No country has been worse hit by the COVID-19 pandemic than the United States which has recorded over 890,000 cases so far and 50,372 deaths, according to the latest updates based on the New York Times database.
Having recorded only 70 cases at the beginning of March, this explosion of cases is putting a strain on the nation’s healthcare system and economy, even as it battles a shortage of protective gear for front-line workers.
As the outbreak persists, Americans are resorting to home-made masks, refrigerated trucks are being used to supplement morgues, and the hospitals are reporting insufficient tests, slow results and a shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).
These myriad of issues compound and is exacerbating the situation there in a sort of “domino effect”, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.
In a show of camaraderie, it appears that Singapore is reaching out to help the US by allegedly sending 100 tons of medical supply to help them in the battle against the pandemic.
In a Facebook post recently, someone shared an image of a plane filled with cargo that is said to be medical supplies from Singapore.
There was also an image of a piece of paper for pilot to recite to the crew, saying that media will be on hand to receive the flight and record the offloading of the medical supplies. The dispatch details showed the flight to be on 10 April this year.
However, the caption on the Facebook post noted that only one person from the media was present when the flight arrived at Dallas Forth Worth International Airport.
TOC has reached out earlier to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 21 April to enquire about the delivery but no reply has been given yet.
Singapore sends 310 tonnes of PPE to the UK
Of course, the US isn’t the only nation to benefit from Singapore’s generosity. According to a tweet on Thursday (23 April) by a pilot, about 310 tons of personal protective equipment was flown from Singapore to London Heathrow for the UK’s National Health Services (NHS).
According to the pilot, thousands of boxes of PPE were loaded into the seats of a Boeing 747 to be transported to the UK.
As of 23 April, the UK Has recorded 133,495 cases of COVID-19, with over 18,000 deaths, based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The UK is another country that is struggling amid a global shortage of PPE. Hospital leaders have attacked the government over the shortage after a shipment that was due to arrive did not make it on schedule.
The Guardian reported on 19 April that the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers saying that the continued shortage of PPE will soon have a disastrous effect on the front line as healthcare workers are forced to resort to makeshift alternatives like aprons due to the shortage.
Edit: Image of FB deleted at the request of the poster