Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Ireland, France to send aid to help India tide over crisis

- Agencies letters@hindustant­imes.com


NEW DELHI: Ireland and France on Tuesday joined a growing list of countries helping India tide over the coronaviru­s crisis. The United States also said that it will be delivering raw materials to the Serum Institute of India (SII) for the production of the Oxfordastr­azeneca Covishield vaccine, with an aim to help India tide over the current wave of the coronaviru­s disease (Covid-19)

Ireland announced sending 700 oxygen concentrat­ors and other medical supplies to the country. The Irish embassy here said the oxygen concentrat­ors are expected to reach India by Wednesday morning. “Ireland is sending 700 oxygen concentrat­ors to India to help healthcare workers in providing timely aid to patients. The concentrat­ors are expected to reach India by Wednesday early morning,” it said.

Irish ambassador Brendan Ward said Ireland is in close contact with the Indian government and that it is looking at more assistance to India in dealing with the pandemic. “The situation in India is being followed closely in Ireland where there is now a large Indian community. Indian medical profession­als are very important to our health system,” he said. “We are pleased to be able to offer these oxygen concentrat­ors now. We are in close contact with the Indian government and we are looking at what further assistance we could offer such as ventilator­s and other equipment,” the envoy said.

The Irish embassy said Ireland has also pledged to send ventilator­s to India and the gesture of solidarity is a part of the

European Union’s coordinate­d response to help the country overcome the surge in Covid-19 cases. India director of IDA Ireland Tanaz Buhariwall­a said the Irish government is happy to support India in its fight against the pandemic.

France on Tuesday announced that it is sending to India oxygen generators, liquid oxygen containers, ventilator­s and other medical supplies by air and sea to support the country in its fight against surging coronaviru­s cases.

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said it is carrying out an “exceptiona­l solidarity mission” to assist Indian people following a call for support by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“France and India have always stood by each other’s side in difficult times. This solidarity is at the core of our strategic partnershi­p and the friendship between the Indian and the French peoples,” it said.

French envoy to India Emmanuel Lenain said the “massive solidarity mission” is being supported by the European Union and French companies present in India.

The US acknowledg­ed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and India’s Epidemic Intelligen­ce Services (EIS) have a “long, long history of working together closely and helping one another.”

The US CDC, working with the USAID, will urgently deploy a strike team to India, the White House said, which will include public health experts to work in close collaborat­ion with the American embassy, with India’s health ministries and experts, and with EIS staff.

India is reeling under a devastatin­g wave of coronaviru­s infections.

The US, Germany, France, Britain, Australia, Singapore, Israel and several other countries as well as the World Health Organisati­on and the European Union have already announced urgent medical assistance to India to help it deal with the situation.

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