Intl community steps in to help India as cases surge

The international community is stepping in to help India as it battles a devastating second wave of COVID-19.

The U.S., Britain, France and Germany have all announced they will be sending medical supplies to the country.

As cases surge breaking new records on Monday, hospitals across India are running out of medical oxygen and beds.

Patients are dying for want of treatment while they queue outside hospitals waiting to be seen.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab:

"We are sending an emergency shipment of over 600 items of equipment, ventilators, oxygen concentrators. And the aim is to provide the support that Indians need at their hour of need, really, judging by the distressing scenes we have seen in many of the hospitals in India.""

The U.S. is sending raw materials to help India manufacture the Covishield vaccine,

along with medical equipment and protective gear to help India respond to what has been billed a 'COVID tsunami'.

There have also been calls for the U.S. to send its AstraZeneca vaccines that have not yet been approved for use domestically.

President Joe Biden said on Twitter, quote:

"Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need."

Germany and France have pledged to send oxygen and medical supplies, and the European Commission said it would respond to an appeal from Delhi for help.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday a, quote, 'storm' of infections had shaken his country.

He himself is facing criticism for failing to prepare health systems for this latest wave, and allowing for big religious and political gatherings to take place.

The capital Delhi extended its lockdown on Monday to try to arrest the surge.

There are concerns that new variants of the virus emerging in India could undermine progress made elsewhere in fighting the pandemic.