Planeloads of ventilators, medicines and oxygen equipment began pouring into India, from countries including the UK and the US. Some 300 tonnes of supplies on 25 flights had arrived at Delhi International Airport alone.
But – as cases continue to reach record levels across the country – concerns are mounting about delays in supplying the aid to those most in need.
For several days, much of the cargo sat in airport hangars as hospitals called for more support. The supplies did not begin being distributed – more than a week after the first batch of emergency assistance arrived, state officials have told local media.
The Indian government has strongly denied there is a delay, issuing a statement saying it had introduced a “streamlined and systematic mechanism” for distributing the supplies. The health ministry said in the statement it was “working 24×7 to fast track and clear the goods”.
Some healthcare officials claim there has been little to no communication from the central government on how or when they would receive supplies. “There’s still no information about where it is being distributed,” said Dr Harsh Mahajan, the president of the Healthcare Federation of India, which represents some of the country’s biggest private hospitals.
“It seems people don’t know – I’ve tried two or three places and been unable to find out,” he added. “It’s still not clear.” Some non-governmental groups involved in responding to the crisis also say they are frustrated by an apparent lack of information.
“I don’t think anybody has any clarity on where aid is going,” Pankaj Anand, Oxfam India’s director of programme and advocacy, told the BBC. “There is no tracker on any website giving you an answer.”