A video of an oxygen tanker being escorted by police with sirens wailing in India reveals the dire COVID-19 situation in the country as the country posted a new record of more than 350,000 new cases for the fifth consecutive year.
The video, posted on Twitter by correspondent Yogita Limaye on Sunday, highlights a new common theme in India and shows the value of medical oxygen as hospitals across the country have experienced widespread shortages of doctors who According to Associated, desperately begging for more supplies Press.
“Sights you never thought you’d see. An oxygen tanker with police escorts. More precious than gold,” wrote Limaye in her post with the video.
India reported more than 117 people dying every hour from COVID-19 on Monday as the country has registered more than 17.3 million cases overall, behind the US with more than 32 million.
According to the Associated Press, the Indian government has stepped up its efforts to transport medical oxygen using Air Force aircraft and trucks and tankers, as well as Oxygen Express trains. A supreme court in India’s capital New Delhi on Saturday warned against obstructing oxygen supplies to hospitals, saying it would “hang” anyone who does.
Nashik City will have police escort all of its oxygen tanker shipments to hospitals, Nashik City Police Commissioner Deepak Pandey said, according to a Times of India report on Saturday.
“Given the lack of medical oxygen, there is a possibility that such tankers could be looted on the streets and some other nasty incidents could not be ruled out. Therefore, it was decided that there would be an escort team for each oxygen tanker moving from the supplier to the hospitals,” said Pandey.
On Wednesday, 24 COVID patients died in a Nashik hospital due to an interruption in oxygen supply after a leak in the main oxygen store, the Indian Express reported.
The US has pledged to support India in the ongoing crisis. It will provide resources and supplies and build on the “Seven Decade Health Partnership” [with India]… including the fight against smallpox, polio and HIV, “said Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, who made a statement about the rising COVID-19 cases on Sunday during a phone call between National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval would have .
“To help treat COVID-19 patients and protect frontline health workers in India, the US has identified shipments of therapeutics, rapid test kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be made available to India immediately.” Said Horne.
She added that the US is “urgently pursuing options to make oxygen production and related supplies urgently available”.
Sullivan tweeted on Sunday that he will stay in close contact with Doval over the coming days about India’s situation.
We spoke to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval today about the rise in COVID cases in India and we agreed to stay in close contact for the coming days. The United States stands in solidarity with the people of India and we are investing more supplies and resources: pic.twitter.com/yDM7v2J7OA
– Jake Sullivan (@ JakeSullivan46) April 25, 2021
“Just as India sent aid to the US because our hospitals were overloaded at the start of the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its need,” tweeted President Joe Biden on Sunday.
Just as India sent aid to the US because our hospitals were congested at the start of the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its need. https://t.co/SzWRj0eP3y
– President Biden (@POTUS) April 25, 2021
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said fans and oxygen were shipped to India on Monday, and France has also committed to supplying oxygen to India.
Newsweek has requested a comment from the Indian Press Information Bureau.
Oxygen tankers now being given police escorts in COVID-ravaged India are seen in a special train called “Oxygen Express” in Navi Mumbai on April 26th.
Unknown / AFP via Getty Images