Support pours in from countries amid India's devastating second COVID-19 wave
BusinessToday.In April 24, 2021
As India battles a devastating second wave of coronavirus, support from other countries continue to pour in. The European Union has expressed its solidarity, while France President Emmanuel Macron said that the country stands with India against this struggle that seems to be sparing no one. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that they are looking at what they can do to help India, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the country stands ready to help fight the virus. The Chinese government has also extended its support, while Pakistani citizens have called for help for India. Pakistan's Edhi Foundation wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting permission to enter India in order to help people infected with the virus. Russia has also offered Remdesivir and oxygen to India to fight coronavirus.
The European Union will discuss its support to India in the upcoming EU-India Leaders' Meeting on May 8. President of the European Council Charles Michel said, "The #EU stands in solidarity with Indian people amidst resurgent #COVID19 pandemic. The fight against the virus is a common fight."
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar responded to the tweet and said, "Appreciated the support offered by EU on Covid challenges currently faced by India. Confident that EU will help strengthen our capabilities at this critical juncture."
"I want to send a message of solidarity to the Indian people, facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. France is with you in this struggle, which spares no-one. We stand ready to provide our support," said French President Emmanuel Macron, as tweeted by Ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "We're looking at what we can do to help and support the people of India," during a press briefing. He said India is a great partner and that the help could include providing ventilators or therapeutics.
Meanwhile, Matt Hancock said that heartbreaking scenes have emerged from India. "We stand ready to help fight this awful virus," he added.
China too has extended help to India. During a press briefing Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian was asked what help China is extending to India. Lijian said, "We have noticed the relevant reports and China expresses sincere condolences to the recent deterioration of the situation in India. The Chinese government and the Chinese people firmly support the Indian government and people in fighting the pandemic, and are willing to provide support and assistance in accordance with the needs of the Indian side." He said that the Chinese government is communicating with India on this and believes that Indian people will overcome the pandemic soon.
Pakistan's civil society has also called for help for India even as they continue to face oxygen shortage challenges. Edhi Foundation offered help in these trying times. Chairman Faisal Edhi wrote to PM Modi seeking permission to enter India. "We are very sorry to hear about the exceptionally heavy impact that the pandemic has had on your country, where a tremendous number of people are suffering immensely... we would like to extend our help in the form of a fleet of 50 ambulances along with our services to assist you in addressing, and further circumventing, the current health conditions," he said in a letter. Edhi added that they only seek permission to enter the country and would arrange all necessary supplies required by their team themselves.
According to media reports, Russia has offered Remdesivir and medical oxygen to India. The country said that it can deliver 3-4 lakh Remdesivir injections in 15 days.
India, too, has sought help from various countries under 'Oxygen Maitri' to replenish the dwindling oxygen stock. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Defence (MoD) have identified several countries for procurement of high capacity tankers and oxygen gas cylinders. Government is coordinating with Singapore and UAE to lift high-capacity tankers by Indian Air Force transport planes. Lack of containers is posing a problem in quick transportation of oxygen. Twenty-three mobile oxygen generation plants will also be airlifted from Germany to be used in Armed Forces Medical Service hospitals that are treating COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, four cryogenic oxygen containers sourced by Tata Group have landed in India. The Indian Air Force flew them in from Singapore. Each container, made by British multinational chemical company Linde, has a capacity of 20 tonnes of liquid oxygen. Twenty more are such containers in the pipeline.