Why Indian Parents Are So Dramatic

Corona wave India: "Children are going through a tragedy"

STATEMENT FROM DR. YASMIN ALI HAQUE, HEAD OF UNICEF INDIA

India is battling a deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the past 24 hours, the number of new infections in India reached a new global record of 414,188. More than 3,900 people in India died from or with Covid-19.

India 2020: UNICEF has been supporting children and families on site since the beginning of the pandemic, including by providing information about the dangers of a corona infection and the necessary protective measures.
© UNICEF / UNI355854 / Panjwani

The virus is spreading rapidly - we are very concerned about that. On average, there have been more than four new infections per second and more than two deaths per minute in the past 24 hours. More and more people of all ages are becoming infected with the virus, including children and babies.

What is happening in India is an alarm for all of us. The pandemic is far from over. New infections are increasing across South Asia, particularly in Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Health systems are on the verge of collapse. Due to the very low vaccination rate in South Asia, there is a risk that the virus will spread even further. The situation is alarming in other parts of the world as well.

The renewed wave of Covid-19 has profound consequences for children

The more the virus spreads, the more profound the consequences for children and their health and basic care. Many lose their parents or loved ones and plunge into misery. You are going through a tragedy.

Although there is not enough information yet, we observe that illegal adoption offers are spreading more and more on social media. This increases the risk of human trafficking and violence. UNICEF calls for greater efforts to protect orphans. We urgently need to ensure that unparented children receive help from family members and relatives and that poor families receive support.

The second wave has dire consequences for the children and limits their access to important health and social services, protective measures and educational opportunities. Many children struggle with mental health problems and are at greater risk of violence because the lockdown cuts them off from important services.

Many of them miss routine life-saving vaccinations and have no access to health care if, for example, they contract pneumonia and other illnesses.

With 27 million births and 30 million pregnancies each year, antenatal care is particularly important in India. However, due to the congestion in health facilities, more and more families do not have access to this vital health care.

Half of the children under five in India are malnourished. The crisis threatens to further affect child nutrition and basic services across the country.

UNICEF supports children and their families in India

Schools across the country are closed, and access to distance learning is partially interrupted in several states. Schools are no longer safe places for 247 million children in elementary and secondary education - exactly when they need them most. In addition, many children do not have access to digital learning. So the educational emergency in India will continue.

UNICEF supports the government in ensuring basic services for the most vulnerable children.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, UNICEF has worked tirelessly to contain the devastating effects of the pandemic on children.

We have brought vital life-saving supplies to India, including 3,000 oxygen concentrators, tests, medicines and other equipment, as well as two million protective visors and 200,000 surgical masks.

Global impact of the situation in India

India is the largest vaccine producer in the world. The rapidly increasing demand for vaccine doses against Covid-19 in India means that millions of doses intended for low-income countries cannot be exported. This leads to a large supply gap and increases the risk of further outbreaks and mutations.

We must do everything now to stop the crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us once again how closely our worlds are connected. The situation in India is dire. We must now show solidarity and prevent the situation from getting worse in other countries as well. We are very grateful for the support and solidarity from the international community - it should continue until we overcome the pandemic.

If we are to be one step ahead of the virus, we need to provide fair access to vaccination doses for all. Therefore, intellectual property rights should be simplified through voluntary and proactive licensing. Yesterday came great news from US President Biden that he supports the patent suspension for Covid-19 vaccines.

Such a breakthrough in the global fight against the pandemic gives us hope for effective international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic. We would also welcome simplification of patent rights through voluntary and proactive licensing.

Markets alone cannot guarantee that innovations will benefit everyone. Therefore, voluntary licenses, pooled funds, and multilateral mechanisms like COVAX are an effective and pragmatic way for product developers and manufacturers to collaborate, innovate, and provide equitable access to vaccines.

And we have to end vaccination nationalism. Governments should lift direct and indirect export and import controls that block, restrict, or slow down the export of Covid-19 vaccines, ingredients and supplies. Viruses know no borders. Defeating Covid-19 in our home countries also means defeating it worldwide by ensuring a steady flow of vaccines and supplies for all.

UNICEF India needs $ 21 million for the delivery of additional test equipment, relief supplies and oxygen products and more than $ 50 million for life-saving Covid-19 interventions in various sectors.

But vaccines are not a magic wand. More than ever it is important to wear masks, to wash our hands with soap as often as possible and to keep our distance. "

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