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  • A woman is seen in her flood affected house in Munshiganj on the outskirts of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on July 27, 2020

    A woman is seen in her flood affected house in Munshiganj on the outskirts of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on July 27, 2020 | Photo: Xinhua

Published 29 July 2020
Opinion

Massive floods and landslides have affected millions in South Asia amid a regional struggle against COVID-19 outbreak and for the restart of economies.

Triggered by weeks of rains, massive floods and landslides have affected millions in South Asia as regional countries struggle to curb the rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak and restart economies.

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Although Bangladesh, India, and Nepal suffer from monsoon flooding from June to September every year, this 2020 comes marked by the ravages of the pandemic.

Government figures reveal that already 550 people have lost their lives, and more than 10 million people have been swamped across South Asia by floods considered the worst in years.

"People in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are sandwiched in a triple disaster of flooding, the coronavirus and an associated socioeconomic crisis of loss of livelihoods and jobs," Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Jagan Chapagain has said.

He also stressed that flooding of farmlands and destruction of crops could push millions of people, already severely impacted by the COVID-19, further into poverty.

Volunteers in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are helping with shelter, providing tarpaulins, dry food and hygiene kits, and installing pumps for safe water.

Mounting cases of COVID-19 in these South Asian countries have also aggravated the humanitarian crisis in the region.

The most recent report on Wednesday in Bangladesh brings the death toll to 3,035 and total cases to 232,194. At the same time, India has now become the world's third-worst hit nation in terms of infections after the United States and Brazil. The Nepali government on Wednesday reported 210 new infections, bringing the total tally to 19,273 with the death toll at 49.

Meanwhile, the governments have launched rescue operations and imposed new restrictions, as they strive to revive the economies heavily battered by the pandemic for the past six months.

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