Medical supplies from the UK arrived in India on Tuesday, the first international shipment to prevent the devastating wave of Covid-19.
Air conditioners և oxygen equipment landed in Delhi, but much more will be needed. India registered 320,000 new infections on Tuesday, and overall mortality rose to about 200,000.
Many hospitals are overcrowded. People are waiting outside on the street.
The United States, France and Germany are among the countries that send much-needed aid.
One of the doctors working in Mumbai, one of the government advisers, ir Arid Udwadia, told the BBC Today program that the pledged resources were “a drop in the ocean” with limited impact. He said he saw “a ward after ward full of patients struggling with different horses, with different conditioners.”
Dr. Udvadia says that after being vaccinated during the first wave, complacency has now given way to long lines of people outside medical centers who are struggling to get staff.
“Vaccine hesitation has become a vaccine despair,” he said.
Although India’s statistics now stand at 17.6 million դեպ 197,500 deaths, some believe the actual numbers are much higher. A study by NDTV found that some 1,158 deaths could not be reported in Delhi last week alone.
What help is there?
More than 200 pieces of British cargo were unloaded at Delhi Airport on Tuesday, including air conditioners and oxygen concentrates to help hospitals manage oxygen supplies.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagci said it was “international co-operation for work”, but it was only the first detail of what should be a flood of supplies to a nation of 1.3 billion people.
US President Biden said on Monday he would send up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine overseas, but that India could be the main recipient, although no destination was given.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adanom Gebreusus, said he was “doing everything he can to provide the necessary equipment and supplies.”
France sends oxygen production units, such as oxygen tanks and respirators, and some loads of empty cylinders have already arrived from Thailand and Singapore.
And India has stimulated its own efforts. The first “Oxygen Express” train has arrived in the capital, which aims to transport 70 tons of gas.
The increase varies from state to state. The worst victims are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, as well as Delhi.
In many Indian cities, images show people waiting in ambulances outside hospitals or lying on homemade beds, while flames rise from burial pits.
Actress and singer Priyanka Chopra was one of those who sent calls for international help.
What about vaccines?
India has opened the vaccine for all adults since May 1 – 900 million people – but there are fears that even two people over the age of 45 from two Indian sources, the Indian Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, will not be able to meet the requirements.
The government denies any shortage of vaccines and has approved measures to increase serum production to 100 million doses per month by the end of May.
But some state health ministers say they have been warned that they may not get the resources they need, especially given the growing public demand.
So far, India has dealt a preliminary blow to about 10% of the population.
Dr Udwadia told the BBC that the spread was “glacially slow” and that the country would not be able to reach the sheep’s immunity within 600 days at this rate.
He said that because of the limited impact of the first wave. “We put down our collective guard, the leaders urged us. “Instead of asking for forgiveness, we heard independent declarations of victory.”