UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia - COVID-19 Situation Report No. 9

South Asia region recorded a total of 35,536 new cases during the reporting period bringing the total to 93,656 cases and 2,648 deaths. This represents a 61% increase compared to last week with Maldives continuing to reporting the highest percentage increase (120%). India reported 19,903 new cases, Pakistan added 9,037 new cases, Bangladesh 4,616 cases, and Afghanistan 1,453 new cases. While lockdown measures are largely in place across the region, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have started easing some restrictions with Bangladesh allowing thousands of garment factory workers to report for duties.There are concerns that such moves without proper protective and physical distancing measures could lead to spike of cases. An estimated 688 million people have been reached across the region with key COVID-19 prevention messages as UNICEF country offices continue to support governments in promoting risk communication and community engagement. Recent assessments conducted in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan show that overall the levels of awareness on COVID-19 is high; 98% in Bangladesh (although 76% among uneducated); 98% in Nepal, 92% in India and 90% in Pakistan. In collaboration with governments and partners, UNICEF has reached 37 million children with online and home-based learning. Seven out of the eight countries have developed or are developing national response plans for education continuity or re-opening of schools.