India welcomes international medical supplies
India has welcomed vital medical supplies as it battles a major surge in cases. The external affairs ministry tweeted pictures of ventilators and oxygen concentrators that arrived in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
In total, nine airline container loads of supplies, including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators, will be sent this week, according to the British high commission in India.
In the past few minutes, Australia became the latest country to pause flights from India. The ban is in place until 15 May, the prime minister, Scott Morrison said.
On Monday the prime minister, Narendra Modi, spoke with President Biden. The US “is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials and therapeutics,” Biden told Modi, according to a statement.
A state department spokesperson, Ned Price, said the US was “working nonstop across the government to do all we can to deliver on an urgent basis the supplies most needed within India, and that includes oxygen assistance and related materials,” he said.
Indian media reported the US CDC was deploying a public health team to work with the US embassy on the ground, India’s health ministries and its epidemic intelligence staff.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus virus, as vital medical supplies begin to arrive in India.
The ministry of external affairs spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, said 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators had arrived early this morning from the UK.
It comes as the country recorded 323,144 new daily cases of coronavirus and 2,771 deaths.
Here’s a summary of the main news so far:
- The World Health Organization says it is “doing everything we can, providing critical equipment and supplies,” to India as its chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters the situation there was “beyond heartbreaking”.
- The WHO said it was sending oxygen, mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies and had transferred more than 2,600 experts from various programmes, including polio and tuberculosis, to work with Indian health authorities.
- Boris Johnson pledged Britain would do “all it can” to help India.
- France said it would send eight oxygen production units as well as oxygen containers and respirators to India.
- Thailand’s prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was fined for not wearing a mask after new restrictions came into force to try to halt an outbreak that saw deaths hit a record single-day high on Tuesday (15 deaths) for the third time in four days.
- Germany’s coronavirus cases rose by 10,976 on Tuesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
- Japan will open a mass vaccination centre in central Tokyo next month, officials said on Tuesday, part of the country’s bid to speed up its Covid-19 inoculation campaign as the Olympic Games looms.