The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in India. The country is consistently recording more than 3 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases and over 2,000 fatalities daily. This massive surge has overwhelmed the country's healthcare system. There are reports of shortage of oxygen, essential drugs, hospital beds, etc. In frantic posts, people on social media are pleading for help. Besides, the chilling pictures and videos from crematoriums across the country will send shivers down the spine of even the cold-hearted.
Meanwhile, several countries have come forward to help India amid this catastrophic crisis. From Saudi Arabia to Australia, here is a full list of countries who have extended their support:
Ireland has announced that it will send 700 oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies to the country. "Ireland is sending 700 oxygen concentrators to India to help healthcare workers in providing timely aid to patients," said the Irish ambassador Brendan Ward. "The situation in India is being followed closely in Ireland where there is now a large Indian community. Indian medical professionals are very important to our health system," he said. "We are pleased to be able to offer these oxygen concentrators now. We are in close contact with the Indian government and we are looking at what further assistance we could offer such as ventilators and other equipment," the envoy said.
2. United Kingdom:
The United Kingdom said it was sending more than 600 vital medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators, to India. In total, nine containers carrying 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators will be sent. "Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. "We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19. We will continue to work closely with the Indian government and I'm determined to make sure the UK does everything it can to support the international community in the global fight against pandemic," he added.
3. Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia said it is shipping 80 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen to India. The supply shipment is being undertaken in cooperation with the Adani group and Linde company. "Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/s Linde in shipping much-needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support, and cooperation,” the Indian mission in Riyadh tweeted.
500 BiPAPs, 250 oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies from Singapore have already landed in India. The Singapore Embassy has promised to provide 7,511 oxygen concentrators, 516 BiPAP machines, etc, said the Embassy in a tweet. "We will fight this together," it added. Moreover, Singapore's two leading trade organisations have launched a new relief fund to support India in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), and the Little India Shopkeepers Association (LISHA) are jointly coordinating efforts by the community to support India.
5. United Arab Emirates:
Six cryogenic oxygen storage containers have been airlifted from Dubai to West Bengal. Another six containers will be airlifted from the West Asian country. Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor noted that India is acquiring oxygen containers from the UAE to pump its hospitals with the life-saving gas as hundreds of patients are losing the battle against COVID-19, reported Khaleej Times. “India appreciates the UAE’s strong support to its close friend in difficult times," Kapoor tweeted.
France said it will deliver eight oxygen concentrators, containers of liquid oxygen, specialized medical equipment including 28 respirators and 200 electric syringe pumps among others to India. France said the oxygen concentrators that it will send can provide a hospital with oxygen autonomy for a dozen years. “These units are permanent fixtures that can produce medical oxygen from the oxygen present in the air. Each one can continuously supply a 250-bed hospital. The system’s flow rate is sufficient for 15 intubated COVID patients in a resuscitation care unit (or 30 patients in conventional intensive care) or 150 patients requiring oxygen in a conventional hospital setting. Also included are devices to refill oxygen cylinders,” a statement added.
Russia plans to fly special planes with a wide range of COVID-related assistance including oxygen generators and concentrators as well as drugs, reported The Hindu. As per the report, Russia will send oxygen generating equipment, pharma supplies of drugs like Favipiravir and Remdesivir. Besides, Russia is also dispatching emergency doses of Sputnik-V vaccine. However, India is likely to start receiving the vaccine by the end of May.
Germany will be sending oxygen and medical aid to India in the coming days, said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. According to an Indian Express report, the foreign ministry had asked the German military to look into providing a mobile oxygen production facility as well as support to transport other emergency and relief goods to India. "Germany stands in solidarity with India and is urgently preparing a mission of support," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel Merkel.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced to launch an immediate support package for India. Giving details of the relief package, Morrison said that Australia will send a range of goods to India to help as it struggles with a critical shortage of medical supplies. Australia will send 500 ventilators, as well as 1 million surgical masks, 500,000 protective and surgical masks, goggles and face shields, he said.
10: United States:
328 oxygen concentrators have already been flown from New York to New Delhi by Air India. The US also said it will send specific raw material "urgently required" for manufacturing of the Covishield vaccine. "Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need. To this end, the United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies," US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement. "To help treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India. The United States also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis," the statement added.
Besides, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Denmark, etc. have also come forward to help India as the second COVID-19 wave intensifies.