International efforts are on to help India battle a devastating second wave of COVID-19. On April 26, India reported 352,991 new cases and 2,812 virus-related deaths, the world’s highest daily caseload for a fifth consecutive day.
The second wave, which began in March, has worsened rapidly. For the last two weeks, medical facilities have been pushed to the brim, with hospitals running out of ICU beds and oxygen, leaving patients waiting for care.
The situation is particularly grave in New Delhi, the country’s capital, which is under lockdown until May 3. The city has been facing a severe shortage of oxygen supplies. Over the weekend, several Delhi hospitals tweeted SOS messages appealing for oxygen supplies. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central Government has come under fire for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak as the country’s hospitals are overwhelmed, and citizens have been posting pleas on social media for supplies from federal and state officials.
As the death toll climbs in India, many countries have stepped up and offered critical aid to the nation. According to the White House and senior officials, the US Defense Department and the Biden administration will deploy support and supplies to India, including PPE, ventilators, therapeutics, and rapid diagnostic test kits. On April 25, the White House announced it would partially lift the ban on specific raw materials required to manufacture the Covishield vaccine.
The United Kingdom is also sending 600 medical equipment pieces to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators. The aid came in response to Modi’s request to the UK. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan also announced the country would “relief support” to India in a “gesture of solidarity.” Pakistan has offered to send PPE, ventilators, and other medical assistance to its neighbor.