First US COVID-19 emergency aid supplies arrive in India

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The first US emergency aid to India arrived on Friday (Apr 30) as the country battles a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases which has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums.

A Super Galaxy military transporter carrying more than 400 oxygen cylinders and other hospital equipment and nearly 1 million rapid coronavirus tests landed at New Delhi’s international airport as the Indian capital battles a major pandemic crisis.

India is currently recording a world record infection rate of more than 370,000 cases as well as 3,600 deaths a day and a huge international aid operation has been launched with countries around the world promising help.

The delivery, which flew in from the Travis military base in California, followed talks this week between US President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The United States is delivering supplies worth more than US$100 million in the coming days to provide urgent relief to our partners in India,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.

US officials said the special flights, which will also bring equipment donated by companies and individuals, will continue into next week.

Japan became the latest to offer help, announcing Friday it would despatch 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators to India.

“Japan stands with India, our friend and partner, in her efforts to fight (the) COVID-19 pandemic through this additional emergency assistance,” the foreign ministry said.

More than 40 countries have committed to sending vital medical aid, particularly oxygen supplies, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters on Thursday.

The supplies include almost 550 oxygen-generating plants, more than 4,000 oxygen concentrators, 10,000 oxygen cylinders as well as 17 cryogenic tankers.

Hundreds of thousands of doses of COVID-19 shots as well as raw materials to produce vaccines and medicines were also being sent, he said.

“It is an unprecedented situation,” Shringla said.

 

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