The Health Ministry on Friday also reported 3,498 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 208,330. Experts believe both figures are an undercount, but it’s unclear by how much.

India’s pandemic response has been marred by insufficient data. An online appeal — signed by over 350 scientists Friday afternoon — asks the government to release data about the sequencing of virus variants, testing, recovered patients and how people were responding to vaccines.

A COVID-19 patient rests on a bed at a makeshift hospital in New Delhi, India, Friday, April 30, 2021 (AP)

The appeal says the “granular” data on testing was inaccessible to non-government experts and some government experts too.

India has set a daily global record for more than a week with an average of nearly 350,000 infections. Daily deaths have nearly tripled in the past three weeks, reflecting the intensity of the latest surge.

Meanwhile, families continued to flood social media and messaging apps with pleas for help: oxygen, beds, medicines, intensive care units and wood for funeral pyres.

India has reported more than 18.7 million cases since the start of the pandemic, second only to the United States. Globally, total deaths rank fourth.

Children of migrant workers wait for transportation at a bus station during a lockdown in New Delhi, India, Friday, April 30, 2021 (AP)

Japan said Friday it will send 300 ventilators and 300 oxygen concentrators in response to the Indian government request. “Japan stands with India, our friend and partner,” the Foreign Ministry said.

France, Germany, Ireland and Australia have also promised help, and Russia sent two aircraft carrying oxygen generating equipment. The Indian air force also airlifted oxygen containers from Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok.

Chinese state media said the first batch of 25,000 oxygen concentrators pledged by Beijing to India also arrived Friday. There was no immediate comment by India but it could be a step in thawing tensions between the two countries.

The reports said China has already sent 5,000 ventilators and 21,000 oxygen generators to India.

This content first appear on 9news

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