France, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Belgium send med supplies
New Delhi: France, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Belgium on Sunday delivered to India medical supplies, including oxygen plants and medicines, as a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections continued to ravage various parts of the country.
A special cargo flight brought 28 tonnes of medical equipment from France as part of the country's first phase of the "solidarity mission" launched by President Emmanuel Macron to help India fight the pandemic.
The French shipment included eight large oxygen plants, 28 ventilators and 200 electric syringe pumps.
The French embassy said each of the eight plants can continuously supply oxygen to a 250-bed hospital round-the-clock for a dozen years and that they produce medical oxygen from ambient air.
"The oxygen plants will be delivered to 8 Indian hospitals, 6 in Delhi, one in Haryana and one in Telangana, based on needs as identified by the Indian authorities," the French embassy said in a statement on Saturday.
French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain said more supplies will come soon from France and that both countries stand together in this fight against the pandemic.
The embassy said the medical supplies were worth more than Rs 17 crore.
"We stand by India in these difficult times, just as India has always stood by France. In Spring 2020, when French hospitals were facing acute shortages, India provided life-saving help through the export of critical medical drugs," Lenain said.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said the assistance by France is a testament to the strategic partnership between the two countries.
"A testament to India-France strategic partnership & friendship! 28 tonnes of medical equipment including 8 hospital-level oxygen generators and other medical supplies arrives from France. Deeply appreciate the support from France. Will bolster our oxygen capacities," he tweeted.
Separately, Belgium also sent 9,000 vials of Remdesivir to India on Sunday.
Taiwan also delivered 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders in reflection of its strong friendship with India in its fight against the pandemic.
In a statement, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) said more batches of medical equipment and supplies will be airlifted to India soon.
"To express strong friendship with India in its fight against a new wave of Covid-19 pandemic, Taiwan is delivering critical medical supplies to India. The first batch of 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders have arrived in New Delhi on Sunday," the TECC said.
The TECC is Taiwan's representative office in India.
"Taiwan's deployment of medical supplies is testament to the close collaboration and partnership across multiple agencies on both sides. It also reflects the robust relief efforts and contributions made by the government and people of Taiwan to bring humanitarian relief to India," it said.
India does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but both sides have trade and people-to-people ties. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory. Taiwan's aid to India came amid reports of violations of Taiwan's airspace by Chinese military jets.