Oxygen crisis in India: supplies arrive from abroad | New
New coronavirus infections in India hit a record high (352,991 new cases, 2,812 deaths) for a fifth day on Monday, with hospitals overwhelmed and fearing oxygen shortages. 20 patients died at Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi on Saturday after oxygen supplies were reportedly depleted.
Countries around the world have offered to help, and India has started airlifting medical supplies from overseas.
The UK has sent hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, with the first package due to arrive on Tuesday (27e April).
More than 600 life-saving medical equipment will be sent to India to support the country in its fight against Covid-19, the British government has announced. A total of nine air containers loaded with supplies, including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators, will be sent to the country this week.
Oxygen concentrators can extract oxygen from the air into the atmosphere so that it can be supplied to patients, relieving the oxygen systems in hospitals and allowing the delivery of oxygen in situations where hospital oxygen supplies are depleted.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘Critical medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, are now on their way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent tragic losses in human lives caused by this terrible virus. We will continue to work closely with the Government of India during this difficult time and I am determined to ensure that the UK does everything in its power to support the international community in the global fight against the pandemic.
The US government also said it was “looking for options to urgently deliver oxygen production and related supplies.”
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Sunday, and the White House said it “had identified supplies of therapeutics, drug test kits. rapid diagnosis, ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) which will immediately be made available to India ”.
The United States is deploying an expert team of public health advisers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and USAID to work closely with the United States Embassy, health departments of the India and Indian Outbreak Intelligence Service staff.
Four cryogenic oxygen tankers from Singapore arrived in India on Sunday and the Indian Air Force traveled to Dubai to collect more empty oxygen containers.
As of Friday, the Indian Air Force has airlifted empty oxygen tankers and across the country to help with the distribution and availability of medical oxygen to treat Covid-19 patients.
Germany and France are among the other countries that will also send oxygen and medical aid to India this week, according to media reports.
The European Commission activated its European Union Civil Protection Mechanism and said it was looking to send oxygen and medicine to India after receiving a request from Delhi.