Alia Allana

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Why Is the Virus Killing So Many Pregnant Women in India?

The doctors at the Government Institute of Medical Sciences, also known as the G.I.M.S., a public hospital in Noida, a suburb of Delhi, recently told me that during the first wave of Covid-19 last year, most pregnant women had moderate symptoms and were able to return home after being hospitalized for a few days.

The G.I.M.S. serves about 2,000 patients from the suburb and its surrounding villages every day without charge. Throughout March, April and May, the doctors there told me that most pregnant women arrived with acute respiratory distress syndrome, their lungs collapsing. Out of the 15 pregnant women who were in the gynecology ward of the hospital when I spoke to the doctors, two weeks ago, 11 were on oxygen support, two were on ventilators and one was recovering.…  Seguir leyendo »

India is expanding its Covid-19 vaccination drive but a second wave of infections is moving fast. Credit Anupam Nath/Associated Press

The second wave of Covid-19 in India is here. The country of more than one billion people already has 11.3 million cases and more than 158,000 deaths. After a low weekly average of less than 11,000 cases per day in the second week of February, the cases have risen to a weekly average of more than 18,000 cases per day. On Friday, India reported more than 23,000 new cases.

This lends greater urgency to India’s vaccination drive, which aimed to inoculate 300 million people for Covid-19 between mid-January and August.

When the vaccine rollout started on Jan. 16, I was pretty certain it would go smoothly.…  Seguir leyendo »

A boy rinses a bucket for collecting well water that is believed to be contaminated with the bacteria that causes cholera, on the outskirts of Sana, Yemen, in July. Credit Hani Mohammed/Associated Press

The quality of mercy is strained in the Middle East. Last week, Saudi Arabia closed off the highways, sea routes and airports in war-torn Yemen, forbidding humanitarian groups from even shipping chlorine tablets for the Yemenis suffering from a cholera epidemic. More than 500,000 Yemenis have been infected with cholera this year and nearly 2,000, mostly children, have died, according to the World Health Organization. The International Red Cross expects about a million people to be infected by cholera in Yemen by December.

The spread of cholera in Yemen glaringly illustrates how disease follows in the wake of bombs.

The seeds of the epidemic were planted in 2015, when a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and backed by the United States joined the fighting in Yemen on behalf of the ousted president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had been forced out by Houthi rebels.…  Seguir leyendo »