As the Covid pandemic continues to ravage India, several world nations, including New Zealand are racing to provide support in response to the dire situation facing the country.
With daily cases continuing to cross over 300,000 for the seventh day in a row, New Zealand has today announced $1 million assistance to help combat the devastating second wave of Covid sweeping the nation.
Australian PM has announced its decision of dispatching 500 ventilators, over 15 lakh masks and face shields, whereas the UK is sending a large number of oxygen concentrators and ventilators. Several other nations are pitching in to support.
“We stand in solidarity with India at this difficult time, and commend the tireless efforts of India’s frontline medics and healthcare workers who are working hard to save lives,” said New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta.
“Aotearoa (New Zealand) will contribute NZ $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross to assist India while they respond to the current surge in COVID-19 cases.”
“We believe a contribution to an international organisation that has a reputation for delivery is the most practical assistance we can make to India at this time,” said Nanaia Mahuta.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to assist the Indian government. We extend our deepest sympathies to the whānau and friends of those who have had their lives cut short by this terrible virus,” said Nanaia Mahuta.
The International Federation of the Red Cross is working directly with the local Indian Red Cross Society to provide oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, and other crucial medical supplies. The IFRC is also looking at scaling up emergency operations across India by providing an intensified ambulance and blood service, and distributing personal protective equipment and hygiene kits to communities in need.
There were 3,62,770 fresh cases and 3,286 deaths reported in the past 24 hours – both being the highest so far. Tuesday was also the seventh day in a row when India reported over 300,000 cases.
Hospitals and frontline workers are overstretched. Hospitals are inundated with patients desperately needing medical care, and are reportedly dying gasping for oxygen.
The steep demand for medical oxygen has been precipitated by a shortage of tankers and the daunting logistics of transportation from distant locations.
With deaths mounting, crematoriums are failing to cope with the funeral of victims. In Delhi and other places, makeshift crematoriums have come up at some place, including car parks.
As pandemic continues to ravage the nation with deaths, some experts are reportedly questioning the Covid data and are seeking transparency.
A virologist, Shahid Jameel has alleged: “We are not counting the Covid deaths properly. India sees roughly 28,000 deaths a day. The reported number of pandemic deaths is between 2,300-2,800 per day, barely 10 per cent of the normal. If that is the case, burial and cremation grounds can’t get overwhelmed.”
But as others point out, it’s not time to deal with accuracy or otherwise of numbers, but to currently deal effectively with response lest the pandemic is compromised.