India has reported the most number of coronavirus cases among the 11 member nations of the South-East Asia Region, data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed on Friday.
According to the data, the region has reported at least 1,22,247 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 4,050 fatalities so far.
Of the total cases in the region, India reported the highest at 81,970, followed by Bangladesh (18,863), Indonesia (16,006), Thailand (3,018), Maldives (982), Sri Lanka (925), Nepal (258), Myanmar (181), Timor-Leste (24) and Bhutan (20).
India has also accounted for the highest number of deaths in the region at 2,649.
Indonesia comes in at the second place with 1,043 deaths, followed by Bangladesh (283), Thailand (56), Sri Lanka, (nine), Myanmar (six) and Maldives (four), while Nepal, Bhutan and Timor-Leste have not reported any fatalities so far.
The 11th member is North Korea which has not reported any COVID-19 case or death until now, according to the WHO.
Regarding the situation in the region, the WHO said the focus should be on local epidemiology of COVID-19; to identify hot-spots and clusters; and the capacity of systems and responders to find, isolate and care for cases, and quarantine contacts.
In a statement, the Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, Poonam Khetrapal Singh said; "There can be no illusions: We are in this for the long haul."
"As of Friday the region reported approximately 122,000 cases and 4,000 deaths due to COVID-19. Countries in the Region are in various transmission scenarios and the cases are increasing. In every transmission scenario, the core public health measures remain - rapidly detect, test, isolate, care and trace contacts. Moving forward we need to scale up these measures."
The Region with one-fourth of the global population and disproportionate disease burden is vulnerable in view of high population densities, mega-urban slums, migrant groups, socio-economic drivers impacting compliance to physical and social distancing, in addition to the global shortage of essential medicines and commodities.