The world’s fastest surge of COVID-19 is pushing hospitals and health systems to the brink of collapse as Asia has fast become the global COVID-19 hotspot, suffering more than twice as many new infections than any other region in the past two weeks.
Across Asia, more than 5.9 million people have been reported newly infected with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, according to Oxford University’s – Our World in Data.
Alexander Matheou, Asia Pacific Director, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said:
“COVID-19 is exploding across much of Asia, overwhelming hospitals and healthcare. More people have been diagnosed with the disease in Asia over the past two weeks than in the Americas, Europe, and Africa combined.
“Right now, we need global solidarity for regional support with more medical equipment, support for prevention and urgent access to vaccines.”
Seven of the 10 countries globally that are doubling their infection numbers the fastest are in Asia and the Pacific. Laos took just 12 days to see its caseload double, and the number of cases in India has doubled in under two months to more than 23 million.
The speed and scale of this COVID-19 surge has slammed into hospitals and overwhelmed medical staff already struggling to cope. Vaccination campaigns are underway, but they are hampered by shortages, hesitancy, and the costly logistics of reaching many areas across Asia and the Pacific.