Saudi Arabia helps India by sending 80 tons of oxygen

The Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia said that 80 tons of oxygen were shipped to India.

“Our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its help, support and cooperation,” the embassy said in a tweet.

The Indian embassy added that it is securing 5,000 other medical oxygen cylinders from Saudi Arabia.

India’s hospitals overcrowded with Coronavirus infection cases are experiencing a shortage of oxygen. The government has deployed military planes and trains to deliver oxygen from the far reaches of the country to Delhi. TV channels covered the moment an oxygen truck arrived at Patra Hospital in Delhi after a doctor expressing he only had 90 minutes of remaining oxygen for 260 patients.

The situation

India recorded 349,691 new infections, accompanied by 2,767 deaths during the past 24 hours. The number of new infections has exceeded one million during the past three days. The terrifying Indian numbers also increased deaths worldwide to 3.11 million.

Complaints appeared from hospitals inside and outside the capital, New Delhi, of a severe shortage of oxygen to save patients. The Indian government announced that any laxity in delivering commercial oxygen supplies to hospitals will lead to death sentences for those responsible.

Hospital managers stated their supplies were delayed by more than 6-7 hours, which caused the death of many patients in intensive care. Shocking images showed the increasing number of bodies in crematoriums near New Delhi. In the end, relatives of the deceased were forced to cremate the bodies of their beloved ones in front of hospitals.

Indian newspapers indicated that oxygen shipments were hindering their trips at state borders. Consequently, New Delhi authorities announced the extension of their closure for another week. The city needs 700 tons of oxygen, while 400 tons is all the central government has been able to provide. The Indian government decided to operate flights by Air Force planes and trains from the Railways Authority to transport oxygen supplies from within the country and abroad, especially from Singapore.

The Indian virologist Shahid Jamil told the British newspaper Mail on Sunday: “The number of new infections will reach 500,000 per day during the first week of May. The average number of deaths in India is currently 1.14% per 100,000 people”.

This means that reaching the epidemic peak will lead to 5,700 deaths per day. Western correspondents described the situation in India as a “pandemic tsunami.” New Delhi newspapers reported many deaths due to a lack of oxygen in hospitals.

The United States announced it was working closely with the Indian government to provide US aid. The New York Times mentioned Indians are dying from the epidemic while waiting to meet doctors.

The tragedy of the Indian health crisis is causing a delay in vaccination campaigns in the world, especially in poor and developing countries. It is a tangible result on the African continent in particular. It is known that Africa relies on vaccines produced by the Indian Serology Institute, which is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world. However, the Indian government decided to intercept exportations to ensure enough production to combat the epidemic in the country. Seventy countries, before the outbreak of the current crisis in India, received about 60 million doses of their vaccines through the Kovacs initiative, sponsored by the World Health Organization.

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