Ready to Provide Support: China, Other Nations Offer Aid to India
This comes even as Indo-China bilateral relations have been in a state of deterioration since April 2020.
After the United States and the United Kingdom among others pledged vital medical supplies and COVID-related aid to India, several other nations, including the bordering country China offered to help the subcontinent grapple with one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Saturday, 24 April, had expressed the bordering nation’s support towards the Indian people. “We are willing to provide support at Indian's needs, and are keeping in touch with India for this. We have no doubt that the Indian people will defeat the virus at an early date (sic),” he wrote.
This comes even as Indo-China bilateral relations have been in a state of deterioration since April 2020, when Chinese troops transgressed the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
Besides China, several other nations have also extended support to the severely COVID-hit region. Here is a list of nations who have done so.
This week, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said that Beijing was “ready to provide support and assistance to the Indian people at any time according to the needs of India,” The Guardian reported.
Speaking on integrated COVID-19 responses at the fourth multilateral dialogue with South Asian countries on Tuesday, Yi also offered Chinese vaccines to ensure “a more diversified and stable” regional supply, and said Beijing was “ready to provide support and assistance” to India.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka had tweeted, “800 oxygen concentrators have been airlifted today from #HongKong to #Delhi; 10,000 more in a week.”
At the dialogue, Wang Yi said that China had “extended an invitation to India” to join its initiative to fight the pandemic jointly with south Asian nations. On Thursday, 29 April, India declined the invitation, The Times of India reported.
German ambassador to India Walter J Lindner said that Germany is ready to transport a large oxygen production plant to India in about a week.
In an interview with news agency ANI, Lindner had said that a big oxygen plant will prove to be useful to India.
He added that the country is in close contact with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Red Cross, and others to look over the process of bringing the plant to India.
"We are working on this. Won't say it is coming in the next two-three days. Give us a week, it's about logistics. When it's here you will see it make quite a lot of difference," he added, ANI reported.
Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had said that Germany is preparing a "mission to support" India’s battle with COVID-19.
"A big oxygen plant is very useful as it can be used to refill oxygen cylinders. Of course, there will also be Mobil X oxygen plants which at the moment I understand are being brought to India by the Indian Air Force," the envoy said.
He said India has helped the world during the situation created by COVID-19 by producing vaccines and medicines "and now we just need to give back to our friends".
South Korea has said that it will provide oxygen concentrators, COVID-19 diagnostic kits and other COVID-related items to help the South Asian nation tackle the COVID-19 deluge, AP reported.
On Wednesday, Health official Yoon Taeho said that the government will also allow irregular flights to fly back South Korean nationals from the country.
The official didn't elaborate on the quantity of aid items South Korea will send to India, saying that it will be “considerable,” AP reported.
Russia announced that is it sending over 22 tonnes of medical supplies to aid India’s efforts to tackle the pandemic.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, two transport planes carrying medical supplies are already en route to India.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry will be delivering the COVID-19-related equipment, including 20 oxygen production units, 75 lung ventilators, 150 medical monitors, and 200,000 packs of medicine.
Switzerland on Wednesday said it will transport medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators to India.
The Swiss Embassy in India said that the county aid will send medical supplies to India.
In a statement, the Embassy said, "This will include 600 oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical equipment. This material will be distributed with the support of the Indian Red Cross Society. Switzerland stands in solidarity with India in these challenging times.”
New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced on Wednesday that it will give 1 million NZ dollars (about USD 7,20,365) to the Red Cross for the purpose of assisting India.
The minister said, we stand in solidarity with India at this difficult time, and commend the tireless efforts of India's frontline medics and healthcare workers who are working hard to save lives, NDTV reported.
UN Extends Support
A UN Spokesperson on Wednesday said, “Our team in India is supporting authorities’ response to COVID-19 by providing equipment, supplies, including to local governments.”
They added that WHO and UNICEF are procuring equipment and supplies, including 7,000 oxygen concentrators, 500 nasal devices for oxygen supply, and oxygen generating plants.
According to the spokesperson, WHO is also helping to set up mobile hospital units and is providing for laboratories. Some 2,600 WHO field officers have been immediately deployed to support health authorities. In Maharashtra, which is the worst-hit state in the country, UNICEF has engaged experts to work on risk governance, ANI reported.
US, UK, France Others Dispatch Aid
Meanwhile, many countries have already dispatched aid to India.
Indian Foreign Secretary HV Shringla said on Thursday, “We also have a flight coming in from Ireland with 700 concentrators. France's flight will be coming in on Saturday. Over 40 countries, not just developed countries but also our neighbours Mauritius, Bangladesh, Bhutan have all come forward to offer assistance.”
He added, we're expecting three special flights from the US in the next couple of days, and have a cargo flight with ventilators and Favipiravir medicines arriving from UAE.
The US had said that it is delivering supplies worth over $100 million to help India combat the second wave of the pandemic.
Other countries that have extended support include Singapore, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Canada, Bhutan, and Australia.
Meanwhile, as per data released by the Union Health Ministry, India on Thursday, reported 3,79,257 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily tally recorded ever since the pandemic began. The death toll in the country now stands at 2,04,832.
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