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Covid-19: Australia to send oxygen, ventilators and personal protective equipment to India | India News


MELBOURNE: Australia will send oxygen, ventilators and personal protective equipment to India as part of an immediate support package to the country that is struggling with the latest spike in Covid-19 cases, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Monday.
The federal government was in the process of considering what it could send to help, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation news channel quoted Hunt as saying.
“India is literally gasping for oxygen,” the federal health minister said.
“And while we can help with the national medical reserve, your particular request is for assistance regarding the physical oxygen supply. That will be one of the things we are seeing, particularly with the states, ”said the minister.
The federal government also confirmed the shipment of oxygen, ventilators and personal protective equipment to India as part of an immediate support package to be announced on Tuesday, according to the report.
However, Australia would not send vaccines.
Hunt further said: “We are in a strong position on that front because we don’t need them right now. We will still keep a reserve, but if they can be of help (they will be donated) “.
The Cabinet Committee on National Security will meet on Tuesday to discuss any assistance for India, as well as any additional steps that may need to be taken to minimize the risk of spreading infections to Australia.
The government was also considering banning all flights from India following the massive increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
The cabinet meeting will discuss the temporary suspension of all repatriation flights out of India.
The move could affect thousands of people, including Australian cricketers currently playing in the Indian Premier League in India.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Australian Ambassador to India Barry O’Farrell, and officials from the health department, the trade and foreign affairs department and the interior department held discussions in recent days on how to address the emerging situation.
India is battling a second wave of the pandemic with more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases reported daily in recent days, and hospitals in several states are reeling from shortages of medical oxygen and beds.
India’s count rose to 1.73,13,163 on Monday, while active cases crossed the 28 lakh mark, with 3.52,991 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in one day, the highest so far, the ministry said. of health.
The death toll rose to 1.95,123 with a record 2,812 new deaths, he said.

Times of India