COVID-19 crisis: Help pours in from all over the world to support India


New Delhi: Three more countries–Russia, South Korea, and Canada have announced assistance to India to deal with the COVID crisis as supplies continue to pour in from different parts of the world including Singapore. 

On Wednesday, Russian President Putin called Indian PM Modi and assured full support for India to deal with the covid crisis. Russian foreign ministry in a statement said that the country will deliver a “large batch of medical aid” to India which includes oxygen concentrators, lung ventilators, and other necessary medical supplies and drugs in next coming days. 

It further said, “The Russian leadership has made a decision in the spirit of friendship and especially privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and with the goal of combating a surge in the coronavirus incidence.”

Last year, Russia’s main defense export body Rosoboronexport made a donation for PM cares fund formed to deal with the COVID crisis. Rosoboronexport’s Director General Alexander Mikheev had said, “In 2020, Rosoboronexport was one the first to react to the worsening of the situation, related to the spread of COVID-19 in India, and decided to make a donation to the Fund of the Prime Minister of India to support Indian citizens and assist them in emergency situations.”

South Korean govt continues consultations with India on delivery of “urgent medical supplies” to deal with the pandemic, and its mission in a statement said, “Korean government will continue to closely cooperate with India, our Special Strategic Partner, in its fight against COVID-19.”

Earlier in the day, Canada announced that it will be providing $10 million as “humanitarian assistance” that will be used to procure essential supplies like medicines, PPEs, oxygen cylinders for clinics and ambulances. The fund will be provided to Canadian Red Cross which will provide support to the Indian Red Cross.

A show of solidarity for India, that has been seen across the world for the country was seen in Canada as well with Canadian PM, Foreign minister, envoy tweeting. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said, “Right now, the people of India are facing a tragic situation. We stand ready to donate extra medical supplies, too.”

The foreign minister Marc Garneau, pointing out his talks with India’s External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar regarding the covid crisis and tweeted, “We are ready to assist.”

Canadian Envoy Nadir Patel also extended his country’s support. 

Meanwhile, Singapore sent 256 oxygen cylinders, continuing its support for New Delhi. The oxygen cylinders were brought to India on 2 Air Force planes of Singapore. The entire mission was flagged off by Singapore’s second minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman in the presence of the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore P Kumaran. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Osman said, “we see here today is a testament to the excellent relations between Singapore and India. This is made possible because of the existing close relationship between our two peoples, our governments, and our countries.”

Supplies were brought from Hong Kong as well, with a private airline Spice Jet airlifting 1000 oxygen concentrators and bringing them to Delhi. This is the 2nd big consignment of Oxygen concentrators being ordered from Hong Kong by the same company.

Speaking in the British Parliament, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “thoughts of members across the House are with the people of India. We’re supporting India with vital medical equipment and we will continue to work closely with the Indian authorities to turn in what further help they may need”.

Charles, Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne, in a message for India said, “As India has helped others, so now must we help India”, adding, “we will win this battle”.

The UK also announced that it will send 600 pieces which include ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices to India. The first batch reached India on Tuesday morning, and all in all nine airline container loads of supplies will be reaching the country this week. This includes 495 oxygen concentrators, that can extract oxygen from the air, 120 non-invasive ventilators, and 20 manual ventilators.

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