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Covid rips through rural India’s threadbare healthcare system

The pandemic overwhelming the big cities is reaching areas of Bihar where there is one doctor for 40,000 peopleIn the small rural village of Kathail, in the east of India’s poorest state, Bihar, access to healthcare has always been scarce. But when 34-year-old Umakant Singh fell sick with a cough and fever last week, his brother Mantu Singh did all he could to find help.For four days Mantu rushed around, collecting the limited medicines he could find for his younger brother and nursing him at ho...
Tags: India, World news, South and Central Asia, Bihar, MANTU, Coronavirus, COVID, Kathail, Umakant Singh, Mantu Singh


US deploys extra warplanes to protect its troops withdrawing from Afghanistan

F-18 attack planes and B-52 bombers can be called on to protect departing forces, amid expected increase in Taliban activityThe United States has deployed a dozen additional warplanes to bolster protection of American and coalition troops making a final withdrawal from the country as Taliban insurgents step up pressure on Afghan government forces, top Pentagon officials have said.General Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said F-18 attack planes had been added to a previously anno...
Tags: US, Qatar, World news, US news, Afghanistan, United States, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Pentagon, Eisenhower, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, North Arabian Sea, Army Rangers Continue


Nepal facing ‘human catastrophe’ similar to India’s amid Covid surge

Country appeals for international help, with vaccines in short supply and a reported 47% positivity rateCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNepal is struggling to contain an explosion in Covid-19 cases, as fears grow that the situation in the Himalayan country may be as bad, if not worse, than in neighbouring India, with which it shares a long and porous border.Following warnings by health officials earlier this week that the country was on the brink of losing control of ...
Tags: Health, India, World news, South and Central Asia, Nepal, Vaccines and immunisation, Coronavirus


Covid third wave ‘inevitable’ in India, say health experts

New variants are contributing factor behind country’s vicious second wave with likelihood of more variants emergingCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHealth experts have warned that a Covid-19 third wave is “inevitable” in India, as evidence grows that new variants are a contributing factor behind the country’s vicious second wave.India broke global records again on Thursday, recording 412,784 new cases and 3,980 deaths over 24 hours. Experts believe the real figure to b...
Tags: Science, India, World news, Medical Research, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, Delhi, Coronavirus


Nepal reports 19 positive Covid tests at Dhaulagiri base camp

Decision to allow expeditions to go ahead dealt blow after outbreak on world’s seventh highest mountainCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNepal’s decision to allow people to continue climb its Himalayan peaks as a vicious Covid-19 wave sweeps the country was dealt a further blow after 19 more climbers tested positive for the virus.Last month it was reported that the pandemic had reached Everest base camp and though officials later denied it, climbers have reported a wave...
Tags: World news, South and Central Asia, Everest, Nepal, Mountaineering, Global development, Mount Everest, Dhaulagiri, Coronavirus


India’s neighbours close borders as Covid wave spreads across region

Nepal has been hardest hit to date, while concerns are growing in Pakistan and BangladeshCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn April, along with millions of other people, Nepal’s former king Gyanendra Shah, 73, and his 70-year-old wife, Komal, travelled to India for the Kumbh Mela religious festival. There he took a holy dip in the Ganges at Hardiwar and interacted maskless with officials, sadhus and other pilgrims.On their return to Kathmandu’s airport, hundreds gathere...
Tags: India, World news, South and Central Asia, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kathmandu, Kumbh Mela, Ganges, Komal, Coronavirus, Gyanendra Shah, Hardiwar


UN raises serious human rights concerns over Australia’s India travel ban

‘Nobody’s going to be jailed … at this time,’ deputy PM Michael McCormack saysFollow the Australia news live blogCould I have made a difference? What Australia’s Indian doctors are asking themselvesKatharine Murphy: PM lectured the states against snap border closures – now he’s done exactly thatUN human rights officials have raised “serious concerns” about the Morrison government’s ban on Australians returning from India, and the severe penalties attached to breaches.The office of the UN high co...
Tags: Human Rights, Australia, India, Australia news, South and Central Asia, Australian politics, United Nations, Un, Anthony Albanese, Morrison, Michael McCormack, Australian Citizenship, Coronavirus


Threats to safety force dozens of Afghan journalists to go into hiding

Network of safe houses set up amid fears of rising violence as Nato forces prepare to pull out in SeptemberDozens of journalists have moved to safe houses across Afghanistan, and others have been sent abroad, as threats against media workers continue to rise.New safe houses have been set up in several Afghan cities as evacuations increase, offering some security for targeted journalists. Continue reading...
Tags: Media, World news, Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, Nato, Global development, Journalist safety


