Kuwait one of first countries to come forward
KUWAIT CITY, May 8: “I thank our Indian doctors, nurses and medical professionals who are making many sacrifices here in Kuwait, in India and across the globe. It is their hard work and sacrifice that continue to save lives,” said the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait HE Sibi George as he focused on the evolving Covid 19 situation in India and the assistance being received from abroad. He was speaking at the Embassy Auditorium to highlight the topic of Indian community in Kuwait; on the Covid 19 situation in India and highlight the assistance India has received from abroad. The ambassador said, “We are now suddenly faced with a new evolving situation due to spike in Covid 19 cases in India in recent weeks. I would not like to get into the scientific and medical aspects of the pandemic which is for scientists and medical experts to address. The fact is that the second wave of Covid 19 pandemic has now hit our motherland hard and us here in Kuwait too as the travel to and from India has been completely stopped. All flights including the air bubble which helped the Vande Bharat mission where Indians in Kuwait could return directly to India has also been stopped.”
As new single day infections on May 7 showed 400,000+ cases ten states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan accounted for 71.81% of the new cases. At the same time, the cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered has crossed over 164,900,000 as the Phase-3 of the nationwide drive expands further. On the assistance from abroad when India is faced with the second wave, the world has come forward to help India. External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar said in his interview to ANI in London this week, “The kind of situation which I am seeing and you are seeing in Delhi, I will do everything in my power to get help to our people. So I will leverage all my relationships, I will call in every ‘I owe you’ I have and I have many because I have done my shift in the past and people know that. I had Foreign Minister saying this I would like to do this. There are people who say at least I am morally with you, I feel I like to do something, I have limitations … For me, I have one objective; my people are going through a very difficult phase of Covid in the second wave. As Foreign Minister, as someone heading a Ministry which has relationships around the world, I will do everything which I have accumulated in many, many years to help my people, its natural.” Referring to what the Indian embassies can do abroad to support India, the Minister of External Affairs said, “Your job is to ensure that the key requirements — today oxygen is the major requirement, pharmaceuticals, Remdesivir, other medicines are a requirement, vaccine supply chain is a requirement, so logistics for all of this is a requirement. I have embassies which are working with shipping lines, with airlines, different countries creating hubs, you know how big the oxygen challenge is, so we are getting liquid medical oxygen, we are getting cryogenic tankers, we are getting oxygen tanks, oxygen cylinders, you have to locate them, organize them, send them and you have seen now that support is flying in from different countries, all of that requires coordination.”
The Government of India has been receiving international donations of Covid-19 relief medical supplies and equipment since April 27 from different countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Russia, UAE, USA, Taiwan, Kuwait, France, Thailand, Germany, Uzbekistan, Belgium, Italy, etc. The ambassador said, “In my various meetings with the community groups and associations I have been briefing them on this, and I am happy to see the ongoing drive to mobilize support for India on these lines. In the meantime, I am getting a series of queries from the community and from our various associations on what more can be done, what should be done. I thought it is important to address the community and brief you on the situation and update you on the assistance from abroad and particularly from our friendly State of Kuwait.
India and Kuwait have always stood with each other in times of difficulties. Kuwait was one of the first countries to come forward and offer support to India. The Kuwaiti Council of Ministers in a statement on April 26, expressed solidarity and extended support to India. The official statement read: “Based on the distinguished friendship between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of India and the keenness of the State of Kuwait to alleviate the suffering of the friendly Indian people in the face of this health disaster, the Council of Ministers has decided to send oxygen and other relief components to the Republic of India urgently in solidarity with the friendly Indian people and in recognition of the exceptional circumstances experienced by friends in India.”
Foreign Minister His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, in a phone call with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar reiterated the keenness of the Government of Kuwait to provide emergency relief and support to India. The ongoing assistance from Kuwait include 40 tons of assistance sent by Kuwait including Ventilators (11), Oxygen Cylinders (282), Oxygen Concentrator (60) and medicines and other medical equipment; INS Kolkata, departed Kuwait on May 4 with Kuwait govt assistance of Liquid Medical Oxygen; Donation by Indian community in Kuwait through Indian Community Support Group include Oxygen Cylinders Oxygen concentrators; Kuwaiti merchant Ship departed on May 5 with Kuwait govt assistance of Liquid Medical Oxygen (Three 25 MT semi-trailers totaling 75 MT LMO) and 1000 Oxygen cylinders; INS Kochi, departed Kuwait on 6 May with Kuwait Govt assistance of Liquid Medical Oxygen (Three 20 MT ISO cryo tankers totaling 60 MT LMO); Donation by Indian Community Oxygen Cylinders (800) & Oxygen concentrators (2); INS Tabar, departed Kuwait on 6 May with Kuwait Govt assistance of Liquid Medical Oxygen (Two 20 MT ISO cryo tankers totaling 40 MT LMO); Donation by Indian Community in Kuwait through Indian Community Support Group – Oxygen Cylinders (600).
A streamlined and systematic mechanism for allocation of the support supplies received has been put into place by India for effective distribution of the medical and other relief and support material. All donations are addressed to the Red Cross Society of India. A dedicated Coordination Cell has been created in the Health Ministry to coordinate the receipt and distribution of foreign COVID relief material as grants, aid and donations. The Ministry of External Affairs is operating a 24×7 Covid Cell which was created to manage a global effort to assist millions of Indians stranded by successive lockdowns, in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic, is coordinating and channelizing global efforts to source raw materials for our vaccines, pharma and medical industries, to source oxygen and oxygen producing equipment, and for coordinating the delivery of essential and relief supplies to India. It is important that we continue to support each other and remain alert. “I conclude by thanking HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister and the Government and the people of the friendly State of Kuwait for their support in this hour of need for India,” the Ambassador said.