COVID-19 crisis: European Union member states team up to support India

New Delhi: Several European Union (EU) member states have teamed up to assist India as it deals with the covid crisis by sending Oxygen Concentrators, Oxygen Generators, Remdesivir, Ventilators. The member states are sending supplies to India under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism that was activated to send the assistance. As per an official statement issued by the EU, India had placed a request for support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which is coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission in a tweet-statement said,” the EU stands with India. A first shipment of urgently needed oxygen, medicine and equipment will be delivered over the coming days under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.”

Indian Envoy to Brussels Santosh Jha on her tweet thanked EU leadership and member states for the assistance, highlighting, “Cooperation and solidarity has always been the hallmark of the India-EU Strategic Partnership.”

Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, said, “The EU stands in full solidarity with the Indian people and is ready to do its utmost to support them at this critical time. I would like to thank our member states that came in numerously with generous offers of help, showing that the EU is a trusted partner and a friend at times of need.

“The reach of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism goes well beyond the EU’s borders. Our Emergency Response Coordination Centre is facilitating the logistical arrangements and the EU will cover the brunt of the transport costs.”

Several EU member states have pledged their support with Ireland sending 700 oxygen concentrators, one oxygen generator and 365 ventilators; Belgium sending 9,000 doses of antiviral medicine Remdesivir; Romania sending 80 oxygen concentrators and 75 oxygen cylinders; Luxembourg sending 58 ventilators; Portugal sending 5,503 vials of Remdesivir and 20,000 litres of oxygen per week and Sweden sending 120 ventilators.

This support has been extended in line with the coordinated effort of the EU member states currently underway to pool their resources in responding rapidly to tackle the alarming epidemiological situation in India, the statement said. More EU support from other member states is expected to be come in the coming days, including from France and Germany.

Earlier on Monday, France announced assistance in 2 phases. Phase 1 arriving this week will have, 8 large Oxygen Generating Plants, Liquid Oxygen, Respiratory material – 28 respirators and their consumables, and 200 electric syringe pushers. Phase 2, starting next week will have 5 liquid oxygen containers. 

In a Facebook post in Hindi, French President Emmanuel Macron had put a message on France’s “solidarity mission” for India saying, “Solidarity is at the heart of the friendship between France and India. We will win this fight together.”

Germany will send Mobile oxygen production plant that will be made available for 3 months, 120 ventilators, more than 80 million KN95 masks. A Webinar on testing, RNA sequencing of Coronavirus is also being planned. Already, the AFMS (Armed Forces Medical Services) is importing 23 mobile oxygen generation plants from Germany for deployment in hospitals.

Meanwhile, as the international community pitches in to support India, a high-level Inter-Ministerial group has established procedure for “immediate clearance” of the material support. Support would be then be dispatched to recipient institutions across the country.

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