Asian countries ramp up vaccination after Covid-19 surge

New Delhi, Aug 6 (EFE).- A number of countries in South and Southeast Asia have ramped up vaccination drives against Covid-19 after the region was hit by devastating waves of the pandemic in recent months, in which thousands of deaths were reported daily and the medical infrastructure was unable to handle the massive caseload.

The World Health Organization said in a press release on Friday that more than half a billion vaccine doses had been administered in Southeast Asia as more doses had become available and governments had scaled up efforts amid recurring outbreaks.

“Countries across the Region are making unprecedented efforts to reach more and more people with life-saving COVID-19 vaccines demonstrating their commitment to contain the pandemic at the earliest,” Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the WHO regional director for Southeast Asia, said in a statement.

Around 618.5 million doses had been administered across the region by Friday, while 146 million people had been fully vaccinated with both doses.

The highest 489 million doses were administered in India, where a record 8.6 million doses were given out in a single day in June.

Indonesia, one of the first countries in the region to kick off anti-Covid vaccination, has administered 71 million doses, followed by Thailand, where 18 million doses have been given.

Sri Lanka has so far administered 13 million vaccine doses and has been giving out around 500,000 daily doses in recent days.

In terms of population, Bhutan has fully vaccinated 62 percent of the population – over 80 percent of the adult population – the highest in the region, while Maldives has given both doses to half of its population.

Other countries such as Nepal and Thailand have focused on first vaccinating their health and frontline workers.

Bangladesh is also scaling up vaccination, including plans to vaccinate the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in massive camps in the Cox’s Bazar district.

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