Pandemic aid begins to arrive in Covid-stricken India
IslamNews – The first emergency medical supplies arrived in India on Tuesday as part of a global campaign to staunch a catastrophic wave in the latest pandemic hotspot, with the United States also pledging to export millions of AstraZeneca NSE -2.09 % vaccine doses.
Crates of ventilators and oxygen concentrators from Britain were unloaded at a Delhi airport early Tuesday, the first emergency medical supplies to arrive in the country where infection and death rates are growing exponentially.
In New Delhi, AFP images showed smoke billowing from dozens of pyres lit inside a parking lot that has been turned into a makeshift crematorium.
“People are just dying, dying and dying,” said Jitender Singh Shanty, who is coordinating the cremation of around 100 bodies a day at the site in the east of the city.
Despite India’s status as the “pharmacy of the world”, the biggest producer of generic drugs has been unable to meet the demand for antiviral medication such as remdesivir.
The United States, France, Germany, Canada, the EU and the World Health Organization have all promised to rush supplies to India.
On Monday, President Joe Biden announced the United States would send up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine abroad.
“India was there for us, and we will be there for them,” Biden tweeted after the call with Modi, referencing India’s support for the United States when it was enduring the worst of its Covid crisis.
France also said it would send eight oxygen production units, as well as oxygen containers and respirators, to India.
And the EU said the first shipment of aid from the bloc’s member states to India would be delivered “over the coming days”, with more expected to follow.
The initial assistance included 365 ventilators and 700 oxygen concentrators from Ireland, 120 ventilators from Sweden, 58 ventilators from Luxembourg, 80 oxygen concentrators from Romania, and thousands of doses of Remdesivir from Belgium and Portugal.
At the same time, many countries are shutting their borders to travellers from India.
Source: France 24