23 September 2021 13:20

India’s Covid crisis: Australia, US, UK, EU, France, and Germany lend support

As India fights against the unprecedented health crisis of COVID-19, global support in the form of oxygen supplies, ventilators, raw material for vaccines, PPT kits and oxygen concentrators have started pouring in.

On Sunday, the United States agreed to send essential raw material to India required for manufacturing vaccines. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan dialled up his India’s counterpart Ajit Doval and offered to send resources and supplies to the Serum Institute of India (SII) to increase production of the vaccine against COVID-19.
The United States earlier was dilly-dallying on the issue of supplying raw material to the SII. Former President Donald Trump had invoked the defence protection act, which in a way prohibits the US to export essential material for vaccines. His successor President Joe Biden has continued with it and has been following the policy to vaccinate Americans first.

In fact, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also took up the issue during his talks with his US counterpart Antony Blinken during their recent conversation.
India has been reeling under the deadly second wave of COVID-19. The country recorded 3,49,691 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year. According to the Union Health Ministry, the country has recorded 2,767 new deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that “vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus.”

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Shipment is expected to reach India by Tuesday, Johnson recently cancelled his India visit due to a surge in the cases of coronavirus.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also lends support to India amid the health crisis. Merkel said Sunday that her government was preparing emergency aid for India as the country grapples with a devastating surge in coronavirus infections.

“To the people of India, I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that COVID-19 has again brought over your communities,” Merkel said in a message shared on Twitter by her spokesman Steffen Seibert.
European Union (EU) has also stepped in to support India.
The European Commission has activated its EU Civil Protection Mechanism and is seeking to send oxygen and medicine to India after receiving a request from Delhi.

“Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“The EU executive is already coordinating with EU countries that are ready to provide urgently needed oxygen and medicine rapidly,” European Commission for humanitarian aid Janez Lenarcic wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed solidarity with India.

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