COVID-19 Crisis: Saudi Arabia to ship 80 metric tonnes of oxygen to India to meet growing demand
Dubai, Apr 26: Saudi Arabia is shipping 80 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen to India as the country is running low on supplies due to an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases.
India logged a record of 3,49,691 new coronavirus infections in a day on Sunday, taking its total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,69,60,172. The death toll increased to 1,92,311 with a record 2,767 daily new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
The supply shipment is being undertaken in cooperation with the Adani group and Linde company.
"Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/s Linde in shipping much-needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support, and cooperation," the Indian mission in Riyadh tweeted.
"Thank you @IndianEmbRiyadh Indeed, actions speak louder than words. We are on an urgent mission to secure oxygen supplies from across the world. This first shipment of 4 ISO cryogenic tanks with 80 tons of liquid oxygen is now on its way from Dammam to Mundra," Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani said in a tweet.
India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
To combat the growing demand for oxygen in the country, India has reached out to various countries to procure containers and oxygen cylinders under operation ''Oxygen Maitri''.
The Indian Air Force on Saturday brought four cryogenic tanks, to be used for transporting oxygen, from Singapore. The containers were airlifted from Singapore by C17 heavy-lift aircraft of the IAF.
The aircraft "with 4 cryogenic containers for storage of liquid O2 from Singapore landed at Panagarh airbase" in West Bengal on Saturday, a home ministry spokesperson tweeted.
The IAF was also transporting essential medicines as well as equipment required by the designated COVID-19 hospitals in various parts of the country.
On Friday, the Union Home Ministry said it was in talks for the import of high-capacity oxygen-carrying tankers from Singapore and the UAE.
Meanwhile, President of the European Council Charles Michel said in a tweet, "The EU stands in solidarity with Indian people amidst resurgent COVID19 pandemic. The fight against the virus is a common fight. We will discuss our support and cooperation at EU-India Leaders'' meeting on 8 May with @narendramodi and @antoniocostapm".
French President Emmanuel Macron has also extended support to India.
In a tweet shared by the Indian embassy in France, Macron said, "I want to send a message of solidarity to the Indian people, facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. France is with you in this struggle, which spares no one. We stand ready to provide our support."