Saudi Arabia has sent another consignment of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to India to help the country in its battle with the Covid-19 crisis.
According to Arab News, the kingdom on Sunday shipped 60 tonnes of oxygen to India, a month after it sent 80 tonnes to overcome the acute shortage during a deadly second wave of coronavirus.
Covid-19 has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people in India so far, primarily due to an oxygen shortage and a lack of hospital beds.
On Sunday, the South Asian country registered more than 165,000 new Covid-19 cases and nearly 3,500 deaths.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to India Dr Saud Mohammed Al-Sati called the oxygen shipment an expression of “solidarity with a close friend”.
“The shipment of liquid oxygen will depart from Dammam on Sunday and is expected to arrive in Mumbai on June 6,” he said.
“Many other such shipments will be sent in the coming days and weeks. The kingdom stands in solidarity with our close friend India in this difficult time. The recently announced shipment of 3 ISO tanks filled with 60 tonnes of liquid oxygen comes as a good gesture towards our friends in India to support their efforts to respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic of Covid-19.
The Sunday figures are a sharp drop from the numbers reported in April and earlier this month, when the daily infection tally stood at 400,000 and more than 4,000 people were dying every day.
According to official data, India has registered 318,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
But media reports and independent observers claim the real figure is several times higher, with the second wave claiming lives in major cities and also in rural areas.
“Deeply appreciate the gesture of HRH Prince Abdulaziz, Minister of Energy, KSA for the offer to send 3 ISO Containers with 60 tons of LMO (Liquid Medical Oxygen), which are expected to arrive in Mumbai on 6 June 2021,” Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted on Saturday.
1.Deeply appreciate the gesture of HRH Prince Abdulaziz, Min of Energy, KSA for the offer to send 3 ISO Containers with 60 tons of LMO, which are expected to arrive in Mumbai on 6 June 2021,and also to provide 100 ISO containers in the coming months to support #IndiaFightsCorona. pic.twitter.com/c9z98YoYcf— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) May 29, 2021
Pradhan said that 100 more oxygen containers were expected to arrive in the next few months.
“The gesture of Saudi Arabia is reflective of the close friendship and warmth between the leadership of Saudi Arabia and Hon’ble PM (Modi),” he added.
India contacted OPEC countries when it was in desperate need of oxygen and held talks with countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait to source the life-saving item.