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:
US President, Joe Biden, has promised to send ventilators, oxygen concentrators and raw materials for vaccines to India. While the UK’s Boris Johnson says he’s sending 600 pieces of vital equipment.
India has already started airlifting oxygen tankers from Singapore and neighbours who’ve not always seen eye to eye – China and Pakistan are offering to help too.
The government says it’s setting up field hospitals and boosting oxygen production as cries for help grow louder across the country.
Authorities are opening up vaccination for all adults from next month. It’s hoped that building herd immunity will finally bring the pandemic under control.
But with India facing a vaccine shortage – concerns are that the inoculation drive could be delayed and experts warn that cases could peak in mid May when 800 000 cases could be reported every day. Worsening the crisis even further.
Hospitals in India overwhelmed as new COVID-19 cases rise: