A nightmarish scenario is prevalent in Delhi-NCR and several other metros of India, with frequent calls for ICU beds, ventilators, oxygen beds. In almost all the cases, the Covid patients are suffering from loss of breath and are in dire need of oxygen or ventilators. Doctors say, many of these cases could have been prevented had there been adequate supply of Remdesivir vials, which continue to be in short supply. On Tuesday, India reported 3,23,144 new Covid cases and 2,771 Covid related deaths.
Meanwhile, help continues to pour in from USA, UK, UAE, France and other countries. 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators have arrived in India from UK, ISO oxygen tankers have come from Thailand at West Bengal’s Panagarh IAF airbase, both UAE and Saudi Arabia are sending oxygen concentrators to India, along with 80 tonnes of medical oxygen, while CEOs of 40 US companies have set up a global task force to send help and supplies to India.
US President Joe Biden spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and assured all help to fight Covid pandemic. Biden said, “India was thre with the American people in their hour of need and the United States will be there for India in their hour of need”.
The US has already started shipment of government health stocks of Astra Zeneca Covid vaccine and raw materials to India. Additional stocks of oxygen equipment are being diverted from US army field hospitals to India, Lockheed Martin will be sending helicopters and cargo planes to move stocks to small towns across India. US Defense Department and USAID is going to provide field oxygen generation systems to India. Each unit can provide oxygen to 50 to 100 beds.
Sources have said that the US army is going to send its mobile hospitals to provide ICU beds for Covid patients in India. India has asked the US for oxygen concentrators, 10-litre and 45-litre capacity oxygen cylinders, oxygen generators and vital medicines like Remdesivir, Faviprivir and Tocilizumab for Covid patients. The US is also going to send rapid diagnostic testing kits, PPEs, therapeutics and ventilators for Indian hospitals.
In India, an Oxygen Express carrying medical oxygen tankers arrived from Jindal steel plant in Chhattisgarh at Delhi Cantt railway station. Indian Railways have delivered 450 tonnes of medical oxygen till Wednesday morning. Six loaded tankers carrying 90 tonnes of medical oxygen have left Bokaro towards Jabalpur and Bhopal, while three tankers are on way to Bokaro to pick up oxygen for UP hospitals.
The Centre has decided to import 20 Cryogenic oxygen tankers of 10 metric tonne and 20 metric tonne capacity and allocate them to the states for emergency use. Meanwhile, cumulative vaccination coverage has exceeded 14.5 crore across India and more than 2.5 lakh people recovered from Covid during the last 24 hours. Apple, Google, Microsoft have announced special Covid assistance for India
Our armed forces, our paramilitary forces, police and railway are working jointly to tackle the scourge of the pandemic. On April 24, India produced 7,200 metric tonnes of medical oxygen, but today we are producing more than 9,000 tonnes of medical oxygen daily. This is no mean achievement.
Millions of people are sharing their sorrows on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, but there are some vested interests who are circulating baseless rumours and fake videos and are trying to create a sense of panic and despondency among people. These people may try to instil fear in your minds.
Let me tell you: Do not fear at all. If you have mild Covid systems, you can recover easily while staying inside your homes by taking medicines on doctors’ advice. Since nearly 80 per cent of persons infected with Coronavirus are asymptomatic, it is very difficult when such people unintentionally spread infection. Secondly, during this second wave of pandemic, most of the Covid cases relate to shortness of breath. There are medicines that can treat this symptom, and it is not necessary to take oxygen, unless the situation is serious.
There is no need to fear, everyone has to fight this scourge with courage. Following Covid protocol, like wearing masks (even inside homes), maintaining distance and frequent washing of hands, is the only way to stay away from the virus. Do these simple things at home, and leave the solution of critical problems to the government. And, leave the task of prodding the government to action to us, who work in the media.
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