France on Monday became the latest country to offer medical support to India to help tackle the worsening coronavirus crisis that has pushed its healthcare system to the brink of collapse.
Ambassador to France Emmanuel Lenain said the country will send medical equipment to India under a solidarity mission, which will include not only immediate relief but also long-term capacities to treat the sick and fight the pandemic.
The French ministry said it will deliver eight oxygen concentrators and five containers of liquid oxygen – enough for 2,000 patients for five days – along with other specialised medical equipment, including 28 ventilators and 200 electric syringe pumps.
The items will be shipped by air and sea and are likely to reach India by the end of this week.
“The massive solidarity mission, initiated at President Emmanuel Macron’s request, is supported by French companies present in India and the European Union,” Emmanuel Lenain said.
This includes contributions from French majors such as Air Liquide, BNP Paribas, Capgemini, Dassault Aviation, L’Oréal and Naval Group. Further, the support comes under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the French government said.
Meanwhile, the German Army will provide a large oxygen production plant to India, German Ambassador Walter Lindner said on Monday, reported the Hindustan Times. The country was also making efforts to transport antiviral drug Remdesivir, among other medicines, from German emergency stocks.
Lindner said Germany understood the urgency of the situation and that authorities were “working day and night” to airlift critical equipment and medical supplies to India.
Countries and regions around the world are pledging to send urgent medical aid to India as its Covid-19 crisis reached horrific proportions, with hospitals turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds. Patients are struggling to get access to medicines and ventilators, and hospitals are taking to Twitter and going to court to desperately plead for more oxygen supplies.
On Sunday, the European Union said it had activated its EU Civil Protection Mechanism and was seeking to send oxygen and medicine to India. The United Kingdom said it was sending life-saving medical equipment, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.
United States President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris too promised to help. The US National Security Advisor spoke to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and promised to make available the raw material required to manufacture the Covishield vaccine.
PM Modi speaks with his Japanese counterpart
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga on Monday discussed cooperation in key areas, including creating supply chains of critical materials to overcome challenges posed by the pandemic.
During a 25-minute phone conversation, the two leaders discussed the Covid-19 situation in each other’s country, and of ways India and Japan could together overcome the challenges.
This includes, “working together to create resilient, diversified and trustworthy supply chains, ensuring reliable supply of critical materials and technologies, and developing new partnerships in manufacturing and skill development”, the external affairs ministry said.