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From US to Pakistan, help pours in as India fights second Covid-19 wave

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed solidarity with the people of India, saying “we must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together”.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 25, 2021 9:15:31 pm

Leaders from across the world have expressed their concern over an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases in India.

The country has been recording a global-high of over 3 lakh fresh infections since the last four days. Added to that is the shortage in oxygen supply that many states have been witnessing leading to the death of many Covid-19 patients.

In such times, leaders and activists across the world have not only extended their solidarity but also shipped resources to help India fight the second wave of the novel coronavirus.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan took to Twitter to express his concern. “The US is deeply concerned by the severe Covid outbreak in India. We are working around the clock to deploy more supplies and support to our friends and partners in India as they bravely battle this pandemic. More very soon,” he said.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, too, pledged support. “Our hearts go out to the Indian people in the midst of the horrific Covid-19 outbreak. We are working closely with our partners in the Indian government, and we will rapidly deploy additional support to the people of India and India’s health care heroes,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi also called on US President Joe Biden to release doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to countries, including India, that are currently experiencing deadly surges.

“We are currently sitting on close to 40 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US stockpile, a stockpile which we’re not using and which we’ve already opened to combat Covid-19 in Mexico and Canada,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement. He added, “In order to curb the spread of this virus internationally and to protect public health and our international economy, we need to get these vaccines out of the door now. I respectfully but strongly call on the Biden administration to release millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to countries hardest-hit by Covid-19, including India, Argentina, and potentially others.”

France, Australia, Britain and the European Union have also come out to help India in its fight against the virus.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France stands ready to provide support to India’s fight against coronavirus. Tweeting his message, French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain said, “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.”

European Council President Charles Michel, too, said in a tweet that the EU “stands in solidarity with Indian people amidst [the] resurgent Covid-19 pandemic”. He added the fight against the virus is a “common fight” and said the EU would discuss its support and cooperation at the India-EU Summit on May 8.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne extended solidarity to India and said in a tweet: “India’s generosity and leadership in providing vaccines to our region is appreciated. We will continue to work together closely to respond to this global crisis.”

Britain Sunday said it was sending over 600 medical devices including oxygen concentrators and ventilators to India to help cope with a surge in coronavirus cases. The equipment is being sent from Britain’s surplus stock and the first shipment is scheduled to reach in New Delhi early on Tuesday,
the British foreign ministry said.

Saudi Arabia is also shipping 80 MTs of liquid oxygen to India, reported PTI. The shipment is being undertaken in cooperation with the Adani group and Linde company. “Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/s Linde in shipping much-needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support, and cooperation,” the Indian mission in Riyadh tweeted.

“Thank you @IndianEmbRiyadh Indeed, actions speak louder than words. We are on an urgent mission to secure oxygen supplies from across the world. This first shipment of 4 ISO cryogenic tanks with 80 tons of liquid oxygen is now on its way from Dammam to Mundra,” tweeted Gautam Adani, Adani Group Chairman.

Help and concern also poured in from neighbours China and Pakistan. “Based on the needs [of the] Indian side, we stand ready to offer support and assistance. We are now holding communications with the Indian side,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a press briefing in Beijing.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also expressed solidarity with the people of India, saying “we must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together”. In a tweet, Khan said: “Our prayers for a speedy recovery go to all those suffering from the pandemic in our neighbourhood and the world. I want to express our solidarity with the people of India as they battle a dangerous wave of Covid-19. We must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together.”

His statement came after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed support, saying the Covid-19 crisis is yet another reminder that humanitarian issues require responses beyond political consideration.

Singapore has shipped four cryogenic oxygen tanks to help India tackle the shortage in oxygen supply. We stand with India in its fight against Covid-19,” Singapore’s Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement. The United Arab Emirates government is also coordinating with Indian Embassy officials for the transfer of oxygen tankers, and the European Union and Russia are expected to send both oxygen-related and pharmaceutical supplies.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, while calling the shortage of medical oxygen in India “heartbreaking”, said, “The global community must step up and immediately offer the assistance needed.”

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