US aid arrives in India as coronavirus cases explode
NEW DELHI – The first US emergency aid to India arrived on Friday as the country battles a devastating surge in Covid-19 cases which has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums, reported Indian media.
A Super Galaxy military transporter carrying more than 400 oxygen cylinders and other hospital equipment and nearly one million rapid coronavirus tests landed at New Delhi's international airport.
India is currently recording a world record infection rate of more than 370,000 cases and 3,600 deaths a day and a huge international aid operation has been launched with dozens of countries promising help.
The delivery, which flew in from the Travis military base in California, followed talks this week between US President Joe Biden and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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"The United States is delivering supplies worth more than $100 million in the coming days to provide urgent relief to our partners in India," State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday. US officials said the special flights, which will also bring equipment donated by companies and individuals, will continue into next week.
Japan became the latest to offer help, announcing Friday it would dispatch 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators to India. "Japan stands with India, our friend and partner, in her efforts to fight (the) Covid-19 pandemic through this additional emergency assistance," the foreign ministry said.
More than 40 countries have committed to sending vital medical aid, particularly oxygen supplies, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters Thursday. The supplies include almost 550 oxygen-generating plants, more than 4,000 oxygen concentrators, 10,000 oxygen cylinders as well as 17 cryogenic tankers.
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