The UK Is Sending Hundreds Of Pieces Of Medical Equipment To India To Help Fight Its Covid-19 Crisis
The UK will send nine airline containers of medical equipment to India this week as the country battles a devastating wave of the coronavirus.
India set a new record on Sunday for daily Covid-19 infections for the fourth day in a row, recording 349,691 cases of the illness.
The new wave, which has seen cases rocket in India, has been exacerbated by a shortage of oxygen, with hospitals struggling to handle the number of patients requiring treatment.
The government said it was sending over 600 pieces of medical equipment to New Delhi this week. This includes 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators.
The first shipment is expected to arrive on Tuesday morning, with further shipments to follow.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19.
"Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus.
"We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time and I'm determined to make sure that the UK does everything it can to support the international community in the global fight against pandemic".
The Prime Minister had been scheduled to visit India this week but was forced to cancel the visit due to the health risk posed by the escalating coronavirus crisis.Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said the scenes in India, where people have died in the streets waiting for treatment, "show once again how awful this terrible disease is".
He 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".
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday said the European Union was "ready to support" India and was "pooling resources to respond rapidly to India’s request for assistance".