Canada extends helping hand to India in tackling raging Covid-19 crisis | World News - Hindustan Times
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Canada extends helping hand to India in tackling raging Covid-19 crisis

ByAnirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Amit Chanda
Apr 25, 2021 04:43 PM IST

As the Covid-19 pandemic ravages India, Canada has reached out to New Delhi with an offer to help in any way possible to alleviate the crisis

As the Covid-19 pandemic ravages India, Canada has reached out to New Delhi with an offer to help in any way possible to alleviate the crisis.

People carry oxygen cylinders after refilling them in a factory, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease in Ahmedabad, India. (REUTERS)
People carry oxygen cylinders after refilling them in a factory, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease in Ahmedabad, India. (REUTERS)

During the course of a press briefing on Saturday, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said Ottawa has communicated its willingness to assist India during these difficult times. She said, “We will stand ready with PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilators and any items that might be useful for the Government of India.”

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Anand, who is of Indian origin, was also quoted by the outlet Global News as saying that the Canadian government was in touch with India and through its high commissioner in New Delhi Nadir Patel is discussing “about a number of options that may be on the table for us to assist”. “We will continue to be engaged to assist wherever possible.”

Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, also underscored this point, tweeting, “We remain united with our friend and partner and stand ready to assist.”

Its Twitter handle Foreign Policy CAN added, “Our thoughts are with the people of #India in the face of the #Covid19 pandemic.”

Other senior Canadian leaders have voiced their support for India in this crisis. The country’s ambassador to the United Nations Bob Rae tweeted, “India’s tragedy is our tragedy.”

He said this was true not just morally but also empirically. “The virus in all its variants, is not national, or ethnic, or racial, it is global. It will continue to mutate, and destroy lives, until it is defeated everywhere. It will require a global effort,” he said.

Former Canadian cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi welcomed the offer of cooperation from Anand, as he tweeted, “It’s nice to see Canada stepping up to help Indian people in this time of need.” Sohi, who also has roots in India, added that “a lot of us are worried about our loved ones”.

In February this year, as the crisis became pronounced in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had reached out to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi with a request for vaccines. As a result, a deal to provide two million doses of Covishield, the version of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, was arrived at and the first consignment of 500,000 doses was sent to Canada in early March.

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