The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has been wreaking havoc in India. Heartwrenching visuals that have emerged from overworked hospitals and cremation grounds hint at the fact that the country has been severely hit with infections and fatalities hitting record highs.
Recent media reports have highlighted that the country is witnessing a critical oxygen shortage amid the surge in cases. India reported as many as 3.55 lakh cases and 2,807 deaths on Sunday, April 25.
Several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have responded to India's crisis by expressing solidarity and racing to provide additional support.
"We stand side by side with India in the shared fight against COVID-19. Vital medical equipment is on its way from the UK to India to help stop the tragic loss of life from the virus, and we'll continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time," tweeted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The first consignment of aid reportedly left the UK on Sunday and will be arriving in India on Tuesday. The aid consists of 495 oxygen concentrators (medical devices that can extract oxygen from the air when hospital oxygen systems have dried up) along with 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators, as reported by the BBC.
Meanwhile, after days of being criticised for their silence, the top officials of the US government expressed that they are determined to help India and will lift the ban on the export of raw materials for vaccine production by the Indian vaccine manufacturers.
The White House also said that the US is working round the clock to deploy necessary medical supplies, including rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment.
European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that the organisation was "pooling resources to respond rapidly to India's request for assistance".
Reports have stated that oxygen generation plants and containers will be imported from Germany to meet critical requirements. Additionally, France will send oxygen respiratory equipment to India in the coming days, informed the office of French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Tribune reported that the Pakistan government has also offered medical equipment and supplies, and its Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted prayers for a "speedy recovery".
Social welfare organization Edhi Foundation has also offered to send a fleet of 50 ambulances manned by Pakistani health professionals to help in India's fight against the pandemic.
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