WHO redeploys India staff to counter a “perfect storm”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it has bolstered its Covid-19 response in India by redeploying 2,600 health experts from other programs to counter the massive spike in cases through the country.

“As is true in any country, WHO has said the combination of relaxing of personal protective measures, mass gatherings and more contagious variants while vaccine coverage is still low can create a perfect storm,” said WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarević.

The WHO also said the problem of hospital overcrowding is being exacerbated by patients who may not need to be there.

“Currently, part of the problem is that many people rush to the hospital (also because they do not have access to information/advice), even though home-based care monitoring can be managed very safely,” Jašarević said. “Less than 15% of people who have the infection actually need hospital care and even fewer will need oxygen.”

The WHO is appealing for people not to stockpile “essential supplies like oxygen cylinders and drugs.”

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