Medical supplies flow into India as COVID-19 deaths near 200,000

(VOVWORLD) - Vital medical supplies poured into India on Tuesday as hospitals starved of life-saving oxygen and beds turned away coronavirus patients, while a surge in infections pushed the death toll towards 200,000.

A shipment from Britain, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived in Delhi, while France is sending oxygen generators able to provide 250 patients with a year's worth of the gas, its embassy said.

The first "Oxygen Express" train pulled into the capital, New Delhi, laden with about 70 tonnes of oxygen from an eastern state, but the crisis has not abated in the city of 20 million at the epicentre of the latest wave of infections.

The World Health Organisation said it was working to deliver 4,000 oxygen concentrators to India, where mass gatherings, more contagious variants and low vaccination rates have sparked the outbreak. 

India's more than 323,000 new cases over the past 24 hours stood below a worldwide peak of more than 350,000 on Monday, while more than 2,700 deaths took the toll to more than 197,000.