France to begin phase two of solidarity mission, EU announces €2.2m support to COVID-ravaged India


New Delhi: Part two of the France solidarity mission to India of sending anti-COVID assistance will begin at the end of May. Under this, a second air shipment of medical equipment and oxygen generator plants will be sent to New Delhi.

France is also going to send liquid oxygen from French company Air Liquide’s plants in the region to India via sea including with help of Indian armed forces. The first shipment of liquid O2 will arrive in the coming days.

Informed sources told media that the Indian Airforce might also be involved in getting supplies from France. Indian Air force is already playing a key role and in the last few days airlifted 900 empty Oxygen cylinders from the UK, four cryogenic oxygen containers from Perth, Australia.

As a part of its solidarity mission, France had sent eight medical oxygen generators last week. Each generator can make an Indian hospital autonomous in oxygen supply for approximately 10 years. The country also sent specialized medical equipment which included 28 ventilators as well as 200 electric syringe pumps.

France is supporting India under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (MPCU). Under the mechanism, more than 10 members of the European Union are sending assistance to New Delhi. Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced that it will allocate an initial €2.2 million in emergency funding to respond to the ongoing COVID crisis in India.

“We are providing additional EU support towards the fight against COVID-19 in India. This comes on top of the generous and swift assistance from the EU Member States that stepped up as part of Team Europe to offer critical supplies of oxygen, ventilators, and medicines over the last few days”, said European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

EU Member States that have already mobilised supplies of urgently needed oxygen, ventilators, and medicines are Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.

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