U.S. to send support as India battles devastating COVID surge

U.S. to send support as India battles devastating COVID surge”

Washington is under increasing pressure to do more to help India, the world's largest democracy and a strategic ally in President Joe Biden's efforts to counter China, as it grapples with a record-setting surge in coronavirus infections.

The AAP government on Saturday told the Delhi High Court that the national capital received 309 MT of medical oxygen against the allocated 480 MT on Friday, terming it as the main cause behind the oxygen crisis in the city hospitals. It also saw the highest-ever single-day spike in COVID-19 related deaths with 2,624 fatalities, taking the count to over 1.89 lakh.

AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, who has been coordinating with a few hospitals in the capital for oxygen supply, had earlier tweeted that a cryogenic tanker would be reaching the hospital by 10.15 am. The lives of 40 Covid patients were at stake.

The issue of oxygen shortage has been raised before the Delhi High Court by several hospitals, big and small, in the last few days.

The gurdwara management has promised to provide free oxygen to patients until they can be admitted to a hospital.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government informed the court that the system will "collapse" if it does not get 480 metric tonnes of oxygen.

About 20 Covid patients died last night at "Jaipur Golden Hospital" due to the low supply of oxygen.

More news: 5 things to know about COVID-19 variants

As Indians were cooped up indoors for months, industrial tanks were repurposed for medical use and tanker trucks raced over empty motorways to transport oxygen across the vast country to hotspots. "Please tell us that", the court asked the Union government while hearing Maharaja Agrasen Hospital's petition. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said he is looking at how the United Kingdom could help India. At the Holy Family Hospital, intensive care units are full and there is no room for any more beds.

Each plant will be able to produce 2400 litres of oxygen per hour, it said.

Ajoy Sehgal, a hospital spokesperson, would not comment on whether the 25 patients died from a lack of oxygen.

The New Delhi Television channel later cited the hospital chairman as saying the deaths can not be ascribed to a lack of oxygen.

"We were confident, our spirits were up after successfully tackling the first wave, but this storm has shaken the nation", Modi said in a radio address.

Most of the country's oxygen production capacity is centred around industries, many of which are concentrated in India's eastern states, while the current surge in infections is in the northern and western states.

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