International efforts are underway to assist India, which is experiencing essential oxygen shortages as a result of a catastrophic increase in Covid incidents. The United Kingdom has started sending ventilators and oxygen concentrators. EU members are also expected to send assistance for the miserable situations of covid in India.
The United States is lifting a ban on exporting raw materials, allowing India to produce more AstraZeneca vaccines. The lockdown in India’s capital, Delhi, has been expanded as overcrowded hospitals continue to turn away patients.
To raise supplies, the government has approved plans for more than 500 oxygen generation plants across the country. In the meantime, Bangladesh has declared that it will close its border with India starting Monday to prevent the virus from spreading.
In the 24 hours leading up to Sunday morning, India announced 349,691 new cases and 2,767 new deaths; however, the true numbers are thought to be much higher.
What message is the United Kingdom sending?
The first shipment of aid left the United Kingdom on Sunday and is expected in India on Tuesday. Later this week, more shipments will be made. The equipment includes 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators, and 20 manual ventilators, which can remove oxygen from the air when hospital oxygen systems are depleted.
In a tweet, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “We stand side by side with India as a friend and collaborator during what is a highly troubling period in the war against Covid-19.” Mr Johnson’s scheduled trip to India has been cancelled, and he has been put on a travel ban as a result of the outbreak. Other countries have also barred flights from India, including the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.
What about the United States and other countries?
The White House has stated that it will provide Indian vaccine manufacturers with raw materials as soon as possible. “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were overwhelmed early in the pandemic, we are determined to support India in its time of need,” said President Joe Biden.
Situation in India in quite grim. Taking inspiration from @balajis @surojit @sandeepnailwal, for every retweet, I'll donate $50 to fight COVID in India, up to $50k. Thanks Sandeep for setting this up: https://t.co/4xP4tXCT4p
— Akshay Kothari (@akothari) April 25, 2021
It comes after Indian officials and the Serum Institute of India (SII) urged the US to lift export restrictions on vaccine raw materials imposed in February. Washington has also been chastised for delaying a vote about whether or not to export vaccine doses in excess.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not yet been approved for use in the US, has millions of unused doses. Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease specialist, said that sending them to India was being considered.
Medical and security equipment will also be provided by the United States. Meanwhile, France has stated that it will supply oxygen.
The European Commission announced in Brussels that it would also submit oxygen and medication. Ursula von der Leyen, the organization’s head, said the group was “pooling resources to respond quickly to India’s request for assistance.”
Pakistan, which has tense ties with Delhi over territorial disputes, offered medical supplies and equipment, and Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted prayers for a “fast recovery.” A fleet of 50 ambulances from the country’s Edhi foundation has also been provided to India.