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Medical supplies arriving in India amid surge in COVID-19 infections

Medical supplies arriving in India amid surge in COVID-19 infections
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Medical supplies are arriving in India as the country struggles to control a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.

In the past week, the South Asian country has seen total daily cases top 300,000, a new global record.

Health experts have pointed to large gatherings without masks and loosened restrictions in India as a cause for the case surge.  

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Amid the increase, the country has struggled to supply its medical facilities with adequate oxygen, and on Saturday a hospital in New Delhi reported that more than 20 people died over the course of just a few hours as a result. 

Other hospitals in the country have reported similar situations due to lack of oxygen supply and other medical provisions.

However, help from the international community is on the way.

Reuters reported Tuesday that France is sending eight oxygen-generating plants while Ireland, Germany and Australia are sending oxygen ventilators, according to an Indian foreign ministry official.

Britain is also sending 95 oxygen concentrators and 100 ventilators. 

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) is giving the country 4,000 oxygen concentrators.

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"We are working with the government to bring in essential supplies like oxygen and alleviate the immediate situation," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said, according to Reuters. 

The U.S. is also in talks with India to send aid amid the surge. 

The news comes as India has been struggling to vaccinate its population of more than a billion people and as the United States faces pressure to give surplus stores of coronavirus vaccine to countries in need. 

On Saturday, Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiOvernight Health Care: Biden 'very confident' in Fauci amid conservative attacks | House Dems press Biden on global vaccinations | CDC director urges parents to vaccinate adolescents House Democrats call on Biden to do 'much more' to vaccinate the world Postal Service raises stamps to 58 cents as part of restructuring plan MORE (D-Ill.) called on the Biden administration to release its supply of AstraZeneca vaccines to India and Argentina, among others, which are struggling to inoculate their populations. 

The representative's call was seconded by Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaFresh hurdles push timeline on getting China bill to Biden New report reignites push for wealth tax Senate passes long-delayed China bill MORE (D-Calif.). 

A White House official stated on Monday that the U.S. would released millions of the AstraZeneca doses to other countries following pressure from lawmakers. 

“U.S. to release 60 million Astra Zeneca doses to other countries as they become available,” tweeted White House senior adviser for the coronavirus response Andy Slavitt.

"To everyone who understandably says: 'about time' or 'what were they waiting for', at this time there are still very few available. No real time has been lost," Slavitt continued.

India has had over 17 million reported coronavirus cases and almost 200,000 deaths.