Covid-19: Flight from UK carrying vital medical supplies lands in India
A Lufthansa flight landed in India early on Tuesday morning with consignments comprising vital medical supplies from the United Kingdom, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, the Union ministry of external affairs (MEA) said, as the country continues to grapple with a deadly second wave of infections of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“International cooperation at work! Appreciate the shipment of vital medical supplies from the United Kingdom, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators that arrived early this morning,” Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson of the MEA, posted on the ministry’s Twitter handle on Tuesday morning.
The UK is among several countries that have stepped up to help India which has been recording more than 300,000 Covid-19 infection cases per day for the last five days, with numbers on each day surpassing figures from the previous day, and more than 2,000 people succumbing to the viral disease daily. Since April 22, India’s single-day rise in infections is the highest recorded by any country since the beginning of the pandemic early last year. On Monday, the Union ministry of health and family welfare’s dashboard showed 352,991 people tested positive for the infection in the preceding 24 hours, while a record 2,812 patients lost their lives. The country’s infection tally currently stands at 17,313,163, the second-highest globally after that of the United States.
Earlier this month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to India which was scheduled on April 25. This was the second time this year that Johnson called off a planned visit to India. He was to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade on January 26 but the trip was deferred as the UK went into a nationwide lockdown due to a surge in cases there.
“We’re looking at what we can do to help and support the people of India,” Johnson told the British media last Friday, describing the country as a “great partner.”
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According to the coronavirus tracker maintained by the US-based Johns Hopkins University, the UK’s Covid-19 tally is currently at 4,422,562 with a related death toll of 127,688.