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Greece To Send Coronavirus Aid To India

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R. G. Kar Medical College & Hospital during coronavirus in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Credit: Indrajit Das/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The Greek General Secretariat for Civil Defense announced on Friday that Greece will be sending help to India, which is in a desperate struggle in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The second wave of the coronavirus has devastated India, with an average of more than 350,000 new cases daily. Through the European Civil Protection mechanism, Greece is attempting to help India deal with their huge caseload.

Greece to help India with oxygen, PPE

According to today’s announcement, Greece is sending 90 oxygen cylinders with a total capacity of 440 litres, which is very helpful to India as the country is experiencing a severe oxygen shortage.

The announcement said that “from the first moment that the request for aid became known, civil protection mobilized to supply oxygen cylinders.”

Greece will also be sending personal protection equipment (PPE), including masks and gloves, in order to aid struggling hospital staff.

Nikos Hardalias, Greece’s Deputy Minister in Civil Protection and Crisis Management Minister, stated “Greece’s response to every country’s appeal for help is self-evident. In this battle that the global community is fighting against the pandemic, our country is present wherever and whenever it’s needed.

“Greece is, in any case, an active member of the European Civil Protection Mechanism and actively supports the EU’s RescEU emergency needs mechanism – we are among the first countries that participated in the creation of a European joint stockpile for vital medical equipment that is related to the management of the pandemic.

“I hope sincerely that Greece’s assistance can bring relief to suffering India,” he added.

India devastated by pandemic

The second wave has brought India to its knees following a strong start to 2021. It is speculated that the second wave has caused so much destruction in India because when cases dropped to under 20,000 a day in January, restrictions were loosened and people let their guard down.

Enormous religious gatherings, election rallies and a general reopening of the country likely led to the spread of the virus, which has now overwhelmed every state in India.

There are many tragic reports of patients passing away from the virus without ever having been admitted to hospital, sometimes dying on the ground as they line up outside the doors. This is due to a chronic shortage of hospital beds, particularly in the large, badly hit cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad.

Despite the nation’s best efforts, many people who are suffering from the virus have not been able to obtain the care they needed to survive. There are many anecdotal stories circulating online from the children of people who have now died with the coronavirus, which chronicle their multiple unsuccessful attempts to admit their parents to hospitals.

According to reports, there is an even greater shortage of ICU beds. Several cities only have around a dozen ICU beds left and officials are scrambling to come up with emergency provisions.

According to noted surgeon Dr. Devi Prassad Shetty, India will need an extra 500,000 ICU beds, 200,000 additional nurses and 150,000 more doctors over the next several weeks.

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