India could have the highest increase in infant and maternal deaths among South Asian countries in 2020, due to the effects of Covid-19, local media reported on Thursday.
The report ‘Direct and Indirect Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic and Response in South Asia’, drafted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Population Fund (UNPF), indicated that the pandemic has affected the country’s healthcare system.
The suspension of sexual, reproduction, maternal, neonatal and child healthcare due to Covid-19 has had a substantial impact on maternal and child mortality, The Hindu daily highlighted.
The document targeted the six most populated South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The report offers a gloomy assessment of the impact of the pandemic on children’s and women’s health, the economy, employment and education in these countries.
It is estimated that Covid-19 has cost the region over 2.4 billion dollars, including the cost of tests (1.9 billion dollars) and healthcare for the deaths caused by this contagious disease (581 million dollars).
The region could spend 8.1 billion dollars more on PCR tests and up to 2.4 billion dollars more on healthcare by September 2021.