First Batch of US Aid Lands in India as Country Battles Coronavirus Surge

Planes carrying the first emergency US aid arrived in India’s capital on Friday amid another increase in coronavirus cases in the country.

With 386,452 new cases, India now has reported more than 18.7 million since the pandemic began, second only to the United States.

The Health Ministry also reported 3,498 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 208,330. Experts believe both figures are an undercount, but it’s unclear by how much.  

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed hope that assistance being sent by over 40 countries will plug the shortage in medical supplies.

The United States is sending more than $100 million worth of items, including 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 15 million N95 masks and 1 million rapid diagnostic tests.

Japan said Friday it will send 300 ventilators and 300 oxygen concentrators in response to the Indian government request.   

France, Germany, Ireland and Australia have also promised help, and Russia sent two aircraft carrying oxygen generating equipment.

The Indian air force also airlifted oxygen containers from Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok.

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