COVID-19: France, US, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Belgium send medical supplies to India

As a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections continued to ravage various parts of India, several countries like France, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Belgium on Sunday delivered to it medical supplies, including oxygen plants, while the US sent 1,25,000 vials of antiviral drug Remdesivir.

A special cargo flight brought 28 tonnes of medical equipment from France as part of the country’s first phase of the ‘solidarity mission’ launched by President Emmanuel Macron to help India fight the pandemic.

After delivery of the fourth relief shipment by the US, the American embassy said more life-saving supplies are on the way to India.

The French shipment included eight large oxygen plants, 28 ventilators and 200 electric syringe pumps.

The French embassy said each of the eight plants can continuously supply oxygen to a 250-bed hospital round-the-clock for a dozen years and that they produce medical oxygen from ambient air.

‘The oxygen plants will be delivered to 8 Indian hospitals, 6 in Delhi, one in Haryana and one in Telangana, based on needs as identified by the Indian authorities,’ the French embassy said in a statement on Saturday.

French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain said more supplies will come soon from France and that both countries stand together in this fight against the pandemic.

The embassy said the medical supplies were worth more than Rs 17 crore.

‘We stand by India in these difficult times, just as India has always stood by France. In Spring 2020, when French hospitals were facing acute shortages, India provided life-saving help through the export of critical medical drugs,’ Lenain said.

Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said the assistance by France is a testament to the strategic partnership between the two countries.

‘A testament to India-France strategic partnership & friendship! 28 tonnes of medical equipment including 8 hospital-level oxygen generators and other medical supplies arrives from France. Deeply appreciate the support from France. Will bolster our oxygen capacities,’ he tweeted.

Separately, Belgium also sent 9,000 vials of Remdesivir to India on Sunday.

Taiwan also delivered 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders in reflection of its strong friendship with India in its fight against the pandemic.

In a statement, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) said more batches of medical equipment and supplies will be airlifted to India soon.

‘To express strong friendship with India in its fight against a new wave of Covid-19 pandemic, Taiwan is delivering critical medical supplies to India. The first batch of 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders have arrived in New Delhi on Sunday,’ the TECC said.

The TECC is Taiwan’s representative office in India.

‘Taiwan’s deployment of medical supplies is testament to the close collaboration and partnership across multiple agencies on both sides. It also reflects the robust relief efforts and contributions made by the government and people of Taiwan to bring humanitarian relief to India,’ it said.

India does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but both sides have trade and people-to-people ties. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory.

Taiwan’s aid to India came amid reports of violations of Taiwan’s airspace by Chinese military jets.

Central Asian country Uzbekistan also supplied 100 oxygen concentrators as well as remdesivir and other medicines to India.

The US on Sunday delivered more medical supplies.

‘The American people stand united with India in the fight against COVID-19! Today, 125,000 vials of the antiviral drug Remdesivir arrived from the U.S. -the 4th relief shipment- and there are more life-saving supplies on the way,’ the US embassy said on Twitter.

The US on Saturday night sent to India a third flight that brought over 1000 oxygen cylinders, regulators and other medical equipment.

Two American military aircraft on Friday brought to India large amounts of emergency medical supplies which included 423 oxygen cylinders with regulators, 210 pulse oximeters, 17 large oxygen cylinders, 8,84,000 Abbott rapid diagnostic test kits and 84,000 N-95 face masks.

As India battles a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic, several countries around the world are sending medical supplies to help it tide over the situation.

The leading countries that have announced assistance to India include the US, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Singapore, Portugal, Sweden, New Zealand, Kuwait and Mauritius.


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