Britain to ship 1,000 extra ventilators to India By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in New Delhi

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LONDON (Reuters) – The UK will send an additional 1,000 ventilators to India, the government said on Sunday, stepping up support as the Indian health system struggles to cope with a huge surge in COVID-19 cases.

India has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days in a row, overwhelming hospitals, morgues and crematoriums.

The UK government had previously agreed to ship 600 medical devices, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.

“This support will urgently help meet some of India’s acute needs, particularly oxygen for patients,” Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in a statement. “We are determined to help our Indian friends in their hour of need.”

Senior UK health officials have also spoken to their Indian counterparts for advice.

Other nations, including the US, Germany, and Pakistan, are also providing assistance, as the daily number of infections in India reached 392,488 and the total death toll was over 215,000.

The latest support from the UK comes ahead of a call scheduled for Tuesday between Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi to look at deepening bilateral ties.

The meeting replaces a face-to-face visit that Johnson was scheduled to make in April but had to be canceled due to the surge in infections.

Modi’s government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown, but nearly 10 Indian states and union territories have imposed some form of restriction.

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