Coronavirus live news: India passes 20m cases; German plan to give more freedoms to fully vaccinated ‘unfair’

India records 357,229 new daily cases; law that would lift curbs for those with all jabs discriminates against young people who won’t be able to get jabs for months‘Like living in a horror film’: UK doctors raise Covid funds for IndiaGerman ‘jab to freedom’ Covid bill criticised as unfair to young peopleForeign Office revises UK Covid advice for non-essential travelVaccine shortages blight India’s efforts to contain Covid crisisSee all coronavirus coverage 4.19pm BST Italy has reported a fur...
Tags: UK, India, Spain, World news, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Italy, Portugal, Canary Islands, Foreign Office, Coronavirus, FCDO, Commonwealth and Development Office FCDO


Coronavirus live news: Spain to let regions decide Covid curbs; India passes 20m cases

Spanish returns to regional controls as state of emergency comes to an end; India records 357,229 new daily cases‘Like living in a horror film’: UK doctors raise Covid funds for IndiaVaccine shortages blight India’s efforts to contain Covid crisisEU plans to reopen to fully Covid-vaccinated foreign tourists from JuneUS to authorise Pfizer vaccine for ages 12-15 early next week - reportSee all coronavirus coverage 3.24pm BST More than a quarter of music festivals due to take place in the UK t...
Tags: UK, India, Spain, World news, Britain, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Pfizer, Carmen Calvo, Coronavirus, Association of Independent Festivals AIF


Myanmar embassy row could be used as UK test case against junta

Exclusive: supporters of former ambassador in London aim to have court rule junta is illegitimateA UK-based NGO and solicitors representing Myanmar’s former ambassador to the UK want to use the junta’s efforts to evict him from his London residence as a test case to establish the illegitimacy of the junta in the English courts.Kyaw Zwar Minn became an international cause celebre last month when he was locked out of his embassy by his deputy, Chit Win, after breaking ranks with the military and c...
Tags: Politics, UK, London, UK News, World news, South and Central Asia, Foreign Policy, Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar, NGO, Kyaw Zwar Minn


‘Like living in a horror film’: UK doctors raise Covid funds for India

Concerned British doctors of Asian heritage says India’s Covid crisis needs a strong global responseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe streets of Delhi are known for their noise, crowds, and bustle, but Meenal Vis, a UK doctor, says that when her family there listen out of their windows there is “pin-drop silence”.“It is almost like living in a horror film. People are not sure what will come next,” she said. “The kind of feeling described is a country in a war.” Cont...
Tags: UK, India, UK News, World news, South and Central Asia, Delhi, Coronavirus


Coronavirus live news: India passes 20m cases; Nepal calls for urgent AstraZeneca doses as cases surge

India records 357,229 new daily cases; IPL cricket tournament postponed; Nepal appeals for AstraZeneca doses as supplies run low; Denmark to lift some Covid restrictionsCovid infection rates in UK ‘very encouraging’, says expertVaccine shortages blight India’s efforts to contain Covid crisisEU plans to reopen to fully Covid-vaccinated foreign tourists from JuneUS to authorise Pfizer vaccine for ages 12-15 early next week - reportSee all coronavirus coverage 11.32am BST The immigration minist...
Tags: UK, England, Australia, India, World news, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Nepal, Coalition, Astrazeneca, Denmark, Ipl, Pfizer, Hawke, Alex Hawke, Coronavirus


Coronavirus live news: India passes 20m cases, US average daily infections fall below 50,000

India records 357,229 new daily cases and 3,449 deaths; US daily cases fall to lowest average since October; Germany cancels OktoberfestVaccine shortages blight India’s efforts to contain Covid crisisEU plans to reopen to fully Covid-vaccinated foreign tourists from JuneCovid vaccine rollout rapidly gathering pace across EuropeUS to authorise Pfizer vaccine for ages 12-15 early next week - reportSee all coronavirus coverage 5.31am BST India’s official count of coronavirus cases has surpassed...
Tags: Germany, India, US, World news, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Pfizer, Coronavirus, Alison Rourke India


