A United Nations (UN) report on Thursday, 13 January, said that the deadly wave of COVID-19 Delta variant claimed 2,40,000 lives in India between April and June in 2021 and disrupted economic recovery. The UN also warned that "similar episodes" could occur in the near term.
The United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2022 report stated that with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 triggering new waves, the human and economic toll of the pandemic are projected to spike again.
"Without a sustained global approach to contain COVID-19 that includes universal access to vaccines, the pandemic will continue to pose greatest risk to an inclusive and sustainable recovery of the world economy," Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin said.
As per the information provided by India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 1,54,61,39,465 vaccinations have been administered so far in the country.
"Relatively slow vaccination progress leaves the region vulnerable to new variants and recurrent outbreaks," the report warned.
The UN report also said that financial constraints and an inadequate global vaccine supply continue to drag down full recovery in some countries.
"As of early December 2021, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan had less than 26 percent of their populations fully vaccinated. By contrast, the fully vaccinated population is above 64 percent in Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka," it revealed.
The report also highlighted the adverse impacts of the pandemic on growth and employment that have significantly undermined progress on global poverty reduction.
"The number of people living in extreme poverty globally is projected to decrease slightly to 876 million in 2022 but is expected to remain well above pre-pandemic levels," it said, adding that higher levels of inequality within and between countries are emerging as a longer-term consequence of the pandemic.
The report predicts India’s GDP to expand by 6.7 percent in 2022 after a 9 percent expansion in 2021."Economic recovery is on a solid path, amid rapid vaccination progress, less stringent social restrictions and still supportive fiscal and monetary stances," it said.