India — Japan said on Friday it will provide a consignment of 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators to support India’s efforts to counter a devastating second wave of Coronavirus infections, joining a growing list of countries around the world that are sending much-needed aid.
Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki said in a tweet: “Japan stands with India in her greatest time of need.”
A statement from Japan’s foreign ministry said the emergency assistance was being sent to India in response to the current surge in infections.
“Today, April 30, upon the request of the Government of India, the Government of Japan has decided to proceed with the procedure to provide 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators to India in response to the current surge of Covid-19 infections in India,” the statement said.
“Japan stands with India, our friend and partner, in her efforts to fight against Covid-19 pandemic through this additional emergency assistance. Japan will continue to extend further support promptly in order to contain the Covid-19 situation,” it said.
As of Thursday, India had a total of 18.4 million positive cases and the cumulative death toll was 204,832.
The announcement about the aid came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga discussed cooperation in key areas, including creating resilient supply chains and ensuring reliable supply of critical materials, to overcome challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the conversation on Monday, the two leaders also discussed the Covid-19 situation in each other’s country and close India-Japan cooperation to overcome regional and global challenges due to the pandemic.
Modi had thanked Suga for providing aid to India to combat the pandemic, and expressed the hope he would be able to receive the Japanese prime minister in India in the near future after the situation stabilises.
Suga recently called off a planned visit to India and the Philippines because of the Covid-19 situation.
In January, Japan provided a loan of up to 30 billion yen (about Rs.2,129 crore) to support the Indian government’s efforts to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. This was the latest addition to Japan’s support to India in its fight against Covid-19.