Vaccine shortages blight India’s efforts to contain Covid crisis

Indian government accused of complacency, with shortage of jabs likely to continue ‘for months’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSevere Covid-19 vaccine shortages have hampered India’s plan to administer jabs to all adults, with fewer then half of India’s states able to begin vaccinating over-18s amid warnings the shortfall could last months.Over the weekend, more than 600 million Indians became eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in a policy that was introduced in the...
Tags: Science, India, World news, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Vaccines and immunisation, Coronavirus


Boat accident in Bangladesh leaves at least 25 people dead

Speedboat carrying dozens of passengers crashed into vessel transporting sand in Padma River, say policeAt least 26 people were killed when a speedboat packed with passengers collided with a vessel transporting sand in the latest maritime disaster to hit Bangladesh.Police said the speedboat carrying about three dozen passengers from the town of Mawa rammed into the other vessel in the Padma River as it neared the main river station in the central rural town of Shibchar. Continue reading...
Tags: World news, South and Central Asia, Bangladesh, Padma River, Mawa, Shibchar Continue


Everest Covid outbreak throws climbing season into doubt

Nepal authorities accused of underplaying seriousness of situation as daily cases soarCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe coronavirus outbreak at Everest base camp in Nepal, controversially opened to climbers despite the pandemic, has infected “many people” amid continuing evacuations and complaints of lack of transparency over the severity of the situation.With Nepal reporting a record number of more than 7,000 new cases in a day, its highest total since October, rep...
Tags: World news, South and Central Asia, Everest, Nepal, Mountaineering, Mount Everest


Covering India’s Covid crisis: ‘Hundreds of journalists have lost their lives’

Our South Asia correspondent reflects on a catastrophe that is now affecting the lives of almost everyone in the countryYou recently lost a close colleague, Kakoli Bhattacharya, to Covid-19. Can you tell us about her and the important work that she did? Kakoli was the Guardian’s news assistant over here and had worked for us since 2009. She could find any number or contact I needed and smoothed over any and all of the bureaucratic challenges that working in India can present. She made reporting ...
Tags: Science, Biology, India, Narendra Modi, World news, Medical Research, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, The Guardian, Guardian, Vaccines and immunisation, Membership, South Asia, Coronavirus, Kakoli Bhattacharya


How many more images of Covid disaster does it take to jolt rich countries into action? | Nesrine Malik

The crisis in India forced the west to respond. But without an ambitious global plan, other nations may suffer similar fatesAs the number of Covid-19 cases rose dramatically in Europe and the US during the early part of last year, something strange seemed to be happening in the global south. South Africa’s entire death toll was less than 100 at the same time that Britain was losing more than 1,000 lives a day. India’s death rate during this period was so low that it was termed a “mystery”. More ...
Tags: Asia, Europe, Science, India, Africa, US, World news, US news, Britain, South Africa, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Kenya, Madagascar, Nesrine Malik, Coronavirus


Narendra Modi loses key state election as Covid grips India

Prime minister defeated in West Bengal as voters send message over handling of coronavirus crisisCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIndia’s prime minister has suffered a rare political defeat in a key state election, amid signs of a voter backlash over his handling of the coronavirus disaster as the country recorded a record number of deaths.Narendra Modi had been expected to make significant gains on Sunday in West Bengal, one of few states where his rightwing Bharatiya...
Tags: India, BJP, Narendra Modi, World news, South and Central Asia, Modi, West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, Bharatiya Janata, Coronavirus


Seven killed as security forces open fire on protesters in Myanmar

Protests against military rule were some of the biggest in days after a spell of dwindling crowdsSecurity forces in Myanmar have opened fire on some of the biggest protests against military rule in days, killing seven people, media reported.The protests, after a spell of dwindling crowds and what appeared to be more restraint by the security forces, were coordinated with demonstrations in Burmese communities around the world to mark what organisers called “the global Myanmar spring revolution”. ...
Tags: World news, South and Central Asia, Myanmar


Eight killed as security forces open fire on protesters in Myanmar

Protests against military rule were some of the biggest in days after a spell of dwindling crowdsSecurity forces in Myanmar have opened fire on some of the biggest protests against military rule in days, killing eight people, media reported.The protests, after a spell of dwindling crowds and what appeared to be more restraint by the security forces, were coordinated with demonstrations in Burmese communities around the world to mark what organisers called “the global Myanmar spring revolution”. ...
Tags: World news, South and Central Asia, Myanmar


