India will receive a first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 on May 1, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, said in an interview with CNN, Interfax new agency reported on Monday.

Russian pharmaceutical firm Pharmasyntez said earlier on Monday that it was ready to ship up to 1 million packs of the remdesivir antiviral drug to India by end-May to help fight a surge in COVID-19 cases there, once it has received the approval of Russia’s government.

Hospitals in India overwhelmed as new COVID-19 cases rise:

 

Meanwhile, India is receiving urgent help from the United States, Britain and Singapore as the country battles a deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections that has stretched its healthcare system to its limits.

Hospitals are full, oxygen in short supply and deaths continue to mount. Just today, more than 2 800 people succumbed to the infection. This is the highest daily death toll the country’s ever recorded.

Critics say Prime Minister Narendra Modi has botched up the response to the pandemic as he was away campaigning for regional elections.

Mass gatherings – both for political rallies as well as religious festivals – were allowed and the economy was opened up leaving the country vulnerable to a second wave.

Some say the pandemic has crushed the under-funded healthcare system highlighting the inadequacies that were always there, making the international assistance crucial.

India receives urgent help from the US, Britain and Singapore: