Red Cross warns that coronavirus cases are exploding in Asia

The International Federation of the Red Cross says coronavirus cases are exploding in Asia with over 5.9 million new confirmed infections over the past two weeks

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Coronavirus cases are exploding in Asia and the Pacific with over 5.9 million new confirmed infections in the past two weeks, more than in all other regions combined, the International Federation of the Red Cross said Wednesday.

It said Oxford University’s Our World in Data reported more than 5.9 million new COVID-19 infections in Asia and the Pacific during the two weeks. Official figures for much of the region are widely believed to be undercounts.

“COVID-19 is exploding across much of Asia, overwhelming hospitals and healthcare. More people have been diagnosed with the disease in Asia over the past two weeks than in the Americas, Europe, and Africa combined,” Red Cross Asia Pacific director Alexander Matheou said.

While vaccination campaigns are underway in the region, the Red Cross said they are hampered by shortages, hesitancy and the costly logistics of reaching many areas across the region.

“To bring this pandemic under control, we need greater global cooperation so that lifesaving resources, medical equipment, vaccines and money get where they are needed to help people most at risk. We’re only safe when everyone is safe,” it said.