As India battles an enormous second wave of pandemic, UK sends 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators as part of its first shipment.
India is in the grip of an enormous second wave of the pandemic and is struggling to tackle surging coronavirus infections that are overwhelming its hospitals and even the crematoriums.
Many countries including the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States have pledged to send urgent medical aid, with the first shipment from the UK arriving on Tuesday.
The World Health Organization chief described the situation in the world’s second-most populous country as “beyond heartbreaking” as the WHO was planning to provide extra staff and supplies including oxygen concentrator devices.
Here are the latest updates:
India posts 323,144 new COVID-19 cases
India’s daily rise in coronavirus cases has retreated from record levels in recent days, but stayed above the 300,000 mark for a sixth straight day.
With 323,144 new cases, India’s overall caseload now stands at 17.64 million.
Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 2,771 to reach a total of 197,894, according to the health ministry’s data.
Australia mulls proposal to suspend flights from India
Australia is set to consider a proposal to suspend flights from India to prevent more virulent coronavirus variants entering the country following a surge in positive COVID-19 cases in the world’s second-most populous nation.
Queensland state has urged the federal government to halt all flights from India due to the high risk of potential COVID-19 outbreaks from highly contagious virus variants in Australia’s hotel quarantine system.
“I sent a letter to the Prime Minister at the end of last week asking for the suspension of flights coming in from India … and I know that the federal government is considering it today,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Australia’s national security committee will meet later on Tuesday to consider halting flights from India and will also unveil measures including sending medical supplies to help India, Australian media reported.
First shipment of UK medical aid arrives in India
The first shipment of COVID-19 medical supplies from Britain to India, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived early on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said.
Foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi tweeted photos of the equipment being unloaded from a German Lufthansa aircraft in New Delhi, calling it “international cooperation at work”.
International cooperation at work! Appreciate the shipment of vital medical supplies from 🇬🇧 including 100 ventilators & 95 oxygen concentrators that arrived early this morning. pic.twitter.com/MBZFwSn4cH
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) April 27, 2021
Britain, one of several countries to announce sending help as India’s healthcare system buckles under a huge surge in coronavirus cases, is dispatching more than 600 pieces of vital medical equipment.
In total, nine airline container loads of supplies, including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators, will be sent this week, according to the British High Commission in New Delhi.
France to supply India with COVID-19 medical aid: Elysee
France will supply India with “substantial medical aid” to help the country tackle a huge wave of new coronavirus infections that are overwhelming its hospitals, the Elysee presidential palace said.
The shipments to India will include oxygen generators, respirators and cryogenic containers and will start next weekend.