DISCOVERIES REPORTS (ISSN 2393249X), 2021, volume 4

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CITATION: Rabbi MF, Hami I, Islam MK, Akter T, Hossain MS, Rahaman MM. COVID-19 Pandemic in South Asia: Challenges and Mitigation. Discoveries Reports, 2021; 4: e18. DOI: 10.15190/drep.2021.3  Submitted: Jan. 19, 2021; Revised: Feb. 25, 2021; Accepted: Feb. 25, 2021; Published: March 31, 2021;

COVID-19 Pandemic in South Asia: Challenges and Mitigation 

Md. Fazley Rabbi (1), Ithmam Hami (1), Md. Kobirul Islam (1), Tanin Akter (2), Md. Shahadat Hossain (1,*), Md. Mizanur Rahaman (3,*)

(1) Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali, Bangladesh
(2) Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
(3) Department of Microbiology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

* Corresponding author: Md. Mizanur Rahaman, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh; Phone: +8801796585290; Email: razu002@du.ac.bd and Md. Shahadat Hossain, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali-3814, Bangladesh; Phone: +8801757691222; Email: shahadat5.bge@nstu.edu.bd

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already reached almost every corner of the earth. We are currently left with very limited options to battle the pandemic with containment and to provide supporting care. This review article summarizes the current situation and the future prospect of the pandemic in one of the most populated regions on the globe, South Asia. Although COVID-19 cases have been steadily increasing in many countries, the overall response in this region is polarizing but highly criticized. India is now hosting the world’s second most infected cases while Maldives and Bhutan have almost kept it under control. Most of these countries have very underwhelming healthcare facilities, and the number of RT-PCR based coronavirus tests is very insignificant so far with respect to the extent of the population. There are various challenges ahead with agriculture and export-based economy, hygiene problem and imminent dengue outbreaks in some region. With the recent clearance of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, challenges remain for the South Asian countries to ensure vaccines for all their citizens and develop proper storage and transportation facilities. The countries have to opt for some extremely proactive measures to not only save its people but secure the economic longevity for the post-pandemic period.

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