Asia Coronavirus (COVID-19) World

Tue 04 May 2021:

India received urgently needed coronavirus-related supplies on Tuesday from the UAE and Kuwait, among other countries, its foreign affairs ministry said.

The shipment included oxygen tanks and concentrators, ventilators, and other medical equipment. Coronavirus cases in India have hit record highs in the past couple weeks, and there are oxygen shortages throughout the country.

While shipments containing liquid oxygen tanks arrived from the UAE at the Mundra Port on India’s western coast, a flight carrying 282 oxygen cylinders, 60 oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies arrived on Tuesday from Kuwait, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said.

“Further consolidating our comprehensive strategic partnership, 7 ISO tanks with 20 MT liquid medical oxygen (LMO) each arrived at Mundra Port (India). First such shipment of LMO to India. Deeply value the support from UAE,” tweeted the ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.


“This will help augment oxygen availability,” the tweet said.

Kuwait’s Ambassador to India said a ship will depart from Al-Shuaiba Port on Tuesday for India carrying three tanks, each with a capacity of 25 metric tonnes, with a total of 75 metric tonnes, and 1,000 gas cylinders with a capacity of 40 litres and other relief material.

The UAE has previously sent cryogenic oxygen tanks to India, while Saudi Arabia has sent 80 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen.

Hospitals in India’s capital city Delhi and many other states have been sending an SOS for oxygen supplies as the number of Covid-19 patients requiring oxygen support has left hospitals scrambling for supplies. Patients in Delhi hospitals have died due to shortages.

The fresh consignments from the two Gulf countries – with which India has special relationships – is part of major international assistance to the South Asian country to help it to cope with the current crisis as its healthcare infrastructure is overwhelmed.

Anger against Modi government

Modi swept to a landslide re-election victory in 2019, offering Indians a muscular brand of nationalism that views India as a fundamentally Hindu country rather than the secular republic envisioned by its founders. He has cultivated an image as a singular leader capable of bold decisions to protect and transform the country.

Now that image is “in tatters,” said Vinay Sitapati, a political scientist at Ashoka University in the northern Indian state of Haryana. Modi and his governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) built a formidable machine for winning elections, Sitapati said, but their mind-set of continuous campaigning has come “at the cost of governance.”

Critics have called for Modi’s resignation, and the author Arundhati Roy described the current situation in India as a “crime against humanity.” The governing party rejects such criticisms. 

Over WhatsApp messages, texts, and calls, almost every day starts with news of someone’s death. Sometimes a close family member or a distant relative and sometimes a friend or a neighbour.

Each passing day exacerbates the fear of losing someone as gut-wrenching images and videos of people struggling to find medical needs – oxygen cylinders, remdesivir injections, hospital beds – and overwhelmed crematoriums and graveyards flash on social media and news channels.

India on Tuesday registered 357,229 new Covid-19 cases and 3,449 new fatalities in the preceding 24 hours.




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