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Saturday July 13, 2024

EU to ship urgently-needed medical supplies to India

Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden are currently sending supplies to India

By Khalid Hameed Farooqi
April 27, 2021
Family members and relatives carry the body of a person who died of Covid-19 at a cremation ground in New Delhi, India on April 26, 2021. — AFP/File

European Union  said Tuesday the bloc's member states would be sending urgently-needed oxygen, medicines, and medical equipment to India.

The development comes after India requested support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which is coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission.

This support has been extended in line with the coordinated effort by EU member states currently underway to pool their resources in responding rapidly to tackle the alarming epidemiological situation in India.

More EU support from the other member states is expected to be extended in the coming days, including from France and Germany.

The offers of support from the EU Member States via the Mechanism currently include:

Ireland — 700 oxygen concentrators; 1 oxygen generator; 365 ventilators;

Belgium — 9,000 doses of antiviral medicines Remdesivir;

Romania — 80 oxygen concentrators and 75 oxygen cylinders;

Luxembourg — 58 ventilators;

Portugal — 5,503 vials of Remdesivir; 20,000 litres of oxygen per week.

Sweden — 120 ventilators.

Meanwhile, Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, in a statement, said: “The EU stands in full solidarity with the Indian people and is ready to do our utmost to support them at this critical time. I would like to thank our Member States that came in numerously with generous offers of help, showing that the EU is a trusted partner and a friend at times of need."

The objective of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is to strengthen cooperation between the EU Member States and the six participating states in the field of civil protection.

If the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the mechanism.

Following a request for assistance through the mechanism, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre mobilises assistance or expertise. The Centre monitors events around the globe 24/7 and ensures rapid deployment of emergency support through a direct link with national civil protection authorities.

Any country in the world, but also the United Nations and its agencies or a relevant international organisation, can call on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for help.

EU and COVAX

"Team Europe is committed to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its health, social, economic, humanitarian, security and political impacts. With this approach, the EU is showing leadership, responsibility, and solidarity with those most affected by the pandemic," the statement said.

Team Europe remains at the forefront of global efforts to ensure international access to vaccines, with a €2.47 billion contribution to the COVAX initiative, it said.

"Till date, over €40.5 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide," it added.