India Crisis: Canada Steps Up To Assist

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OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada would be contributing $10 million to the Indian Red Cross through Red Cross Canada to help in the fight against the second wave of COVID-19 that is ravaging India.

Trudeau said: “Right now, the people of India are facing a tragic situation. [We are] helping with everything from ambulance services to buying personal protective equipment. We stand ready to donate extra medical supplies, too.”

Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said: “I spoke with Dr. SJ aishankar (India’s External Affairs Minister) to convey Canada’s solidarity with the people of India as they face this deadly wave of #Covid19. Canada is exploring all options to support India’s urgent needs.”

WASHINGTON: The White House has said the US would be sending supplies worth more than $100 million to India and “meet the urgent health needs of the Indian people”.

The US has already dispatched its first batch of Covid-19 relief materials to India, including oxygen cylinders and regulators, Rapid Diagnostic Test kits and N95 masks.

The US response came after a phone call between White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Indian national security adviser Ajit Doval.

Last week, the US had said the country would not be exporting raw materials for vaccine production in India because ‘American citizens are our priority’ – a statement which caused widespread anger in India.

A US statement on Wednesday said: “The US deployed the first of several emergency Covid-19 relief shipments to India. Arriving in New Delhi from Travis Air Force Base on the world’s largest military aircraft, the shipment includes 440 oxygen cylinders and regulators.”

“In addition, on this first flight, USAID has sent 960,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests to identify infections early to help prevent the community spread of Covid-19, and 100,000 N95 masks to protect India’s frontline healthcare heroes,” the statement said.

The US is also providing the first tranche of a planned 20,000 treatment courses of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir to help treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting with top officials to review the situation in the country relating to oxygen availability, medicines and health infrastructure.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said: “It was discussed that the production of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in the country has increased from 5,700 MT per day in August 2020 to the present 8,922 MT on April 25. The domestic production of LMO is expected to cross 9,250 MT per day by the end of April 2021,” it said.

The Prime Minister was briefed about the functioning of the Oxygen Express Railways service as well as the domestic sorties and international sorties undertaken by the IAF to transport oxygen tankers.

“They informed the Prime Minister on efforts to break the chain of transmission. United Nations: The president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, has called for international aid to India in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. India is a country that has done so much to ensure the distribution of vaccines to vulnerable countries and it time for the world to extend aid and support to India, Boskir said.

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