(New Delhi) India, which denounces nearly 400,000 new cases of Covid-19 and a record number of deaths within 24 hours, continued to receive medical assistance from abroad on Sunday, with the aim of reducing the saturation of hospitals with patients who lack oxygen.
A French-chartered cargo plane landed in New Delhi on Sunday morning with 28 tons of medical equipment, including eight large-capacity oxygen generators, intended to produce medical oxygen from the surrounding air for hospitals, according to Agence France-Presse.
The French authorities said that this equipment can also fill bottles with a flow rate of 20 thousand liters per hour, so that each manufacturer is able to continuously supply an Indian hospital with 250 beds without interruption for ten years.
These oxygen stations were scheduled to be delivered on Sunday to eight Indian hospitals, six in Delhi, one in Haryana state (north) and one in Telangana state (central).
“A device like this, which produces 24 hours a day internally, would greatly aid in oversupply.” [en oxygène] Saeed Sanjay Gupta, head of BLK-Max Hospital in Delhi, where one of the generators was delivered.
India helped us last year in French hospitals, when the need for medicines was enormous. The French people remember it, “said Emmanuel Lenin, the French ambassador to India on Sunday.
According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Health on Saturday, New Delhi recorded 27,000 new infections and 375 deaths within 24 hours.
Hospitals in the Indian capital are overcrowded and crippled with shortages of beds, medicines and oxygen with often fatal consequences for many people, who die in front of institutions without being able to be treated.
The country of 1.3 billion people recorded nearly 400,000 new infections in the past 24 hours.
On Sunday, 3,689 additional deaths were recorded, the largest increase in a single day, bringing the total death toll to more than 215,000.
‘LIVES SAVING HELP’
Very high numbers that many experts believe, however, to be greatly undervalued.
After more than 400 oxygen cylinders and one million screened tests arrived on Friday, India received 120 respirators from Germany on Saturday.
“We are helping […] It will save lives, “said Walter J. Lindner, the German ambassador to India.
On Saturday, the New Delhi authorities announced the extension of imprisonment for an additional week in the enormous city of 20 million people.
Most of its cemeteries are now full and many crematoriums are running continuously, with the occasional stream of deaths forcing bodies to be cremated in empty spaces or parking lots.
On Sunday, the eastern state of Odisha announced its containment to slow the spread of the epidemic.
Slowness in vaccination
On Saturday, India opened the vaccination against COVID-19 to the entire adult population, about 600 million people.
Vaccination “is a necessity now. “There are a lot of people who have tested positive for the virus,” Mega Srivastava, a 35-year-old scientist, told AFP outside a vaccination center in Delhi.
However, several states, including Maharashtra and New Delhi – are among the hardest hit – have warned of running out of vaccines.
The widespread deployment of this campaign is hampered by administrative disputes, price confusion, and technical issues on the government’s digital vaccination platform.
So far, about 150 million vaccines have been given in total, or only 11.5% of the population, and 25 million people have received just two injections.
Warning bells are also ringing in other countries in South Asia.
This is the case in Nepal, the Ministry of Health said Friday, where “infections have jumped beyond the capacity of the health system.”
This country recorded 7,137 new cases on Sunday, a record number. The government has imposed containment or partial containment measures in nearly half of Nepal’s 77 provinces.
In Sri Lanka, infections recorded a record 1699 on Saturday, and authorities imposed further restrictions on movement and activities in parts of the country.
“We may face an Indian-style crisis very soon if we do not stop the current spread of the infection,” said chief epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera.