Geneva: As the number of COVID-19 cases in India soars to over 4.2 million, several UN agencies are supporting the government-led health and socioeconomic efforts to help deal with the outbreak.

Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing on Tuesday that the UN team in India is led by Resident Coordinator Renata Dessallien.

It is supporting the “government-led health and socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic”, with over 4.2 million confirmed cases to date.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has assisted with contact tracing of 8 million cases, while the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has trained 2.2 million health workers in Infection Prevention and Control, reaching 650 million children and families with life-saving information. The UN team has also supplied personal protective equipment.

With a view to reach the most vulnerable, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) helped 100,000 migrant workers access social protection and reached 100,000 sanitation workers with safety kits and 4,000 metric tonnes of dry rations, Dujarric said.

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The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has trained 5,300 sanitation workers on safe waste disposal and is also helping develop a helpline directory for women in distress and supported guidelines on reproductive and adolescent services during lockdown.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) colleagues supported guidelines for gender-responsive job recovery, Dujarric said.

“The UN in India is also supporting the Government's anti-stigma campaign, with over 170 million social media impressions in August alone,” he added.

According to estimates by the Johns Hopkins University, India currently has 4.2 million coronavirus cases in the world, second only after the US, which has 6.3 million cases. Over 72,000 people have died in India from the virus, the third-highest death toll after the US and Brazil.

(With inputs from agency)