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Monday, March 4, 2024

Pakistan stands with India, Saudi gives oxygen, while Biden admin refuses vaccine material

HealthPakistan stands with India, Saudi gives oxygen, while Biden admin refuses vaccine material

During the fury of COVID’s second deathly wave which struck India devastatingly, Pakistani citizens in a unique beautiful gesture urge PM Imran Khan on Twitter to help India with oxygen amid crisis of “India gasping for air,” with the sudden surge in COVID cases.

The rising death rate, disturbing visuals, sad pictures and tragic stories on Twitter revealing the ramifications of the devastation of the pandemic in India gained great attention on Twitter.  Saudi also reached out to India supplying oxygen; however, disappointingly, USA declined to lift an export ban on raw materials needed to make COVID-19 vaccines.

Many hospitals have put out SOS messages on Twitter asking for help with oxygen supply to save patients and the matter reached the high courts and Supreme Court.  #IndiaNeedsOxygen trended on Pakistan Twitter, where many Pakistanis are asking Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan to help India with oxygen supply and this move ignited a rare new warmth between the two nations.  Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, offering help in the form of ‘a fleet of 50 ambulances’ and other services.

The Supreme Court on Thursday stated that it expects the Central Government to come out with a “national plan” on supply of oxygen and essential drugs for treatment of infected patients and method and manner of vaccination against the disease.

In the global response to India’s call for help, in Saudi Arabia, the Indian Embassy in Riyadh announced about 80MT of liquid oxygen are also expected to be flown to India from a company in Saudi Arabia.  The Indian Embassy tweeted, “Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/S Linde in shipping much needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our heartfelt thanks to Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support and cooperation.”

In America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges the Biden administration to release millions of AstraZeneca vaccines to India and Brazil, drastically hit by COVID-19,but the Biden administration refuses India’s request to lift an export ban on raw materials needed to make COVID-19 vaccines.

The US State Department said that the US is focusing on vaccinating the American people when asked about sending raw materials to India for vaccine production. This response came after the Serum Institute of India asked the US to lift an export ban on these materials, the response was first obligation is to Americans, says US.

It was also said, “It’s of course not only in our interest to see Americans vaccinated; it’s in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated.” This seemed to suggest that Indians’ vaccination was less important.  Some estimates suggest that the US export ban could last another month and certainly, at the critical peak that India is facing with its high population of over a billion people, this did not sit well with India.

While India did not get a favorable response from USA, the help from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s outreach is stirringly heart warming at such a dreadful time in the world.

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