New Delhi: Pakistan on Saturday offered ventilators and other medical equipment as a “gesture of solidarity” to India, facing a devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 late Saturday night.
It said that concerned authorities of Pakistan and India could work out the modalities for quick delivery of relief items. “They can also explore possible ways of further cooperation to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic,” said the statement.
Earlier in the day, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had tweeted sympathy for the victims of the pandemic in India. “Our prayers for a speedy recovery go to all those suffering from the pandemic in our neighbourhood & the world,” he posted.
On Saturday, India recorded 3.49 lakh news cases in the last 24 hours, with deaths standing at 2,760.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been volatile in the last several years. There has been a relative thaw following the agreement to strictly implement the ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control in February this year.
Pakistan follows a series of other countries that have been extending sympathy and making offers of assistance.
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter to also expressed “solidarity” with India.
Iran stands in solidarity with India as she braves one of worst episodes of disastrous pandemic, which has become humanity’s #CommonPain.
Our condolences to bereaved families & prayers for speedy recovery of all afflicted.
Global coop imperative to end to this global tragedy. pic.twitter.com/iiZJowMR8x
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 24, 2021
So far, the Indian government has not responded to these offers.
The Indian embassy in Germany tweeted that contributions, including oxygen generators, concentrators and bottles, could be made to the Indian Red Cross.
Wir danken allen, die 🇮🇳 in dieser schwierigen #Covid Situation unterstützt haben. Dringende Beiträge & Spenden, inkl. Sauerstoffgeneratoren, -konzentratoren, -flaschen usw., können über @IndianRedCross gemacht werden.
Infos zu benötigten Unterlagen erteilt @eoiberlin
— India in Germany (@eoiberlin) April 24, 2021
The Indian high commission in the UK, however, posted on Twitter that offers of help to procure oxygen cylinders, concentrators and in-situ oxygen manufacturing plants should be routed to a nodal officer.
— India in the UK (@HCI_London) April 24, 2021
To mitigate the severe oxygen shortage, the Indian Air Force had airlifted four cryogenic oxygen containers from Singapore on Saturday. Besides, the defence ministry announced that 23 mobile oxygen generation plants would be airlifted from Germany.
The Indian government is also in talks with Russia and China to import medical equipment in short supply, as Indian hospitals have nearly collapsed under the relentless surge of COVID-19 cases.