Of the 176 million people expected to be pushed into poverty by the coronavirus crisis, two-thirds are in South Asia, warned a World Bank report released this week.
Officially, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh had the third, seventh- and tenth-most new cases in the world this week.
But experts warned that the real situation could be worse as testing rates in the region were still extremely low.
The US Institute of Peace (USIP) noted that this week that South Asia’s “diverse, densely situated, and economically precarious populations add further complexity to fighting the coronavirus pandemic”.
Another US think tank, the Hudson Institute, noted that the pandemic was “testing the capacities of states to provide security and effective healthcare and to maintain essential services”.