By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], May 3 (ANI): The foreign aid to support India's fight against COVID-19 continues to pour and on Monday Italy, a member of the European Union, delivered an oxygen production plant and 20 ventilators.
The member states of the European Union are delivering medical aid following India's request for support as the country has witnessed a record surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of pandemic. The aid is being provided through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which is coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission.
Several countries like Romania, Ireland, Germany, France and Belgium have already sent in the supplies and the flight from Italy carrying oxygen-related equipment arrived on Monday.
The flight was welcomed by Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca and Ugo Astuto, European Union Ambassador to India.
Vincenzo De Luca said that an oxygen production machine is being given to a hospital in Noida to save lives in the pandemic.
"Special flight landed in Delhi from Italy and we are going to deliver an oxygen production machine and it is very important to supply to a hospital. This will go to a hospital in Noida. They will be able to provide oxygen to 100 patients all at one time and to thousands in many days to come. We are glad and happy as a member of European states to supply this aid to India in this very difficult moment," he said.
He noted that other supplies including ventilators are also being procured and there were ventilators in the flight that landed on Monday. .
"Our companies operating here in India and are helping Indian government in the production of oxygen. We have a company in Tamil Nadu that produces oxygen. They are increasing their production and also ensuring a container for transportation of oxygen," the Italian Ambassador said.
Praising India for the help it extended to other countries when they were battling the pandemic, Ugo Astuto said that European Union which has 27 member states, wants to show solidarity with India "just like India has helped the world in past few months".
The EU has activated the European civil protection mechanism to coordinate the supplies from Europe.
The Ambassador said that the focus is on oxygen-related equipment and antiviral drugs.
"I would say the response is very substantial. In the past few days, we had flights coming from Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, today from Italy and many more are coming We are expecting another flight from Ireland tomorrow. So far we are focusing on oxygen and related equipment and also ventilators and anti-viral drugs such as Remdesivir. We will continue and we expect more supplies to arrive," he said. (ANI)