India is experiencing a devastating surge of COVID-19 infections. The latest figures report 222,408 deaths, with the official death toll very likely undercounted. With more than 400,000 new infections and 3,500 deaths daily, the pandemic is straining an already overburdened healthcare system that is running low on critical supplies such as oxygen and ventilators. Millions more live in fear of the virus or are in danger of slipping into destitution during the outbreak. This is a humanitarian emergency.
NRDC stands with the people of India in this moment of crisis. For more than a decade, we have worked on climate change and public health on the ground there. Our hearts are heavy for our team and valued partners in the country.
As proponents of public health, we recognize that we are in this together. India, which was one of the first countries to produce and donate vaccines to other countries, needs an increased supply of vaccines immediately. We are encouraged by these initial steps that the Biden administration has taken to lend support. However, the United States and high-income countries must do much more to help India and other countries in the Global South to ensure broad access to life-saving vaccines and medical supplies.
NRDC stands steadfast in our support of equitable vaccine access to the people of India. NRDC is directly supporting our partners that are working with the country’s most vulnerable communities and enabling information exchange between public health experts in the United States and India.