As India battles a huge second wave of the pandemic, the UK is sending 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators as part of its first shipment.
India is in the throes of a huge second wave of the pandemic and is struggling to tackle the surge in coronavirus infections that is overwhelming its hospitals and even crematoriums.
Many countries, including the UK, Germany and the US, have pledged to send emergency medical aid, with the first shipment from the UK arriving on Tuesday.
The head of the World Health Organization described the situation in the world’s second most populous country as “beyond heartbreak” as WHO plans to provide additional staff and supplies, including concentrators oxygen.
Here are the latest updates:
Australia considers proposal to suspend flights from India
Australia is set to consider a proposal to suspend flights from India to prevent more virulent coronavirus variants from entering the country following an increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the second most populous country in the world.
The state of Queensland has urged the federal government to halt all flights from India due to the high risk of potential COVID-19 outbreaks from highly contagious virus variants in Australia’s hotel quarantine system.
“I sent a letter to the Prime Minister at the end of last week asking for the suspension of flights from India … and I know the federal government is considering this today,” said Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Australia’s national security committee will meet later on Tuesday to consider stopping flights from India and will also unveil measures, including sending medical supplies to aid India, Australian media reported.
UK’s first shipment of medical aid arrives in India
Britain’s first shipment of COVID-19 medical supplies to India, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived early Tuesday, the Foreign Office said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi tweeted photos of equipment unloaded from a German Lufthansa plane in New Delhi, calling them “international cooperation at work.”
International cooperation at work! Appreciate the shipment of 🇬🇧 vital medical supplies including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators which arrived early this morning. pic.twitter.com/MBZFwSn4cH
– Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) April 27, 2021
Britain, one of many countries to announce aid as India’s healthcare system folds under huge outbreak of coronavirus cases, is shipping more than 600 life-saving medical equipment.
A total of nine air containers loaded with supplies, including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators, will be dispatched this week, according to the British High Commission in New Delhi.
France to provide COVID-19 medical aid to India: Elysée
France will provide India with “substantial medical aid” to help the country cope with a huge wave of new coronavirus infections that are overwhelming its hospitals, the Elysee presidential palace has said.
Shipments to India will include oxygen generators, respirators and cryogenic containers and will begin next weekend.