India Records 320K New Cases as Foreign Help Pours In

NEW DELHI (AP) -
A shipment of vital medical supplies from the United Kingdom arrives in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday. (ANI/ReutersTV via Reuters)

India recorded more than 320,000 new cases of coronavirus infection Tuesday as a grim surge of illness and death weighed on the country and its sinking health system started getting much-needed support from foreign nations.

Tuesday’s 323,144 new infections raised India’s total past 17.6 million, behind only the United States.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi tweeted photos Tuesday of the first shipment of medical aid India received from Britain. It included 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators.

Other nations like the U.S., Germany, Israel and Pakistan have also promised medical aid. The countries have said they will supply oxygen, diagnostic tests, treatments, ventilators and protective gear to help India at the time of crisis, which World Health Organization’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called “beyond heartbreaking.”

France was sending breathing machines, ICU gear and eight oxygen generators in a shipment expected to be sent later this week. Each generator can equip a hospital of 250 beds for several years, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said.

France will also send breathing machines, pumps and containers of liquid medical oxygen aimed at helping up to 10,000 patients per day, according to the French Foreign Ministry. That first oxygen shipment is expected to arrive from Europe to India next week.

The White House was moving to share raw materials for the AstraZeneca vaccine by diverting some U.S. orders to the Serum Institute of India. White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told The Associated Press the administration was working on other requests, namely for personal protective equipment, tests and oxygen supplies.