Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said that the country will give $10 million (nearly Rs 60 crore) to India as it battles the world’s worst coronavirus surge. New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta also committed to give 1 million NZ dollars (about $7,20,365) to help India.
“Right now, the people of India are facing a tragic situation,” Trudeau tweeted. “To help with everything from ambulance services to buying personal protective equipment, we’re contributing $10 million to Indian Red Cross through Canadian Red Cross. We stand ready to donate extra medical supplies, too.”
At a press conference, Trudeau said that Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau had a conversation with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar about how Canada can help with the situation, PTI reported.
“It’s something that Canadians are extremely concerned about as we see the terrible and tragic images coming out of India,” the prime minister said. “We know that we need to be there for our friends. And indeed, we need to be there for everyone around the world because we don’t get through this pandemic anywhere until we get through it everywhere.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s foreign minister said that the country stands in solidarity with India during this difficult time. She also appreciated the tireless efforts of India’s frontline healthcare workers to rein in the pandemic.
“Aotearoa will contribute NZ $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross to assist India while they respond to the current surge in Covid-19 cases,” Mahuta said, PTI reported citing The New Zealand Herald. Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand.
The International Federation of the Red Cross is working directly with the local Indian Red Cross Society to provide oxygen cylinders and other crucial medical supplies.
“We believe a contribution to an international organisation that has a reputation for delivery is the most practical assistance we can make to India at this time,” Mahuta said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to assist the Indian government. We extend our deepest sympathies to the whanau [Maori-language word for extended family] and friends of those who have had their lives cut short by this terrible virus.”
Earlier this month, New Zealand had imposed a temporary ban on travellers coming from India, including its citizens, from April 11 to 28 due to rise in coronavirus cases among visitors to the country.
The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Germany, Singapore, Russia, among other countries, have also promised to help India with the health crisis.
India on Wednesday registered a record 3,60,960 new coronavirus cases in a day, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 1,79,97,267. This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far, and the seventh consecutive day when the country has recorded more than 3 lakh cases. For the first time, 3,292 deaths were registered. The toll is now 2,01,187.
From 4 pm on Wednesday, India will allow everyone above 18 to register for Covid vaccination, which will begin from May 1.