Ireland to supply India with lifesaving equipment and resources as Covid ravages subcontinent

Ireland to supply India with lifesaving equipment and resources as Covid ravages subcontinent

LEO VARADKAR says Ireland will provide India with lifesaving equipment and other essential supplies as the subcontinent continues to grapple with a deadly second wave of Covid-19.

The distressing scenes of hospitals at capacity, oxygen supplies running out and rising death tolls have not gone unnoticed in Ireland or the rest of the watching world.

India’s plight is a personal one for the Tánaiste too – Varadkar’s father Ashok was born in Mumbai before moving to the UK in the 1960s to work as a doctor.

Taking to Twitter, he confirmed Ireland was working with the EU to formulate a rescue package to help medics in India fight back against the virus.

"There are many Indian people working in our health service. India is currently facing a terrible second wave causing suffering beyond our comprehension,” Varadkar said.

"We are assessing a plan to provide oxygen and ventilators to India working with the EU.”

Under the plan, the European Commission has activated EU Civil Protection Mechanism and is set to send oxygen and medicine to India after receiving a request from health officials Delhi.

"Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support," Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter

European Commission for humanitarian aid Janez Lenarcic also said: "The EU executive is already coordinating with EU countries that are ready to provide urgently needed oxygen and medicine rapidly.”

(Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP via Getty Images)

The UK is also sending out more than 6000 pieces of essential medical equipment.

The first of nine plane loads carrying life-saving ventilators and oxygen concentrators is due to arrive in New Delhi early on Tuesday.

Responding to the growing crisis in India, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to continue to provide support during the crisis.

"We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against Covid-19," he said in a statement.

The US, meanwhile, will supply raw materials for Covid-19 vaccines alongside protective gear and other medical equipment.

This includes therapeutics, ventilators and rapid diagnostic test kits. Plans are also afoot to provide India with oxygen generation supplies.

"The United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies," National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said.

India set a new global daily record for new infections on Sunday, with a further 349,691 cases confirmed.

That brings the total to 16.9 million.