BEIJING, KOMPAS.com – India's Covid-19 cases are seeing a sharp rise, compounded by a critical shortage of medical oxygen.
The number of daily Covid-19 cases in India reached internationally unprecedented levels for the second day in a row. On Friday (April 23, 2021) around 332,730 new cases of Covid-19 and 2,263 deaths were registered.
Meanwhile, authorities across the country are scrambling to address shortages of oxygen used to treat patients suffering severe reactions to the disease that has sparked a global pandemic.
Due to the crisis, China reiterated its willingness to support the South Asian country.
Meanwhile, the United States (US) said it was also in talks with the New Delhi government.
“China expresses its sincere condolences to India for the recently deteriorating situation in this country,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a press conference reported by Newsweek on Friday (04/24/2021).
The Chinese government, he said, strongly supports the Indian government and its people in the fight against coronavirus.
“China is ready to provide support and assistance according to India's needs and is communicating with the Indian side in this regard.”
The offer mirrored that of his colleague Wang Wenbin on Thursday, and Zhao concluded with a message of hope: “We believe that the Indian people will soon defeat the virus.”
Separately, US White House press secretary Jen Psaki also discussed the issue at a regular press conference on the same day in response to journalists' requests.
“The United States expresses our deepest condolences to the people of India who are clearly suffering from this global pandemic,” he said.
“We are working with Indian officials at policy and expert levels to find ways to address the crisis.”
When asked specifically about help addressing India's oxygen shortage, he declined to provide details. However, Psaki emphasized the overall size of the aid sent from Washington to New Delhi.
“We have obviously provided various resources over this period, it is a huge amount, a significant amount, we are probably one of the world's largest donors to India when it comes to its health needs,” he added.
“It depends on various supplies and training, but I would look at whether oxygen specifically is a part of our assistance during this time.”
Psaki said the US had committed $4 billion (Rp58 trillion) to the United Nations (UN) global vaccine initiative Covax.
In addition, $1.4 billion (Rs 20.3 trillion) in health assistance was allocated to India to help the country prepare for future pandemics and address current issues. This also includes the provision of emergency supplies to India, including ventilators.
He also highlighted the U.S. and India's membership in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a dialogue of a group of countries that also includes Australia and Japan, and said the four had made cooperation on vaccines a “major priority.”
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