COVID-19: Amid unprecedented rise in cases, India seeks logistics support from abroad; UK, France offer help

logistics brace for impact

At a time when the country is going through an unprecedented challenge owing to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the country is confronted with the problem of not only producing oxygen but also storing it for transporting it to various states — Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, others, worst affected by the crisis.

In a bid to combat the situation, New Delhi has reached out to various countries under operation ‘Oxygen Maitri’ to procure containers and oxygen cylinders to meet the escalated demand of oxygen across the country.

While many countries have come forward extending logistical support and assistance, India, under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Defence (MoD), has identified several countries to procure high capacity tankers/containers and oxygen gas cylinders.

The procurement could be government to government (G2G) or commercially through private players, said sources.

The home ministry is currently coordinating with Singapore and the UAE to lift high-capacity tankers from abroad by Indian Air Force (IAF) transport planes.

Sources have shared that the lack of containers is a problem in ensuring quick transportation of oxygen.

Indian missions in the UAE and Singapore are in touch with concerned authorities and manufacturers to procure the containers, sources said.

They also said that on Tuesday, the Adani Group wrote a letter of interest to M/S Linde, Dammam in Saudi Arabia to procure oxygen cylinders. The Indian mission in Riyadh is apprised of the request.

Linde-SIGAS is the leading manufacturer of all bulk, industrial, medical and specialty gases in Saudi Arabia, with operational and sales outlets spread throughout major cities of the country, as stated in their website.

Apart from oxygen tankers, which will be flown in by the IAF transport planes from the UAE and Singapore to increase the oxygen supply, 23 mobile oxygen generation plants will also be airlifted from Germany which will be used in Armed Forces Medical Service hospitals treating Covid-19 patients. These oxygen-generating plants are expected to arrive in India within a week, sources claimed.

Each plant has a capacity to produce 40 litres of oxygen per minute and 2,400 litres an hour. At this rate, it can cater to 20-25 patients round the clock. The advantage of these plants is that they are easily portable. As of now, 23 such plants are being imported to India, sources confirmed.

Meanwhile, India’s partners have been extending help and assistance as the country reels under the deadly Covid-19 crisis.

EU to discuss covid impact on India

The European Union will be discussing the ongoing Covid-19 situation in India in the upcoming EU-India Lleaders’ meeting on May 8, President of the European Council Charles Michel said.

In a tweet, Charles Michel said, “The #EU stands in solidarity with Indian people amidst resurgent #COVID19 pandemic. The fight against the virus is a common fight. We will discuss our support and cooperation at EU-India Leaders’ meeting on 8 May with @narendramodi and @antoniocostapm”.

In response to this, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar responded.

France extends support

French President Emmanuel Macron has also offered support to India.

In a tweet, France’s envoy to India Emmanuel Lenain quoted Emmanuel Macron as saying, “I want to send a message of solidarity to the Indian people, facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. France is with you in this struggle, which spares no-one. We stand ready to provide our support.”

British Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock also echoed similar remarks.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Mr Zhao Lijian, answering to what help China is giving to India, during a regular media briefing in Beijing said, “We have noticed the relevant reports and China expresses sincere condolences to the recent deterioration of the situation in India. The Chinese government and the Chinese people firmly support the Indian government and people in fighting the pandemic, and are willing to provide support and assistance in accordance with the needs of the Indian side.”

“The Chinese side is maintaining communication with the Indian side on this. China believes that the Indian people will be able to overcome the pandemic at an early date,” he said.

The support has also poured in from Pakistan’s civil society. Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation offered India assistance to fight the Covid-19 outbreak.

Edhi Foundation’s chairman Faisal Edhi on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting permission to enter India with a team of volunteers and 50 ambulances to help assist in the pandemic.

Source: India Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *