Europen Union to 'respond rapidly' to help Covid-stuck India

Brussels, Belgium: The European Union is planning to provide immediate assistance to India as it deals with a rising Covid-19 crisis that has seen infections and deaths reach all-time highs, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday.

"Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support," von der Leyen said on Twitter.

"The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India's request for assistance via the EU civil protection mechanism."

In an emergency, the process helps European Union countries to coordinate their assistance.

Janez Lenarcic, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, said that member states' contributions to oxygen and medication were already being organized.

Earlier on Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that her government was arranging emergency aid for India.

There was no immediate information about what Germany, the EU's largest economy, would do, but Der Spiegel weekly announced that the country's armed forces had received a request to assist in the organization of oxygen supplies.

The Indian healthcare system has failed to keep up with the massive increase in diseases, with warnings of extreme oxygen and drug shortages and patients' families begging for assistance on social media.

In the last 24 hours, the vast nation of 1.3 billion citizens reported 349,691 new cases and 2,767 deaths, the most since the pandemic began.

World offers help to India descending on Covid hell

The global front began pouring help to India in midst of an unprecedented surge in the novel coronavirus after the Government, lead by Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi went lax on restrictions and curbs followed by a temporary decline in cases earlier this year. 

On Saturday, Pakistan -- India's arch-enemy nation -- rallied to help India running short of oxygen as an influx of patients overwhelms India's hospital. 

#IndiaNeedsOxygen was trending on no. 1 of Twitter's trends. 

Among those offering, assistance from Pakistan is Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation, a charitable organization that offered 50 ambulances and emergency personnel in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan shared “solidarity with the people of India as they fight a dangerous wave of COVID-19” on Saturday.

China on Friday said it was willing to talk to India regarding what it needs to control the sudden outburst of COVID-19 cases, a day after offering to help New Delhi with necessary support and help, Hindustan Times reported

The Indian Air Force airlifted four cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore, the first such import a day after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar issued an appeal for foreign assistance for India's ongoing coronavirus crisis.

“We stand with India in its fight against Covid-19,” Singapore’s Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement, calling it a “bilateral and multi-agency effort.”

According to the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, approximately 80MT of liquid oxygen will be flown to India from a Saudi company.

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