India Expands Aid to Indonesia Amid Rising Covid-19 Cases
NEW DELHI: India on Monday announced it has sent a warship with 300 oxygen concentrators and 100 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen to Indonesia, which is reeling from a wave of covid-19 infections fueled by the delta variant.
Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar in a Twitter post said the Indian Navy ship (INS) Airawat was on its way to Tanjung Priok in Indonesia with medical aid. “India stands alongside its partners in the fight against covid,” the minister said.
Indonesia has reported record covid-19 infections and deaths in recent weeks, with health experts calling the country the virus’s new epicenter in Asia, according to a Reuters report. Fueled by the spread of the more virulent delta variant, Indonesia has reported more new cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world, data from the latest seven-day average from a Reuters tracker showed. It was just behind Brazil in terms of death toll, according to the report.
Health services in this Southeast Asian country are overwhelmed, and requests for help finding hospital beds or oxygen tanks have been shared on social media, while reports from people deaths while trying have increased, according to the report.
According to the Indian Navy, the Indian ship left for Indonesia on July 16 and would arrive soon.
This is the first time India has sent medical aid overseas since the country recovered from a brutal second wave of covid-19 infections in April-May which saw its numbers total deaths exceed 400,000 mark. The second wave of infections in India was also fueled by the delta variant which resulted in severe oxygen scarcity across the country. More than 50 countries had mobilized with oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and other medical equipment in addition to drugs, liquid medical oxygen supplies and tanks to transport oxygen to hospitals in order to help India reduce its shortages. In May, Indonesia provided India with oxygen concentrators to help ease the situation.
India considers Indonesia to be one of its closest maritime neighbors, with the distance between the Andaman Islands in India and Aceh in Indonesia being no more than 80 nautical miles. India views the Southeast Asian country as a key part of its Act East policy and has continuously developed its ties with Jakarta with the aim of deepening its relationship with the fast growing economies of India. Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
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