Nadir Patel, High Commissioner of Canada to India, welcomed the first shipment of he described in a tweet as “urgent” medical supplies including 25,000 vials of anti-viral COVID-19 remdesivir and 50 ventilators on Saturday.
“Canada continues to stand in solidarity with the Indian people,” tweeted Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau. “We must all unite and work together in the global fight against # COVID19.”
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India reported an additional 401,078 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, and a record 4,187 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University showed.
Infections have increased across the country since February, with numerous accusations of new, possibly more deadly and transmissible variants, as well as the Indian government’s decision to allow crowds to gather for religious festivals and political rallies. .
The catastrophic wave has been compounded by an oxygen shortage across the country, leaving hospitals to turn away those who fall ill, COVID-19 patients are dying in their hospital beds, and some are suffocating to death in their cars, just outside the doors of the hospital.
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“The problem is that the demand is so high that we need constant oxygen,” said Dr Sanjay Gururaj, medical director of Shanti Hospital and Research Center previously.
“The hospital sends a truck twice a day to oxygen factories on the outskirts of town to bring back 12 giant oxygen cylinders.”
Under normal circumstances, Gururaj said a large amount of oxygen would be enough to last for more than two weeks.
But “now it lasts a little over a day. “
Canada has agreed to provide India with 350 ventilators and up to 25,000 vials of remdesivir from its national emergency stockpile to assist it.
Global Affairs Canada has said that 25,000 vials of remdesivir can be used for at least 4,000 treatment cycles, in a statement previously emailed to Global News.
Canada sends medical supplies to India as COVID-19 overwhelms country’s healthcare
The agency added that “the supplies identified for this donation would not compromise the continued efforts of the COVID-19 home response in Canada.”
“If there has been a time for countries to support each other, it is now,” Karina Gould, Canada’s Minister for International Development, said in a previous statement.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces increasing pressure from medical experts, opposition leaders and several Supreme Court justices to impose a severe nationwide lockdown.
The Serum Institute of India, which manufactures much of Canada’s Covishield AstraZeneca vaccines, has been ordered to halt exports to help deal with the growing crisis in the country.
A “coordinated nationwide strategy” is needed, Srinath Reddy, chairman of the Public Health Foundation of India, a public-private consultancy, told The Associated Press.
– With files from The Associated Press
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