US sending more than US$100 million in Covid-19 supplies to India: White House

Covid-19 patients sitting in a rickshaw receive oxygen outside a Sikh house of worship in New Delhi on April 25, 2021. PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States is sending supplies worth more than US$100 million (S$132 million) in the coming days to India to help it fight a surge of Covid-19 cases, the White House said on Wednesday (April 28).

The supplies, which will begin arriving on Thursday and continue into next week, include 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 15 million N95 masks and 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, the statement said.

The US also has redirected its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India, which will allow it to make over 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, according to the White House.

"Just as India sent assistance to the United States when our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need," the White House said in a fact sheet outlining the aid.

India's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surged past 200,000 on Wednesday, worsened by shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.

The last 24 hours brought 360,960 new cases for the world's largest single-day total, taking India's tally of infections to nearly 18 million.

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