Covid-19: India accepts 1st international aid in 16 years
New cases jump up to a massive 18.36 million confirmed cases.
As India battles with the Covid tragedy that has engulfed the entire country, it has finally opened up to accepting international aid for the first time in 16 years, as the world’s largest military aircraft left the US with help for the beleaguered nation.
The aircraft is carrying 440 oxygen cylinders donated by California, 100,000 N95 masks and nearly a million rapid diagnostic test kits. It has also sent nearly $25 million in assistance to India.
Ravaged by the ongoing pandemic, which has so far taken 204,812 lives (including 3,646 on Wednesday), and almost 380,000 new cases adding up to a massive 18.36 million confirmed cases now, India has also opened up for help from other countries including China.
A government source was quoted in the media as saying that the country has no conceptual problem of accepting oxygen equipment and life-saving medicines from China. However, it has still to take a call on aid from Pakistan.
India has over the past 16 years refused to accept foreign aid to help tackle natural disasters. Way back in early 2005, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that India could cope up with the crisis (the December 2004 tsunami) on its and would take foreign aid only if needed.
Since then it has not accepted global aid including for the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, the Uttarakhand floods in 2013 and floods in Kashmir in 2014.
Many countries had rushed with aid to help in many earthquake disasters including in Utarakhand (1991), Latur in Maharashtra (1993) and Gujarat (2001), besides the Bengal cyclone (2002) and the Bihar floods (2004).
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