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US Air Force lands in India with much-needed Covid-19 supplies, other foreign aid on the way

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Stock photo via Flickr

As India has recently requested foreign aid to help with its severe Covid-19 situation, a US Air Force aircraft has landed in the South Asian country, answering that call with Covid-19 relief supplies. The aircraft departed from California and,  according to a statement by the US Department of Defense, was packed with cargo pallets containing more than 400 oxygen cylinders and regulators, 1 million N-95 medical masks, and 1 million Covid-19 rapid test kits.

As India deals with 379,257 new daily infections, and over 18.3 million cases since the pandemic began, it has taken the second seat next to the US in terms of the highest number of cases reported since the outbreak began.  Just in the last 24 hours, the nation reported 3,645 deaths, bringing the total to 204,832. And, experts say those numbers that are being reported are lower than the actual numbers.

Multiple countries, including Germany, France, the EU, the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have pledged to help India, with the US also sending vaccines, despite India being one of the world’s biggest vaccine producers. Crates of ventilators and oxygen concentrators from the UK arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday, making it the first aid to arrive in India from abroad. Although the UK is sending medical supplies to India, a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK could not give away its vaccine doses at this time.

Tarik Jasarevic, spokesman for the World Health Organization, has also noted that the Covid variant, found in India, is more transmissible. Yet the government is continually being criticised for its slow rollout of Covid vaccines.

“It seems that this variant has the potential to attach to human cells more easily. Obviously that would lead to more people being infected and more hospitalisations.”

The recent surge in infections has been largely blamed on public complacency with officials joining in the mindset. The government allowed hundreds of thousands of Hindu worshippers to participate in the country’s religious event, even noting how large the gatherings were. Political rallies during state elections were also still held, with mask wearing seemingly off the table.

The Indian government said it will open up its vaccination drive to all adults on May 1.

SOURCE: VOA News

 

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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