China and Pakistan among others, reach out to India with offers of help

NEW DELHI, APR 23 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/23/2021 12:23:55 PM IST

As India grapples with a ferocious second wave of covid-19 infections, China on Friday said it firmly supports the Indian government and the people in their fight against the pandemic and was in communication with New Delhi on an offer to provide assistance.

Separately, a defence ministry statement said the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) has decided to import oxygen generation plants and containers from Germany, amid shortage of oxygen in the hospitals. 

“Twenty-three mobile oxygen generation plants are being airlifted from Germany that will be deployed in Armed Forces Medical Services hospitals catering to the covid patients,” it said.

Offers of help have also come in from countries such as Russia and France and also blocs like the European Union. 

A news report said a charity group based in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation, has also extended an offer of assistance in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the head of the group, Faisal Edhi.

In Beijing on Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that “for the recently deteriorating epidemic situation in India we send our sincere sympathies.”

“The Chinese government and the people firmly support the Indian government and their people in their fight,” he said responding to a question from the official Chinese media, PTI news agency reported.

“Based on the need of the Indian side, we stand ready to offer support and assistance. We are now holding communications with the Indian side,” he said. 

“We believe the Indian people will surely conquer the epidemic at an early date,” he added. .

The first case of covid-19 was reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and since then turned into a pandemic, infecting almost 145 million people and claiming over 3,072,614 lives worldwide.

India is currently facing a massive surge in coronavirus infections. 

The country on Friday added over 3.32 lakh new cases, a record singe-day surge, overwhelming the country’s fragile health care system. 

Hospitals ran low on oxygen, critically ill patients failed to find hospital beds. The tally now stands at 1,62,63,695, while active cases have crossed the 24-lakh mark.


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