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COVID-19 crisis: Saudi Arabia sends more oxygen to India

Saudi Arabia has sent more than 60 tonnes of oxygen to India a month after sending 80 tonnes to help the country cope with a fatal second wave of coronavirus.

More than 165,000 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in India, with approximately 3,500 deaths. In total, more than 300,000 people have died, mostly due to a lack of oxygen and hospital beds.

The first shipment of liquid oxygen will arrive in Mumbai on 6 June; the KSA will dispatch many more in the days and weeks ahead. 

The Kingdom stands in solidarity with its close friend India in this difficult time. Health cooperation between Saudi Arabia and India is one of the most critical aspects of a strategic partnership between the two countries and will continue as an essential area of focus. Since the early days of the pandemic, health cooperation between the two counties has been a constant. 

In Saudi Arabia

Tens of thousands of Indian doctors operate in Saudi Arabia’s hospitals and medical facilities. Saudis have maintained consistent supply networks of foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and medically related products throughout the pandemic’s phases.

The numbers are far lower than those recorded in April and earlier this month when the daily infection count was around 400,000 and more than 4,000 people died every day.

India’s situation overview

According to official figures, India has recorded 318,000 deaths since the outbreak began. In the following months, another 100 oxygen containers are expected to arrive.

When India was in severe need of oxygen, it called OPEC and held talks with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait to secure the life-saving commodity.

During Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to New Delhi in February 2019, the countries enhanced bilateral connections. They negotiated investment deals worth US$100bn in the energy, petrochemical, infrastructure, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors, and a proposed Strategic Partnership Council was formed in October 2019.

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has given 3 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Saudi Arabia.

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