Washington, April 30
The Biden administration is working to expand the oxygen supply chain in India to save lives and wage a successful battle against what has now become one of the worst outbreaks of the Covid pandemic in the world, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) official has said.
India on Friday reported 3,86,452 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,87,62,976, while active cases crossed the 31-lakh mark.
The death toll increased to 2,08,330 with 3,498 daily new fatalities.
“Obviously this is now one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. The numbers are extremely high and continuing to grow,” Jeremy Konyndyk, Senior Advisor coordinating agency-wide COVID efforts at the USAID, told PTI in an interview on Thursday.
His remarks came a day after the Biden administration dispatched its first flight of medical supplies and lifesaving oxygen for India on a military plane.
Based on the conversation that the USAID officials have had with their Indian counterparts, Konyndyk said that there is an extreme burden on the hospital system, there are immediate requirements for support with oxygen, with drugs for treatment, with other forms of support to maintain operations in some of the medical facilities.
There is also a need to support, reinforce and expand the medical oxygen supply chain, he said, adding that that seems to be the biggest challenge right now.
The USAID is looking to support the oxygen sector in the immediate term with some solutions that the agency is providing like concentrators, oxygen generators, as well as cylinders, and PPE kits to protect health-care workers. PTI