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Coronavirus

WHO chief Tedros says sending help to India as COVID-19 surges

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The head of the World Health Organization is calling the recent surge in coronavirus in India “beyond heartbreaking” and says the UN agency has dispatched critical supplies to the subcontinent, including thousands of portable oxygen machines that help patients breathe.

At a press briefing on Monday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic “continues to intensify” globally and that coronavirus infections have now risen for the ninth straight week, while deaths have increased for the sixth week in a row.

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“There were as many cases globally last week as in the first five months of the pandemic,” he said.

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To address the crisis in India, Tedros said WHO has redeployed more than 2,000 staff to support the country’s response on the ground and is helping authorities with efforts including vaccination.

Among the supplies WHO has sent India are pre-made mobile field hospitals and lab supplies, he said.

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