- European Union, Israel and Germany promised to aid India in Covid fight
- The assurance came as daily Covid cases almost touched 3.5 lakh in India
- Hospitals in India have been struggling to provide beds, drugs, oxygen
The European Union, Israel and Germany today promised aid to fight the second wave of Covid that's ravaging India and is threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system. Europe has been anxiously watching India since the Covid numbers started spiralling in early March. The assurance of help came this afternoon, as the daily Covid numbers almost touched 3.5 lakh -- the fourth straight day of 3 lakh-plus fresh infections.
"Upon request for assistance by #India, we have activated the #EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The EU will do its utmost to mobilise assistance to support people of IN. Our #ERCC is already coordinating EU MS that are ready to provide urgently needed #oxygen & medicine rapidly," tweeted Janez Lenarcic, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management.
A confirmation came from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission.
"Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support. 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!" her post read.
Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 25, 2021
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! https://t.co/Pv8ezFPdS3
While there is no official message from Israel yet, Amichai Stein from the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation tweeted on Israel's decision to extend help, quoting officials.
"Following the Covid 19 situation in India: Israel is considering sending medical aid to India, officials tells me," his tweet read.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel too said her government is preparing emergency aid for India. "To the people of India I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that Covid-19 has again brought over your communities," Merkel said in a message shared on Twitter by her spokesman Steffen Seibert.
Though there were no immediate details about what aid Germany will offer, Der Spiegel weekly, citing unnamed sources, has reported that Germany's armed forces have received a request to help organise oxygen supplies.
On Friday, France had said it stands by India in this crisis. "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," French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron's message.
The hospitals in India have been struggling to provide beds and drugs, but oxygen is the most pressing need, with reports of shortage coming from state after state. The national capital, Delhi, has been the worst sufferer, having to weather a recurring crisis since the beginning of the week. Multiple hospitals have reported their supplies were running need – sometimes as often as three or four times a day.
In his address to the nation last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called the second Covid wave a "toofan" (storm) that has swept through the country.
Most nations have put a temporary stop to flight services to and from India.