A United Nations report released on Thursday said India had lost 240,000 lives in the second deadly wave and warned of “similar episodes” in the next term.
“In India, a deadly wave of Delta variant infection claimed 240,000 lives between April and June and disrupted economic recovery. Similar episodes could occur in the short term, ”said the flagship report on the outlook for the global economy.
According to the Indian government, 235,986 people died from Covid during this period. This represented more than 50% of total Covid deaths in India at that time, as the country had reported around 418,000 deaths in total. As of Friday, the death toll is 485,350.
Launching a global warning, the report said: “With the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19 triggering new waves of infections, the human and economic toll from the pandemic is expected to rise again.”
Liu Zhenmin, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs said that “without a coordinated and sustained global approach to contain Covid-19 that includes universal access to vaccines, the pandemic will continue to pose the most great risk to an inclusive and sustainable recovery of the global economy.
The report also predicted a slowdown in the global economy over the next year, as it cited a number of issues as well as new waves of Covid, causing inflationary pressures to rise.
“After a global contraction of 3.4% in 2020 and after an expansion of 5.5% in 2021, the highest growth rate in more than four decades, the world economy is expected to grow by 4% in 2022 and 3.5% in 2023, ”the report says.
He also warned that higher inequalities could appear as a longer-term legacy of the coronavirus pandemic.
The report adds that developing countries will be hit harder than their richer counterparts, with Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean expected to experience significantly lower growth than pre-pandemic projections. This is likely to lead to more poverty and less progress in sustainable development and climate action in these regions, according to the report.
He added that for the vast majority of developing economies, a full recovery in per capita GDP will remain elusive, compared to developed economies, which “are expected to recover almost fully by 2023 from pre-pandemic projections.”
Special financial measures such as bailouts, better social protection and job support will help a strong recovery, according to the report. “Governments around the world will need to maintain accommodative fiscal positions and avoid the temptations of premature fiscal consolidation. This will help ensure a strong, inclusive and sustainable recovery, ”he said.
Differences in fiscal space and structural constraints between countries will continue to limit the ability to support spending related to the pandemic, the UN added.
The Independent Gt