COVID-19: Is India’s coronavirus crisis spilling into neighbouring countries?
India is continuing to set daily COVID case records as hospitals run out of oxygen while people die on the streets.
Sky News analysis has found coronavirus infections in the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka are also rising – but in Bangladesh, they are falling.
Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world
Weekly infections in Nepal are 14 times higher than at the beginning of April. Cases have also increased in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, although not at the same level as in Nepal.
The increase in Nepal, which has a population of 29 million, is the highest out of India‘s neighbours but remains less than half that of India’s.
In fact, the four countries also have much lower infection rates than nations in several other regions in the world, including Europe and South America.
Uruguay is a current hotspot, with rates in Nepal just 14% of the South American country.
However, like India, there are issues with underreporting of cases and the numbers also depend on the testing capacity in each country.
In India’s four direct neighbours, there are between five and 17 tests taken for every positive case, according to Our World in Data. The UK is currently doing more than 400 tests per case.
The number of people dying with COVID-19 in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is increasing, however, their weekly deaths are still among the lowest in the world.
Fewer than five people are recorded to have died out of one million people with coronavirus. But, because testing capacity is limited, the actual number of people dying with the disease is likely much higher.
The number of vaccine doses given in those countries is low when compared with richer nations who are steaming ahead with their inoculation programmes.
In comparison, the UK has administered 71 doses per 100 people.
Despite Nepal having more doses delivered than Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it has only received 15% of the more than 74,000 doses per 100,000 people delivered to the UK.
All four countries are part of the COVAX alliance, which aims to provide access to vaccines for 92 poorer countries.
Some COVAX doses have already been delivered to Bangladesh, with a population of 164.7m, and Sri Lanka, which has a population of about 21m, UNICEF says.
These vaccines were supplied by India – which has temporarily banned vaccine exports to help bring the pandemic under control there.
Each country has also made bilateral agreements with pharmaceutical companies to supply vaccines.
Bangladesh has mainly relied on India, making a deal with laboratories there for 33.3m doses – three-quarters of the doses it will receive in total, including from COVAX.
A third of those 33.3m doses have already been shipped to Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka is also relying heavily on India for vaccines, with about half of its total doses coming from Indian labs.
It has already received 12% of the doses agreed through bilateral deals.
Source: Read Full Article