Pakistani social media users on Friday urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to lend support to India as the country scrambled for supplies of oxygen and other emergency aid amid a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hashtags like #IndiaNeedsOxygen were trending on Pakistani Twitter, with users requesting Khan’s government to put aside its political differences and help India to tide over the crisis.
India recorded more than 3,30,000 new cases in 24 hours on Friday, the second consecutive day that the country set a global record for daily infections. The toll was more than 2,200, also a new high for the country.
The surge in infections has left the country’s healthcare system in tatters as families scrambled for life-saving oxygen supplies while patients die outside overcrowded hospitals. Mass cremations have been taking place as the crematoriums have run out of space.
The social media is awash with desperate calls for ambulances, ICU beds and medicines. Even hospitals are taking to Twitter to plead with the government to replenish their oxygen supplies and threatening to stop admissions of new patients.
As distressing visuals of the crisis in India went viral, social media users in Pakistan called on Khan to do something about the plight of their neighbours. “Humanity above all. No one deserves to suffer,” one user wrote.
“No matter how many differences we have, we are all one for humanity and we pray to ALLAH to have mercy on all the people living in India,” said another tweet.
Edhi foundation offers help
Faisal Edhi, son of renowned Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi and chairperson of the Edhi Foundation, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, offering help in the form of “a fleet of 50 ambulances” and other services.
“We, at the Edhi Foundation, have been closely following the current impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on the people of India,” Edhi said. “We are very sorry to hear about the exceptionally heavy impact that the pandemic has had on your country, where a tremendous number of people are suffering immensely.”
Edhi personally offered to lead and manage the humanitarian team from his organisation. “Our organisation understands the gravity of the situation, and we wish to lend you full support, without any inconvenience...” he wrote.
He said the Edhi foundation will send a team of emergency medical technicians, office staff, drivers, and supporting staff to India. “Importantly, we are not requesting any other assistance from you, as we are providing the fuel, food, and other necessary amenities that our team will require,” Edhi added.
A press release from the organisation added that Edhi would depart with his team of volunteers as soon as he received permission from India, according to The Dawn. There was no immediate reaction from New Delhi.