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India Covid: First UK aid arrives as coronavirus deaths mount

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Medical supplies from the UK arrived in India on Tuesday – the first international shipment aimed at stemming a devastating Covid-19 surge.

Ventilators and oxygen equipment landed in Delhi, but far more will be needed, with India recording 320,000 new infections on Tuesday, and deaths rising close to 200,000 overall.

Many hospitals are overwhelmed, with people waiting in the streets outside.

The US, France and Germany are among nations sending desperately needed aid.

One doctor and government adviser working in Mumbai, Zarir Udwadia, told the BBC’s Today programme the currently pledged supplies were a “drop in the ocean” that would have limited effects. He said he was seeing “ward after ward full of patients struggling to breathe on ventilators of different forms and shapes”.

Dr Udwadia said the complacency over getting vaccinated during the first wave had now given way to long lines of people outside medical centres jostling to get shots.

“Vaccine hesitancy has become vaccine desperation,” he said.

Although India’s statistics currently stand at 17.6 million cases and 197,500 deaths, some believe the real figures to be much higher. One investigation by NDTV found that over the past week in Delhi alone some 1,158 deaths may have gone unrecorded.

SourceBBC

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