The news: Oxygen and other vital medical supplies have started arriving in India as it grapples with one of the most acute covid-19 crises of any country. The country set a world record for new cases for the fifth day in a row yesterday, reporting 352,991 and 2,812 deaths. The real number is almost certainly much higher. Modeling According to researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation, the actual number of new daily cases in India is now expected to number in the millions.
Perspectives: The situation is dire. The healthcare system in much of India has collapsed, with no intensive care unit beds available for new patients. Hospitals are running out of oxygen, which means patients are suffocating. The parking lots have been turned into mass cremation sites.
Help on his way: Aid has started pouring into India from all over the world. The World Health Organization has pledged to do “whatever we can”, as its managing director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the situation as “beyond heartbreak”. WHO said it was sending oxygen, laboratory supplies and field hospitals to India, along with 2,600 experts to work alongside local health officials.
Oxygen: Ministry of External Affairs of India tweeted images ventilators and oxygen concentrators arrived from the UK today, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates set to send similar supplies shortly.
Vaccines: The United States has pledged to send the raw materials to make the AstraZeneca vaccine, along with ventilators, protective gear and test kits. It has also pledged to send some of the 60 million unused doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine it has in storage, but only after a safety review (although the AstraZeneca vaccine has already been cleared by regulators in India) .
What will be the impact? While helpful, scientists say help will only go hand in hand “bump“in the crisis in India. The situation could be worsened by the emergence of a new variant of the virus, B.1.617, which has some similarities with two other more transmissible variants of the virus: one in South Africa. South, the other in California. But experts say that the government’s loosening of restrictions too quickly also contributed to the disaster, in addition to prioritizing vaccine exports. Even now India does not. still has not returned to a nationwide lockdown.