UN Secretary-General António Guterres is in India, and he began his official visit on Wednesday by attending a tribute to the victims of the 2008 terrorist attacks that took place at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai.
Afterwards, he went to the Indian Institute of Technology in India’s business capital, where he delivered a lecture, hailing the partnership between the country and the UN, in celebration of India’s 75th anniversary.
He said India’s upcoming presidency of the G20 – the group of major industrialized nations – will be an important opportunity to bring the values and vision of the developing world to the top table of the global economy, and highlight the Global South overall.
The UN chief also counted on India’s support in mobilizing G20 countries around debt relief. More
Scenes of relatives desperately trying to find oxygen supplies for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in India last year, alerted the world to an acute, deadly problem. Yet that was not this first time the country’s hospitals have been hit by a shortage of the life-saving gas, prompting the question of whether there will be enough supplies, when the next major health crisis hits.
In May 2021, India’s hospitals were at breaking point. The country found itself at the epicentre of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the biggest challenges was providing enough medical oxygen for the sickest patients, unable to breathe unaided, as demand rose ten-fold.
By the end of April, there were just under 18 million confirmed cases, and over 200,000 deaths.
The experts found that, during the May 2021 crisis, the issue was not so much a shortage of medical oxygen, but rather the concentration of medical oxygen in eastern India, and the inability of the distribution network to ramp up to meet the ten-fold surge in demand. More