The European Commission has activated its EU Civil Protection Mechanism and is seeking to send oxygen and medicine to virus-hit India after receiving a request from Delhi.

India has seen a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days, with hospitals in the capital and across the country turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.

“Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“The EU executive is already coordinating with EU countries that are ready to provide urgently needed oxygen and medicine rapidly,” European Commission for humanitarian aid Janez Lenarcic wrote on Twitter.
India’s COVID-19 infections rise by over 346 000 cases over night:

Earlier it was reported that India set a new global record of the most number of COVID-19 infections in a day, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution, saying the “storm” of infections had shaken the country.

The United States said it was deeply concerned by the massive surge in coronavirus cases in India and was racing to send aid to India.

India’s number of cases surged by 349 691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks, and hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.

“We were confident, our spirits were up after successfully tackling the first wave, but this storm has shaken the nation,” Modi said in a radio address.

Modi’s government has faced criticism that it let its guard down, allowed big religious and political gatherings to take place when India’s cases plummeted to below 10 000 a day and did not plan on building up the healthcare systems.

Hospitals and doctors have put out urgent notices that they were unable to cope with the rush of patients.

People were arranging stretchers and oxygen cylinders outside hospitals as they desperately pleaded for authorities to take patients in, Reuters photographers said.

“Every day, it the same situation, we are left with two hours of oxygen, we only get assurances from the authorities,” one doctor said on television.