Australia, other nations extend support to India amid COVID-19 crisis
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday expressed solidarity with the people of India as the country struggles to battle a massive surge in COVID-19 infections. Morrison said that he will keep working with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fight the "global challenge." His assurance comes as India faces a shortage of medical supplies and an overburdened health infrastructure. Here are more details.
'Australia stands with our friends in India'
"Australia stands with our friends in India as it manages a difficult second COVID-19 wave. We know how strong and resilient the Indian nation is. @narendramodi and I will keep working in partnership on this global challenge," Morrison tweeted today.
You can view the tweet here
Pakistan PM Imran Khan also tweeted in India's support
This afternoon, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan had also expressed solidarity with the people of India. "I want to express our solidarity with the people of India as they battle a dangerous wave of COVID-19. Our prayers for a speedy recovery go to all those suffering from the pandemic in our neighbourhood & the world. We must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together."
IAF airlifts 4 oxygen containers from Singapore
Meanwhile, Singapore has also stood with India in its fight against COVID-19. The Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted four cryogenic oxygen containers from Singapore's Changi Airport this morning. The consignment will reach Panagarh, West Bengal on Saturday evening. "One C-17 of Indian Air Force got airborne at 2 am on April 24 from Hindan Air Base for Changi International Airport, Singapore," the IAF said.
However, US refuses to lift ban on vaccine raw materials
Notably, India has requested the United States to lift its prevailing ban on the export of vaccine raw materials. However, the US has defended the ban saying President Joe Biden's administration's first priority is to take care of the American people. "The United States first and foremost is engaged in an ambitious and effective...effort to vaccinate the American people," a senior US official said.
COVID-19 situation in India continues to worsen
India is currently in the middle of an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting lakhs of infections and hundreds of deaths daily amid an overburdened health infrastructure. In the last 24 hours, the country reported nearly 3.5 lakh new cases - the highest single-day surge for any country in the outbreak. Over 2,000 more fatalities took the death toll past 1.89 lakh.