Philippines in grip of health crisis Photograph:( AFP )
The massive storm has claimed 402 lives, according to the Philippine civil defence office's latest tally, with more than 1,200 injured and 78 still missing
The typhoon-hit Philippines, which is already reeling under Covid, is facing another major health crisis— diarrhoea.
According to local reports, nine people have died and hundreds have fallen ill in Typhoon Rai struck islands in the Philippines.
The Philippine health department’s regional office said the impoverished Dinagat Islands and the neighbouring resort island of Siargao, known for its surf spots, reported nine deaths due to dehydration caused by diarrhoea.
Department spokesman Ernesto Pareja told AFP that a total of 895 cases were recorded there since the typhoon struck, mostly among those whose houses were destroyed by the typhoon.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned of a “mounting health crisis” in typhoon-hit areas as it scaled up its disaster response.
The massive storm has claimed 402 lives, according to the Philippine civil defence office's latest tally, with more than 1,200 injured and 78 still missing and at least 370,000 in evacuation centres.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said the government's preparations for the storm and early response had been “laudable” but warned that more support was needed.
“Unless we act now and provide badly needed food assistance to affected families, we risk seeing a rapid rise in preventable malnutrition,” WFP Country Director and Representative Brenda Barton told AFP.
Local health officials are also monitoring respiratory infections after at least two cases turned out to be COVID-19.
On December 16, Super Typhoon Rai swept through the southeastern islands of the Philippines on 16 December with winds of about 195km/h (120mph).
The fresh health crisis comes as the archipelagic state reported 26,458 new infections, the highest the pandemic began.
The count surpassed the 26,303 cases recorded on September 11 last year. The death toll also surpassed 52,000 with 265 new fatalities.
(With inputs from agencies)