UK sends ventilators to India after 'heartbreaking scenes' of people dying on the street in 'world's worst Covid surge'

LIFE saving ventilators are being sent to India from the UK after people have been dying in the street in the "world's worst Covid surge".

Over 600 pieces of medical kit will arrive in the pandemic-stricken country after Boris Johnson vowed to "stand side by side" with India.

On Sunday, India set a new global record for daily Covid infections, reporting 349,691 cases – bringing the total to 16.96 million.

Dominic Raab tweeted: "Today we have sent the first of several urgent deliveries of surplus medical equipment to our friends in India to help provide life-saving care for vulnerable Covid patients. No-one is safe until we are all safe."

Nine airline container loads of supplies, including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators – are set to be sent to India this week.

Mr Johnson, who had been due to visit India this week but cancelled due to the spike in cases, said: "We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19.


"Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus.

"We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time and I'm determined to make sure that the UK does everything it can to support the international community in the global fight against pandemic."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The heart-breaking scenes in India show once again how awful this terrible disease is.

"We are determined to support the people of India through this very difficult time, and I am hugely grateful to those who have worked hard to make this initial delivery happen.

"This first delivery of life saving equipment will provide much needed assistance and we stand ready to do more."

The White House has said that support will also be coming from Washington

The heart-breaking scenes in India show once again how awful this terrible disease is.

"To help treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India," said a statement.

UK cases of the Indian coronavirus variant have risen by 75 per cent in the last week, official data has revealed.

India has been put on the UK's travel 'red list' as Covid infections continue to rise in the country.

Public health officials in India have claimed that soaring case rates in the country could be down to a new "triple mutant" – but it's not yet clear if it is more infectious and if it can evade vaccines.

Bodies have been burned 24 hours a day in India as the virus surges.

Bodies are being cremated through the night – contrary to Hindu custom which dictates no bodies be burned after sundown – to cope with the backlog.

The hold-up is so severe that families are having to wait hours in 35C heat before they can cremate their loved ones.

Funeral pyres have been sending smoke into the sky across the country non-stop.

Dr A Fathahudeen, a medic part of Kerala state’s Covid taskforce, said: "I said in February that Covid had not gone anywhere and a tsunami would hit us if urgent actions were not taken.

"Sadly, a tsunami has indeed hit us now."

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