EU comes to India’s aid amid Covid-19 crisis; member states to help with oxygen, medicines

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As international help continues to pour in for India’s fight against the Covid-19 crisis, the European Union on Tuesday said it will deliver oxygen, medicine and essential equipment over the coming days via its member states under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

“A shipment of urgently needed oxygen, medicine and equipment will be delivered over the coming days by EU Member States to India,” an official EU statement read.

The offer of support from the EU Member States would include 700 oxygen concentrators, 1 oxygen generator, 365 ventilators from Ireland; 9,000 doses of antiviral medicines Remdesivir from Belgium; 80 oxygen concentrators and 75 oxygen cylinders from Romania; 58 ventilators from Luxembourg; 5,503 vials of Remdesivir, 20,000 litres of oxygen per week from Portugal, and 120 ventilators from Sweden.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission.

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“This support has been made in line with the coordinated effort by EU Member States currently underway to pool their resources in responding rapidly to tackle the alarming epidemiological situation in India,” the statement read, adding that more support from other member states of the EU is expected for India in the coming days. Countries like France and Germany are also expected to extend support.

Janez Lenarčič, commissioner for crisis management, said the EU is ready to offer the utmost to support India at “this critical time”.

This comes as India continues to grapple with the rise in Covid-19 cases. A marginal drop in infections was reported in the past 24 hours. As per the official figures from the Union ministry of health and family affairs, the country witnessed 323,144 new cases in the last 24 hours. With this, India’s Covid-19 tally stands at a whopping 17,636,307.

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This is for the sixth consecutive day when more than 300,000 fresh Covid-19 infections have been reported in the country. Several states have been facing a shortage of oxygen supply and ICU beds amid mounting Covid-19 cases. As per the central data, till date, a total of 14,556,209 patients have beaten the deadly contagion while 197,894 have lost their lives to the infection.

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