This morning, India received the first shipment of medical supplies that was sent over by the UK. The shipment contained 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators to help with the shortage of oxygen in the country. Over the next week, the UK plans to send eight more airline container loads with 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators, and 20 manual ventilators. UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab tweeted:
Good to see the first of our medical supplies have now arrived in India and will be deployed where they are needed most. No one is safe until we are all safe. International collaboration is key to fighting this global threat.
India’s devastating surge
The situation in India is becoming increasingly devastating as the weeks go by. Yesterday, more than 323,000 new cases were reported in the country, and this is just the official figure. Bodies are piling up in crematoriums, and citizens are being turned away from hospitals because there are no vacant beds, no ventilators, and no oxygen.
Several countries across the globe have vowed to support India during this mega-crisis, including France, the US and the UK. British Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said:
We are determined to support the people of India through this very difficult time, and I am hugely grateful to those who have worked hard to make this initial delivery happen.
This first delivery of life saving equipment will provide much needed assistance and we stand ready to do more.
Is it going to be enough?
The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) doesn’t seem to think so. They believe that the government's aid so far has been ‘minuscule and a drop in the ocean.’ Sky News spoke with Dr. JS Bamrah from BAPIO, who said:
We need them to help more, urgently.
There are nightingale hospitals empty and vacated now, there will be a lot of equipment lying around not being used.
It would not be beyond the wit and strength of the government to partner with India and fly out nightingale hospitals.