Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Israel flies medical aid to India

Israel began to send emergency medical aid to India yesterday to help fight the world's biggest COVID-19 surge. The Foreign Ministry tweeted this morning, "We are delighted that the first shipment containing oxygen generators and concentrators sent from Israel last night has now arrived in India. Israel is committed to helping our precious friend India to win this battle against COVID-19. Israel stands with India."

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday, "The extension of emergency assistance is an expression of the deep friendship between our countries in India’s time of need." Ashkenazi said that India is one of Israel's most important allies, adding that the two countries "share strategic ties that span a wide range of political, security and economic issues."

The Israeli aid includes thousands of group and individual oxygen generators urgently needed by the Indian health system along with medication, respirators and other medical equipment. Israeli telecommunications giant Amdocs donated 150 oxygen generators and the American Jewish relief organization Joint Distribution Committee donated equipment to the Jewish community in Mumbai.

This morning's shipment is a first in a series of flights expected to arrive to New Delhi’s Indira airport in the coming days. The Foreign Ministry has been working on coordinating the airlift ever since news emerged about the pandemic worsening in India. The Finance Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Israel-India Chamber of Commerce, the Israel Manufacturers Association and the Israel Export Institute all joined the effort. The nongovernmental organization Startup Nation Central called upon Israeli high-tech companies to donate and received many positive responses.

Israel has sent medical equipment to several countries over the past year. Last June Israel sent medical supplies to the Philippines, including tens of thousands of sets of protective gear. On April 6, Israel donated medical equipment to the Jos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. On April 15, the Israeli Embassy in Nepal offered the National Trauma Center of NAMS several patient monitors. On April 27, a delegation from the Tel Aviv Sheba Hospital Center went to Uruguay to share information and experience in battling the pandemic.

05/05/21 Rina Bassist/Al Monitor

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