India’s new COVID-19 cases stay above 300,000, army called to help
Vital medical supplies poured into India on Tuesday as hospitals starved of oxygen supplies and beds turned away coronavirus patients, while a surge in infections pushed the death toll towards 200,000.
Supplies from Britain, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived in Delhi, said Reuters partner ANI, while France is sending oxygen generators able to provide 250 patients with a year’s supply of the gas, its embassy said.
Even China, locked in a year-long military standoff with India on their disputed Himalayan border, said it was trying to get medical supplies to its neighbour.
“We will encourage and guide Chinese companies to actively cooperate with India…,” embassy spokesman Wang Xiaojian said in a statement on its website.
The first “Oxygen Express” train pulled into New Delhi, the capital, carrying about 70 tonnes of the life-saving gas from an eastern state, but the crisis has not abated in the city of 20 million at the epicentre of the latest wave of infections.
The shortage of oxygen is the main concern, said Dr K. Preetham, an administrator at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.
“For seven days, most of us haven’t slept,” he told Reuters. “Because of the scarcity, we are forced to put two patients on one cylinder.”
India’s 323,144 new cases over the past 24 hours stood below a worldwide peak of 352,991 hit on Monday, while 2,771 deaths took the toll to 197,894.
Fewer infections were largely due to a drop in testing, said health economist Rijo M John of the Indian Institute of Management in the southern state of Kerala.
“This should not be taken as an indication of falling cases, rather a matter of missing out on too many positive cases,” he said on Twitter…..read more