‘They knew we weren’t giving oxygen’: a Delhi doctor’s week of horror

Dr Chahat Verma saw five patients die in a day as India’s Covid crisis overwhelms hospitalsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDuring the past week, when oxygen was periodically running out at Ganga Ram hospital, one thing Dr Chahat Verma found unbearable was the look on the faces of patients when the oxygen saturation levels of another patient in the ward plunged.“They’d lie there, watching the patient gasping, unable to breathe, and they knew we weren’t giving oxygen be...
Tags: India, World news, South and Central Asia, Global development, Delhi, Coronavirus, Chahat Verma, Ganga Ram


Act now to prevent oxygen shortage in Covid-hit countries, say campaigners

Focus on vaccines and tests has been obscuring the need for oxygen in low- and middle-income countries Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage The scenes in India of families desperately searching for oxygen for critically ill Covid patients will be repeated in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and other countries in Africa and around the world unless a significant international effort is made to ensure all countries have good oxygen supplies, campaigners have said.The focus on vaccines...
Tags: India, Africa, Americas, World news, South and Central Asia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Manaus, Coronavirus, COVID, Bangladesh Ethiopia


Poor countries need billions in aid to avert Covid catastrophe, experts warn

Virus will overwhelm health services across South America, Asia and Africa unless world leaders take urgent actionCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWorld leaders have been warned that unless they act with extreme urgency, the Covid-19 pandemic will overwhelm health services in many nations in South America, Asia, and Africa over the next few weeks.Only billions of pounds of aid and massive exports of vaccines can halt a humanitarian catastrophe that is now unfolding rap...
Tags: India, Africa, Americas, World news, South and Central Asia, Foreign Policy, Brazil, Argentina, Boris Johnson, South America Asia, Coronavirus


Two pandemics: as we ease up, virus sweeps the world’s poor

Latin America and Africa face new wave as politicians and scientists urge rescue packagesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWorld leaders have been warned that unless they act with extreme urgency, the Covid-19 pandemic will overwhelm health services in many nations in South America, Asia, and Africa over the next few weeks.Only billions of pounds of aid and massive exports of vaccines can halt a humanitarian catastrophe that is now unfolding rapidly across the planet, s...
Tags: India, Africa, Americas, World news, South and Central Asia, Foreign Policy, Brazil, Argentina, Boris Johnson, Latin America, South America Asia, Coronavirus


India Covid crisis: government ignored warnings on variant, scientists say

Country’s government failed to impose extra restrictions despite warnings of a new, more dangerous strain in early March, experts claimSee all our coronavirus coverageA panel of Indian scientists warned officials in early March of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus taking hold in the country, it has emerged. Despite the warning, four of the scientists said the federal government did not seek to impose major restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, Reuters reported on Satur...
Tags: India, Narendra Modi, World news, South and Central Asia, Reuters, Bharatiya Janata Party, Coronavirus


Afghanistan: At least 21 killed in blast as US prepares to withdraw troops

Scores also injured in the blast in southern city of Pul-e-Alam the day before Pentagon begins to pull out its remaining forcesAt least 21 people have been killed and nearly 100 wounded after a car bomb exploded in an Afghan city south of the capital that president Ashraf Ghani has blamed on the Taliban.Friday’s blast occurred in a residential area of Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province, as people were breaking their Ramadan fast, and came on the eve of the formal start of the US military’s wi...
Tags: US, World news, Afghanistan, Taliban, South and Central Asia, Pentagon, Ashraf Ghani, Alam, Logar province


Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan ceasefire holding after day of intense fighting

Heaviest clashes in years between the two countries over disputed border leave 40 dead and 175 injuredA ceasefire on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan appeared to be holding on Friday after a day of intense fighting between the two former Soviet Central Asian neighbours that has killed about 40 people and wounded about 175.More than 7,000 Kyrgyz people have been evacuated from the area engulfed by the fighting as troops from the two countries exchanged gunfire around a water supply fa...
Tags: World news, South and Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan, Kok Tash


Grief and anger as Covid victims overwhelm Delhi’s crematoriums

As bodies pile up at the Ghazipur crematorium, staff and relatives turn their ire on the Modi government Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage The bodies came, one after another, after another, after another. So many bodies that the ambulances and trucks carrying them into the cemetery blocked traffic.In Delhi, a city where someone dies from Covid-19 every four minutes, every day is a battle not just for hospital beds but for a space to say goodbye to the dead with dignity...
Tags: India, Narendra Modi, World news, South and Central Asia, Delhi, Modi, Ghazipur, Coronavirus, COVID



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