PARIS: France plans to offer India “significant” extra oxygen capacity in the coming days to help the country cope with a record surge in Covid-19 infections, the French presidency said on Sunday.
The assistance is to include badly needed oxygen ventilators, a source told AFP without providing further details.
France joins other countries such as Germany, Britain and the United States in coming to the aid of India, which with a new coronavirus variant spreading through its 1.3 billion people, has become the world’s top coronavirus hotspot in recent days, reporting 349,691 new cases on Sunday alone.
The EU as a whole is also preparing rapid assistance for India, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said earlier.
“Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support,” von der Leyen said on Twitter.
“The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India’s request for assistance via the EU civil protection mechanism.”
The mechanism allows European Union countries to coordinate their aid in cases of emergency.
India recorded 2,767 deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday — the highest since the start of the pandemic.
In the capital New Delhi, there have been reports of overwhelmed hospitals, severe oxygen and medicine shortages and patients’ families pleading for help on social media.