India has been battling the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreak and on Monday recorded another record in new cases with 352,991 in the past 24 hours along with 2,812 deaths.
Reuters reported that the situation in the country is dire, with hospitals in Delhi and other cities being forced to turn away patients due to a lack of medical oxygen and other supplies.
“Every hospital is running out (of oxygen). We are running out,” Dr. Sudhanshu Bankata, executive director of Batra Hospital, a leading hospital in the capital, told a local channel.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement Sunday that the U.S. stands ready to support “our Indian partners in their hour of need.”
He said he has directed the department to “use every resource at our disposal, within our authority” to rapidly provide India’s frontline healthcare workers with the materials they need. He said he instructed the department to provide transportation and logistics assistance and is prepared to “deliver needed supplies” including oxygen-related equipment.
The BBC reported that the U.K. shipped its first consignment aid on Sunday that included 495 oxygen concentrators, which the report said has the capability to extract oxygen from the air if the hospital systems buckle. A correspondent from the network who covers India posted a video on Twitter that she said showed an oxygen tanker with a police escort.
“More precious than gold,” Yogita Limaye posted.
India’s infection surge, blamed on a highly contagious variant first detected here, came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory over the coronavirus in January, telling the virtual gathering of the World Economic Forum that India’s success couldn’t be compared with anywhere else.
The Associated Press contributed to this report