Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)



NEW DELHI: France and Ireland on Tuesday joined a growing list of countries that are rushing medical aid to help India tackle a severe shortage of oxygen, ventilator­s, medicines and other lifesaving equipment as the country battles the second, more severe wave of Covid-19.

French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday expressed solidarity with India and said that France will send eight oxygen generators along with ventilator­s and essential medical equipment. Ireland said it is sending 700 oxygen concentrat­ors from its stockpile to back India’s Covid-19 response.

Meanwhile, the first shipment of Covid medical supplies from Britain to India, including 100 ventilator­s and 95 oxygen concentrat­ors, arrived early Tuesday, the foreign ministry said. Foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi tweeted photos of the equipment being unloaded from a German Lufthansa aircraft in New Delhi, calling it “internatio­nal cooperatio­n at work”.

Britain is despatchin­g more than 600 pieces of vital medical equipment.

After the high-level phone call between US President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, a senior American administra­tion official told reporters that the US is ready with a range of support and is prepared to immediatel­y start deploying it. The US will dispatch a “strike team”, comprising public health experts, to India, the official added.

The strike team will work with Indian experts in areas such as laboratory services, surveillan­ce and epidemiolo­gy and bioinforma­tics for sequencing of the disease, the official said.→p4

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