India’s covid crisis prompts outpouring of empathy and aid from world
Several countries have come to India’s aid & expressed solidarity as the country fights the worst COVID-19 crisis.
As India recorded more than 3.52 lakh new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, landmark buildings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) illuminated with the Tricolour to show solidarity with the country.
The world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa and the Adnoc headquarters in Abu Dhabi were lit up with the Indian flag with a hashtag - #StayStrongIndia - on Sunday night.
The second wave of the COVID-19 has made India a global coronavirus hotspot, setting new records for the world’s highest caseload with each passing day. Most cities in the country are filled with instances of hospitals overflowing with the sick. People on social media are making desperate appeals for oxygen supplies as India’s healthcare infrastructure crumbles. India is going through a harrowing time as many reports suggest that several crematoriums across the country are running out of space.
However, over the past weeks, several countries have expressed solidarity and a show of support to India including its’s arch-rival Pakistan amid a humanitarian crisis.
On April 24, Pakistan Twitter was trending with the hashtag #PakistanstandswithIndia and #IndianeedsOxygen. People from Pakistan including politicians, cricketers, journalists expressed support for India. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also tweeted in favour of India expressing solidarity with the people of India.
“I want to express our solidarity with the people of India as they battle a dangerous wave of COVID-19. Our prayers for a speedy recovery go to all those suffering from the pandemic in our neighbourhood & the world. We must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together,” he tweeted.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry too expressed their support to the people in India.
Pakistan also offered to provide relief support including medical equipment to help fight the deadly second wave in India.
“As a gesture of solidarity with the people of India in the wake of the current wave of COVID-19, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support to India including ventilators, Bi-PAP, digital X-ray machines, PPEs and related items,” the Pakistani foreign office said in a statement on Saturday, April 25.
The international community is also responding with a message of support and mobilising much needed medical support to India.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said her government is preparing a "mission of support" for India to battle a massive spike in coronavirus cases in India.
"To the people of India, I want to express my sympathy for the terrible suffering that COVID-19 has again brought over your communities. The fight against the pandemic is our common fight. Germany stands in solidarity with India and is urgently preparing a mission of support,” Angela Merkel said in a message.
Earlier, Germany had sent 23 mobile oxygen generation plants for use in military units tending to Covid-19 patients.
On Sunday, April 25, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval during which the White House announced that it is urgently sending medical supplies and equipment to save lives in India.
A few hours later, President Joe Biden also finally broke his silence on this subject and posted a tweet, promising to send over resources “to help India in its time of need”.
US Vice President Kamala Harris also tweeted that the two governments are working closely to mitigate the COVID crisis in India.
US will also deploy experts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and USAID which will work together to fast-track mobilisation and access to emergency resources for India using The Global Fund.
The United Kingdom also reached out to India on Sunday and announced that it is sending over 600 medical devices including oxygen concentrators and ventilators to India.
“We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner in the fight against COVID-19. We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time,” Reuters quoted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Singapore also lended a hand of support to help fight the second wave of coronavirus and sent four cryogenic oxygen containers on April 24 amid a shortage of oxygen in Indian hospitals.
The European Union also promised to provide aid to fight the second wave of COVID-19. This was confirmed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, on Sunday.
"Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support you. The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India's request for assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We stand in full solidarity with the Indian people!" she tweeted.
Russia has also pledged to support India during this time of crisis and will be providing oxygen generators, concentrators and drugs like Favipiravir to India in a special plane within this week, reported The Hindu.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani too expressed solidarity with India as it reels under the second wave of the pandemic.
"Our hearts go out to the Indian people & government as they fight the horrendous outbreak of COVID. On behalf of the Afghan people & government, we send our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones & wish a quick recovery to those who are suffering from the virus," President Ghani tweeted on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Australia, France, Canada and China have also expressed readiness to support India and is currently working through diplomatic channels to determine how they can assist India.