(New Delhi) India set a record of new confirmed cases of coronary disease in a single day in the world for the fifth consecutive day on Monday (April 26). The cumulative number of cases has exceeded 17 million; the country’s new deaths have also reached a new high. The number of deaths is approaching 200,000. Many countries have stepped up to aid India. The United States promised to immediately provide India with the raw materials and anti-epidemic materials needed for vaccine production. Britain, France, and Germany will provide medical equipment such as ventilators. India’s long-time enemy Pakistan also proactively extended a helping hand.
According to data from the Ministry of Health of India, there were 352,991 confirmed cases of coronary disease nationwide on Monday, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 17.31 million; 2812 new deaths, a total of 195,123.
As the epidemic continues to get out of control, hospital beds and medical oxygen are in short supply across India, and some patients died before they were admitted to the hospital. Sharma, a 17-year-old Delhi resident, watched his father die outside the hospital. “He couldn’t breathe, so we took off his masks, and he cried,’Help me, please help me’, but I can’t do anything, I can only watch him die.”
In areas hit hardest by the epidemic, such as New Delhi, the surge in deaths has overwhelmed funeral facilities, and people have been forced to burn their remains in the streets.
US President Biden announced on Sunday that it will provide immediate assistance to India. Biden tweeted: “Just like when the hospital resources were strained at the beginning of the outbreak, India provided assistance to the United States, we are determined to help India when it needs it.”
US National Security Council spokesman Horn said in a statement that US officials are “working around the clock” to deploy available resources and raw materials to India. The United States has determined the source of specific raw materials urgently needed for the manufacture of Covishield vaccine (Indian version of AstraZeneca vaccine) in India and will immediately provide it to India. The United States will also immediately ship therapeutic drugs, rapid diagnostic kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment to India, and will explore the provision of oxygen generators and related supplies to India.
The United States will also fund Indian vaccine manufacturer BioE to expand its production capacity so that it can produce at least 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2022. The US expert advisory team will also cooperate with Indian officials to fight the epidemic.
U.S. considers sending idle AstraZeneca vaccines
The statement did not mention the possibility of sending vaccines directly to India, but Fauci, the chief infectious disease expert in the United States, revealed that the United States will actively consider providing idle AstraZeneca vaccines to India.
The US government has purchased about 30 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, but regulatory authorities have not approved the use of this vaccine. Experts pointed out that the United States may eventually not need to use AstraZeneca vaccines, so the call for these vaccines to be transferred to countries in greater need is increasing.
Fauci told the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday that India and other low- and middle-income countries have suffered a terrible epidemic. The United States can and must do more, and the United States is currently working in this direction.
Before the United States, many European countries also announced assistance to India over the weekend. The UK will provide more than 600 medical equipment, including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 artificial ventilators. The first batch of equipment was shipped out on Sunday and is expected to arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday.
France plans to provide India with oxygen equipment such as ventilators within a few days, and Germany will also provide oxygen and medical assistance. The EU has activated its civil protection mechanism to coordinate member states to provide assistance to India as soon as possible. The European Commission said on Monday that India is requesting the European Union for medical oxygen and remdesivir (remdesivir) for the treatment of coronary disease, and the EU may soon provide these supplies.
Neighbor Pakistan, which has tense relations with India, also expressed its willingness to provide India with medical equipment and supplies.