Essential supplies of oxygen and ventilators sent to help deal with a devastating COVID-19 crisis in India have started to arrive in the country.

The supplies are coming from all over the world, from Singapore, to Canada, as India deals with its worst outbreak in the pandemic so far. The country has now set a new global record for its rise in daily cases for five days straight, with over 300,000 new cases being reported each day, and rising death tolls.

Families told reporters they have turned to the black market to buy oxygen cylinders for sick relatives, as supplies run low. Many who need help are staying home as it’s difficult to find a bed in overrun hospitals that are low on supplies.

"Almost every hospital is on the edge. If oxygen runs out, there is no leeway for many patients," Dr. Sumit Ray in Delhi told the BBC.

The first shipment from the UK containing 200 items including ventilators and oxygen concentrators, which help hospitals manage oxygen supplies, was being unloaded at Delhi airport on Tuesday morning, April 27. There will be eight more flights of medical supplies in the coming days, the UK government has said, sending 600 items of hospital equipment for intensive care in total.

The US will send a number of vital medical items, including supplies of “therapeutics [treatments], rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment”, a statement from the White House said.

Read the full article about the COVID-19 crisis in India by Helen Lock at Global Citizen.