Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar appealed to his countrymen and his government to help neighbours India deal with the ongoing second wave of coronavirus and the subsequent oxygen shortage here.

Less than a week before India, the second-worst hit country after USA, is set to begin the third phase of its vaccination drive, active Covid-19 cases in the country exceeded 25 lakh as hospitals struggled for medical oxygen.

All central and state governments are acting on war footing to tide over the resurgence of the novel coronavirus pandemic that claimed another 2,624 lives in the last 24 hours alone.

COVID-19 CRISIS IN INDIA: FULL COVERAGE

Looking at the current situation here, Akhtar put out a video on his YouTube channel in which he requested all his fans in Pakistan to help raise money for its neighbours and “deliver oxygen tanks to them”.

“It is impossible for any government to tackle the ongoing crisis. I appeal to my government and fans, to help India. India does need a lot of oxygen tanks. I request everyone to donate and raise funds for India and deliver oxygen tanks to them,” Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel.

“India is really struggling with Covid-19. Global support needed. Health care system is crashing. It’s a Pandemic, we are all in it together. Must become each other’s support,” Akhtar tweeted.

Maharashtra, the worst-hit Indian state, reported 67,000 new confirmed cases and 676 more deaths on Saturday.

A total of 38,000 new cases and 223 more deaths were recorded in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 26,000 new cases in Kerala and more than 24,000 fresh cases of infection in Delhi, which also witnessed another 357 more Covid deaths.

Chhattisgarh, one of the 10 states that accounted for 74.15 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported by the Health Ministry on April 24, added 16,000 new cases to its caseload.

Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal recorded 14,000 new cases each, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar 12,000 each and Andhra Pradesh 11,000 fresh confirmed cases on Saturday.

A total of 1,38,67,997 patients have recovered from Covid-19 in India since the beginning of the pandemic last year. The virus has, at the same time, claimed 1,89,544 lives across the country.





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