German Development Minister Gerd Müller on Sunday said Germany is significantly expanding its aid program in India where coronavirus cases are soaring rapidly.
Germany will give the South Asian country 330,000 coronavirus testing kits and 600,000 pieces of personal protective equipment worth a total of €15 million ($17.8 million), Müller told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe media company.
Müller stressed that the aid measures are aimed at “slowing down further spread” of the disease in the country.
Germany’s Development Ministry is also providing short-term loans to India worth €460 million.
“This way, we are working together to ensure that food can be distributed to 800 million people and that bridging aid can be given to the 320 million people who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis,” Müller said, calling the aid program “one of the largest coronavirus support measures in the world.”
India has become the world’s third country to surpass 4 million coronavirus infections, behind only the US and Brazil with over 6.3 million and 4.1 million cases respectively.
On Saturday, India registered a record daily increase in cases, with 86,432 confirmed infections. The country has so far recorded 69,561 coronavirus-related deaths.
From 3 to 4 million cases in just 13 days, India’s infection rate is now faster than that of the US and Brazil.
Health experts worry that India’s number of unreported coronavirus cases could be much higher.
India imposed a monthslong nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, but the government has eased restrictions over the past couple of months in a bid to revive the economy.
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