By Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Rupam Jain and Sanjeev Miglani
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Vital medical supplies began to reach India on Tuesday as hospitals starved of life-saving oxygen and beds turned away coronavirus patients, and a surge in infections pushed the death toll close to 200,000.
A shipment from Britain, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived in the capital New Delhi, though a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain had no surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to spare.
France is sending eight large oxygen-generating plants this week while Ireland, Germany and Australia are dispatching oxygen concentrators and ventilators, an Indian foreign ministry official said, underlining the crucial need for oxygen.
U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed U.S. commitment to helping India, saying he was expecting to send vaccines there while senior officials from his administration warned that the country was still at the “front end” of the crisis.