The Emirates airline based in Dubai announced on Sunday that it will transport medical supplies from the capital to nine cities in India, as the country continues to battle a surge in coronavirus cases.
The airline will supply free space for charities in Dubai to send supplies to India, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing the airline’s divisional senior video president Nabil Sultan.
Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, a hub used by a non-governmental organizations to send aid globally, is organizing the effort, dubbed the “airbridge,” the wire service reported. Supplies will be transported at no cost until further notice, according to Sultan.
The first flight is scheduled to leave to New Delhi on May 13, with 12.6 tons of multi-purpose tents on board from the World Health Organization, according to Reuters.
Sultan added that the system could be expanded to bring aid from other places.
“We are absolutely committed to helping India,” he told reporters, according to Reuters.
India’s surge in infections, which experts have blamed on relaxed coronavirus rules that allowed several people to gather in large crowds without masks, is taking a toll on the country’s health care system. Hospitals have reported shortages of oxygen.
Last week, India became the second country to report 20 million COVID-19 cases.
India has reported more than 21.8 million cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, and more than 238,000 deaths, according to The New York Times.