India has reportedly drawn up a medical assistance plan worth over a hundred crore rupees to bolster its diplomatic outreach with over 90 countries amid the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. This apart, India is already supplying drugs and equipment to various countries.
The new amped up medical assistance from India is expected to cost ₹110-120 crore, reported Hindustan Times on Monday (May 11). The country has already pledged to supply medical items and testing kits worth ₹60 crore to 67 nations, the report said.
Quoting a top government official, it said various countries have requested India for assistance and the foreign ministry is likely to accept those requests “in view of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s clear directions.”
Another senior government official said that out of the 67 countries, India has already delivered consignments in 29 nations in South and Central Asia, Gulf, and Indian Ocean regions, besides other countries. Hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol drugs were delivered to six African countries as well.
“We have reached aid worth ₹28 crore to these 29 countries. Consignments worth ₹13.6 crore are in the pipeline,” the report quoted the official as saying.
The official said Indian Navy had deployed its 5,600-tonne INS Kesari for the purpose of delivering medical teams and supplies to nations in the Indian Ocean region. According to the report, the vessel is carrying two medical assistance teams which will be deployed in Mauritius and Comoros.
India has committed to medical assistance worth over ₹17 crore in its immediate neighbourhood, the report said. Quoting an official, it said 40 per cent of the committed assistance has been delivered, while the remaining will be delivered in the SAARC countries this week.
India has also sent Rapid Response Teams, comprising of medical personnel, to Kuwait and Maldives, and is extending technical assistance as well, the report said. In the region, the country has so far provided COVID-19 assistance worth ₹8.3 crore, it said while attributing it to an official report.
Besides, about 50 other countries, including those in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean region will also be receiving medical aid from India. The country has also received requests for assistance from several other countries in Western Asia and North Africa region.