Desperate India receives some donor medical supplies, oxygen shortage persists

Much needed medical supplies poured into India on Tuesday as overrun hospitals turned away patients due to a shortage of beds and oxygen supplies and a surge of infections pushed the coronavirus diseas death toll towards 200,000, Reuters reports.

A shipment of medical supplies from Britain, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived in Delhi early on Tuesday, Reuters partner ANI reported.

France is also sending oxygen generators that can provide year-long oxygen for 250 beds, the embassy said.

The first “Oxygen Express” train for Delhi carrying around 70 tons of the life-saving gas from the eastern state of Chhattisgarh also reached the national capital early Tuesday.

But the crisis in the metropolis of 20 million people, the epicenter of the latest wave of infections, continued unabated.

Dr K.Preetham, chief of medical administration at Delhi’s Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, said the scarcity of oxygen was the main concern.

“For seven days, most of us haven’t slept. Because of the scarcity, we are forced to put two patients on one cylinder and this is a time consuming process because we don’t have long tubes,” he said.

Over the past 24 hours, India recorded 323,144 new coronavirus patients,

slightly below a worldwide peak of 352,991 it reached on Monday. Deaths grew by by 2,771 to 197,894.

Rijo M John, a professor and health economist at the Indian Institute of Management in the southern state of Kerala, said the drop in patients was largely due to a fall in testing.

“This should not be taken as an indication of falling cases, rather a matter of missing out on too many positive cases!” he said on Twitter.

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