaths per minute in the past day, the UNICEF said on Friday.

"What is happening in India should raise alarm bells for all of us," Yasmin Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, told journalists via video call at a UN press conference.

"COVID-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate across South Asia, especially in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives."

As the world's second-most-populous nation, India is staking its hold as the new global COVID-19 epicenter, said Haque, noting: "This wave is almost four times the size of the first wave, and the virus is spreading much faster.

India set a new global record on Thursday after the country registered its biggest single-day rise in coronavirus cases of over 412,000 in the last 24 hours.

The UN official noted that health facilities have been overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, with reports that pregnant women have struggled to find the support they need to give birth.

Every year, 27 million children are born in India, she said, adding that "life-saving services to help women give birth are critical in India."

(c) Anadolu Agency

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