With the resurgent COVID-19 outbreak wreaking havoc in Southeast Asia, India has shipped a total of 300 oxygen concentrators and 100 metric tons of liquid medical oxygen to Indonesia, a country most severely affected by the raging new variants of the coronavirus.
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar took to Twitter to announce that the Indian Naval Ship(INS) Airawat was on its way to Tanjung Priok in Indonesia with medical help. “India stands with its partners in the fight against covid,” the minister said.
Indonesia is amidst a galloping coronavirus outbreak, with record infections and deaths being reported in recent weeks. A report published in Reuters quoted health experts and epidemiologists saying Indonesia has become the most potent coronavirus hotspot in Asia. The current surge in the number of COVID-19 caseloads is fueled by the spread of the more virulent delta variant, with Indonesia leading the list of countries with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the last seven days, the report said. The country was second only to Brazil in the terms of fatalities reported.
Experts believe the peak of the current wave of the coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia is yet to come. For weeks now, Indonesia, home to about 270 million people, had been reporting thousands of daily cases and hundreds of death as the delta variant of coronavirus ravages the country.
The rising number of cases in Indonesia meant hospitals were working at near-full capacity while healthcare workers and equipment were stretched thin. Just a week ago, Indonesia sought help from countries across the world as the cases continued to soar dramatically.
The Indian Navy says the ship started out for Indonesia on July 16 and would be reaching there anytime soon.
This marks the first time that India has sent medical aid abroad after being hit by the second wave of coronavirus outbreak in April 2021. During that time, Indonesia had come to the aid of India in its fight against COVID-19 by donating 1,400 units of oxygen cylinders through the Indian Red Criss Society(IRCS).