America's first shipment of medical aid arrived in India.


Shipments will continue in the coming days and will be joined by flights from Japan that also promised relief to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The first shipment of medical aid from the United States arrived in India on Friday, which is facing an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases, as more supplies are expected from numerous countries in the coming days. A Super Galaxy military transport plane with more than 400 oxygen bottles, other medical equipment, and almost a million rapid coronavirus tests landed at the international airport in New Delhi, the Indian capital, which is fighting an unprecedented health crisis.

India on Friday reported a new world record of 385,000 new infections in the past 24 hours and nearly 3,500 deaths.

Several countries launched a major international aid operation and pledged assistance. Delivering the United States, which came from the military base of Travis in California - occurs after discussions this week between US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The United States is delivering a cargo worth more than $ 100 million to provide urgent assistance in the coming days our partners in India," the spokesman said Thursday the State Department, Ned Price.

US officials said special flights, which would also carry cargo donated by companies and individuals, would continue next week.

More than 40 countries committed.

Japan announced on Friday that it would also contribute to the international effort to help India and plans to ship 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 respirators.

"Japan is next to India, our friend, and partner in their efforts to combat the pandemic covid-19 by this additional emergency aid," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan said in a statement.

More than 40 countries have pledged to send medical aid, including oxygen, Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters on Thursday.

The aid pledges include nearly 550 oxygen production facilities, more than 4,000 oxygen concentrators, 10,000 oxygen cylinders, and 17 cryogenic tankers.

Hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccines have also been shipped, and essential components for the production of vaccines and medicines, the minister added. "This is an unprecedented situation," Shringla said.

India has recorded some 18.5 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, including more than six million in April alone.

More than 200,000 people died, but many experts believe that the true number is much higher.

In many areas outside of New Delhi and Maharashtra, badly affected by the epidemic, hospitals are running out of beds, oxygen, and medicine, forcing families of the sick to try to get them by any means to save their loved ones.

Due to the unusual number of deaths, many crematoriums face a shortage of wood, as between 300 and 400 kg of wood is required every Monday.

Suspended vaccines

Suspended vaccinations

The Indian government opens the vaccination campaign on Saturday to all adults over 18 years of age, some 600 million people, although it could advance it a few hours this Friday due to the desperate state of the pandemic in the country.

But several states have warned that they do not have enough stocks and that the rollout is threatened by administrative disputes, price confusion, and technical problems on the government's digital vaccination platform.

In the state of Maharashtra, the financial center of Bombay, one of the cities most affected by the new wave of the epidemic, announced that it was forced to suspend the vaccination campaign from Friday to Sunday "due to lack of availability. of vaccine stocks".

Until now, health workers and "front line" workers, adults over 45 years of age, and people with comorbidities have been able to benefit from one of the campaign's two vaccines, Covishield from AstraZeneca or Covaxin from Bharat Biotech.

In total, some 150 million vaccines were administered - that is, only 11.5% of India's 1.3 billion people - and 25 million of them received two injections.