Pakistan offers to help virus-ravaged India

By Aamir Latif


KARACHI, Pakistan (AA): Pakistan on Saturday offered to help longtime rival India in its efforts to stem a catastrophic COVID-19 wave that has ravaged the world’s second-most populous country.

“As a gesture of solidarity with the people of India in the wake of the current wave of COVID-19, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support to India including ventilators, BiPAP, digital X-ray machines, PPEs [personal protective equipment] and related items,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Prime Minister, Imran Khan, announced Pakistan’s support for the people of India.

“I want to express our solidarity with the people of India as they battle a dangerous wave of COVID-19. Our prayers for a speedy recovery go to all those suffering from the pandemic in our neighbourhood & the world. We must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together,” he tweeted.

The Edhi Foundation, Pakistan’s largest humanitarian agency, on Friday offered to send a fleet of 50 ambulances and staff to help in India’s fight against the pandemic. New Delhi has yet to respond to the offer.

The offer comes amid a recent thaw in heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

The concerned authorities of Pakistan and India, the statement said, can work out modalities for “quick delivery of the relief items.”

“They can also explore possible ways of further cooperation to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic,” the statement concluded.

A staggering surge in infections has kept India’s daily case count over 300,000 since Thursday, hitting another global record of 346,786 on Saturday, with a daily death toll at 2,624.

The spiraling crisis has pushed India’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse and caused a crippling nationwide shortage of oxygen supplies.

The country’s overall tally is now over 16.6 million, including 189,544 fatalities.

[Photo: Covid-19 patients get oxygen on the spot provided by Sikh Organization at Gurdwara in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India on April 24, 2021. Photographer: Amarjeet Kumar Singh/AA]

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