More coronavirus aid lands in India - GulfToday

More coronavirus aid lands in India


Ground staff unload the coronavirus medical supplies from France in New Delhi. AFP

India struggled to contain one of the world's worst coronavirus outbreaks with nearly 400,000 new infections reported Sunday, as more international aid arrived in the South Asian nation to help end the crisis.

Surges in Brazil and Canada also highlighted the persistent threat of the pandemic, with the Covid-19 death toll approaching 3.2 million even as many nations ramp up their vaccination drives.

India expanded its vaccination programme to all adults on Saturday, but many of its states are struggling with shortages despite an export freeze for shots produced in the country.


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Long queues were seen at vaccination centres in cities across India on the weekend, with people desperate to be inoculated against a disease that has overwhelmed the country's healthcare system and even crematoriums and graveyards.

"We are here early in the morning to get vaccinated... I left my three-year-old at home to get vaccinated," said Megha Srivastava, 35, at a private vaccination centre in the capital New Delhi.

Ground staff unload the coronavirus medical aid supplies from Germany, at an airport in New Delhi. AFP

"It is a necessity now. We are seeing so many people testing positive."

Social media platforms have been flooded with desperate pleas from people looking for oxygen cylinders, medicines and hospital beds as the Covid-19 wave causes widespread shortages.

India reported more than 392,000 new cases and nearly 3,700 Covid-19 deaths on Sunday.

The dire situation prompted many nations including the United States, Russia and Britain to dispatch emergency supplies including oxygen generators, face masks, and vaccines.

Aid from France reached India on Sunday, including eight oxygen generator plants and 28 ventilators, adding to the 120 ventilators from Germany that arrived on Saturday.

New Delhi, one of the hardest-hit parts of the country, extended its lockdown by a week on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

Anthony Fauci, the top US pandemic advisor, said in comments published Saturday that India should go into lockdown to fight this wave.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has resisted imposing a national shutdown but many states have imposed heavy restrictions.

'We're tired and exhausted'

Known global infections are approaching 152 million, and fresh waves have also shaken many countries in the Americas.

Brazil, the worst-hit Latin American nation, has crossed 400,000 Covid-19 deaths — second only to the United States, with many of its hospitals pushed to the brink of collapse.

And in Canada, the epicentre is in the most populous province Ontario, where the surge has been so intense that the government sent in the military and the Red Cross to help care for critical patients.

Many health professionals and caregivers are also frustrated with citizens who have not followed precautions.

Ontario's healthcare system is nearing the breaking point, said intensive care nurse Farial Faquiry at Toronto's Humber River Hospital.

"We're stretched thin," Faquiry told AFP.

"We're tired and exhausted. Just exhausted."

Many health professionals and caregivers are also frustrated with citizens who have not followed precautions.

"I think we all feel we have been let down a little bit by society," said physician Jamie Spiegelman.

Canada's vaccine rollout has also stumbled because of supply issues, unlike its southern neighbour the United States which has given at least one dose to more than half its adult population.

But concerns are growing there too about the inoculation programme hitting a wall -- the people most eager to get their shots have already done so.

Agence France-Presse


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