SINGAPORE: The Singapore Government has sent a consignment of oxygen cylinders to support India’s COVID-19 pandemic response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday (Apr 28).
This comes as India continues to battle a new wave of COVID-19 infections, with hospitals starved of life-saving oxygen having to turn away patients.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force will transport the cylinders on board two C-130 aircraft from Singapore to the state of West Bengal.
Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman handed over the two planeloads of oxygen cylinders to India’s High Commissioner P Kumaran at Paya Lebar Air Base on Wednesday morning.
Part of the oxygen cylinder consignment being loaded into the Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 aircraft. (Photo: Ministry of Defence)
“We have all witnessed in the past year how this pandemic is a transboundary threat,” Dr Maliki said at the air base.
“It gives no regard for country, nationality, or race. This is exactly why we must work collectively to support each other,” he added.
Singapore and India share a close relationship, Dr Maliki said, thanking the Indian government for continuing to work with Singapore throughout the pandemic by “keeping supply chains open and essential goods flowing”.
“While our contribution is modest, we hope that it will bring comfort and relief to those in need and encourage those on the frontline in India, who are working tirelessly, to fight on,” Dr Maliki said.
“I have no doubt that the fighting spirit of the Indian people will prevail.”
Minister Maliki Osman and Indian High Commissioner P Kumaran interacting with the Republic of Singapore Air Force crew involved in the operations. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore)
READ: COVID-19 situation in India ‘beyond heartbreaking’: WHO chief
Singapore investment firm Temasek has also sent medical equipment, including four cryogenic oxygen cylinders donated by India’s Tata Group. That consignment landed in West Bengal over the weekend.
The explosion in infections in India – 350,000 new cases were recorded there on Tuesday alone – has driven a surge in global cases to 147.7 million and the virus has now killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide.
With a population of about 1.3 billion people, India has so far reported nearly 18 million COVID-19 infections and almost 200,000 deaths, although experts believe the true tally runs significantly higher.
The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, the European Union and the World Health Organization have also promised to rush supplies to India.
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