Singapore sends two planeloads of medical oxygen to India amid Covid-19 surge
Singapore has sent a consignment of medical oxygen cylinders to support India's fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the country's foreign affairs ministry said on Wednesday. The second minister for foreign affairs Dr Maliki Osman flagged off two of the Singapore Air Force's C-130 aircraft, arriving in India with 256 oxygen cylinders, said Singapore's diplomatic missions in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.
The Indian Air Force also deployed its C-17 aircraft to bring three oxygen containers from Singapore to the Panagarh Air Base, an official statement on Wednesday said.
The critical supplies of medical oxygen of Singapore come amid the deadly, more infectious second wave of the coronavirus disease, with which India is currently struggling. Several hospitals across the country, including at the national capital, have reported serious oxygen deficit, even as patients scramble to get ICU beds and essential drugs. On Wednesday, India saw a record single-day rise of 3,60,960 Covid-19 cases, which pushed the total infection tally to 1,79,97,267, while the death toll crossed two lakh following 3,293 fresh fatalities.
The oxygen supplies from Singapore are arriving in two C-130 aircraft, which were handed over by Dr Maliki Osman to India's High Commissioner P Kumaran at the Paya Lebar Air Base on Wednesday morning.
“We have all witnessed in the past year how this pandemic is a transboundary threat,” news agency PTI quoted Dr Maliki as saying at the airbase. Singapore and India share a close relationship, the minister said, thanking the Indian government for continuing to work with Singapore throughout the pandemic by “keeping supply chains open and essential goods flowing”.
Singapore investment firm Temasek has also sent medical equipment while India's Tata Group donated four cryogenic oxygen cylinders sourced from Singapore. That consignment landed in West Bengal over the weekend.
(With inputs from PTI)