India gets a helping hand thanks to arrival of vital supplies

NEW DELHI: Anti-epidemic supplies including 100 oxygen concentrators and 40 ventilators donated by the Red Cross Society of China, or RCSC, arrived in India, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said in a tweet.

The shipment by a Chinese cargo flight from China’s southwestern city of Chengdu was the first batch of anti-epidemic supplies donated by the RCSC to India, he said.

Sun also said the RCSC has decided to provide US$1mil (RM4.1mil) in cash to the Indian Red Cross Society through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help India fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Nothing in the world is more precious than people’s lives. The rights to subsistence and development are the basic human rights of paramount importance, ” Sun said.

“Actions of RCSC shine the humanitarian spirit and highlight the purpose of dedication and protection of human life and health.”

Calls grew for India to impose a nationwide lockdown as new cases and deaths held close to record highs on Monday, increasing pressure on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Many states have imposed strict lockdowns over the last month while others have placed curbs on movement and shut cinemas, restaurants, pubs and shopping malls.

The 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths reported for the latest 24-hour period by the health ministry were off a little from recent peaks, but took India’s tally to 22.66 million with 246,116 deaths.

By Sunday, the world’s largest vaccine-producing nation had fully vaccinated just over 34.3 million people, or only 2.5 percent of its population of about 1.35 billion, government data shows.

The Indian Medical Association has called for a “complete, well-planned, pre-announced” lockdown. — Xinhua/Agencies

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