The world is seeing a clearer picture of exactly how seriously Covid-19 is ravaging India. With reports and gutting images emerging from New Delhi’s overrun hospitals and cremation sites, experts say that the death toll is much greater than the 193,000 the government has reported. The country of 1.3 billion is now the global epicenter of the pandemic.
Several countries, including India’s political rivals China and Pakistan, are responding to the humanitarian crisis. Amid expressions of solidarity from world leaders, here’s a list of countries mobilizing to send much needed medical equipment, oxygen, vaccines, and treatments so far.
Prime minister Scott Morrison says that his government is currently working with India’s to determine how it can assist. The two countries together with the US and Japan, are in a bloc called the Quad, that has pledged to supply a billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine across Asia.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian says that Beijing is “ready to provide support and help according to India’s need.” Suspending old rivalries, they are currently in talks with Indian health officials.
Germany sent 23 mobile oxygen generation plants for use in military units tending to Covid-19 patients. They’re expected to arrive in India this week.
French president Emmanuel Macron expressed readiness to support India through the crisis. Details of how and what he plans to offer have yet to be revealed.
Speaking on behalf of the EU, European Council president Charles Michel echoed Macron’s offer to help. He says they plan to discuss specifics during the India-EU Summit in Brussels on May 8.
The Pakistani government is sending medical equipment to its arch-rival. “As a gesture of solidarity with the people of India in the wake of the current wave of COVID-19, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support to India including ventilators, Bi PAP, digital X ray machines, PPEs, and related items,” a government spokesperson said in an April 25 statement.
Social welfare organization Edhi Foundation is also ready to send a fleet of 50 ambulances manned by Pakistani health professionals to help in India’s pandemic response. They are awaiting clearance from the Modi government.
The Saudi government sent 80 metric tons of liquid oxygen on April 24 via the Indian-owned shipping companies Adani Group and Linde. The first tanks are headed to the port of Mundra.
The Indian Air Force picked up four cryogenic oxygen tanks donated by Singapore on April 24.
The UK rushed 140 ventilators and 495 oxygen generators to Delhi, according to the Guardian. Additional aid in the coming weeks is expected.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said that he’s “determined to make sure that the UK does everything it can to support the international community in the global fight against pandemic.”
Appearing on ABC News this morning, Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the US is mulling sending “oxygen supplies, Covid-19 tests, drug treatments, and personal protective equipment.”
Health experts are also pushing the US to lift the ban on raw materials for vaccine production and redirect its stockpile of AstraZeneca doses to India. Bloomberg reports that the Biden administration is sitting on 20 million doses of the Oxford University developed drug, which has yet to be approved by health regulators. The US has also previously provided $5.9 million in Covid-19 relief to India.