COVID crisis: Singapore, Canada rush to India’s help with financial aid, oxygen

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a humanitarian aid of $10 million while Singapore’s second minister for foreign affairs Maliki Osman handed over oxygen cylinders and cryogenic vessels to the Indian high commissioner

Singapore’s second minister for foreign affairs Maliki Osman (right) formally handed over the assistance to Indian high commissioner P Kumaran at Paya Lebar airbase. Pic: Twitter

After the UK and the US, Singapore and Canada on Wednesday (April 28) pledged support to India in its fight against COVID-19.

Canada declared a humanitarian aid of $10 million to the Indian Red Cross Society via Canadian Red Cross to buy medicines, including oxygen cylinders and ambulances. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “Right now, the people of India are facing a tragic situation. To help with everything from ambulance services to buying personal protective equipment, we’re contributing $10 million to @IndianRedCross through @RedCrossCanada. We stand ready to donate extra medical supplies, too.”

Canada’s international development minister Karina Gould said, “Canada stands with the people of India as they go through these difficult times. This funding will help meet some of the most urgent medical needs like purchasing and distributing essential supplies as well as supporting vital blood and ambulance services.”

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Earlier, Foreign minister Marc Garneau spoke with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Tuesday (April 27) and conveyed Canada’s solidarity with the people of India. Garneau promised that Canada is “exploring all options to support India’s urgent needs”.

Also read: Light tanks, fighter jets and more: India 3rd largest military spender in world

The Singapore government sent 256 oxygen cylinders for West Bengal on Tuesday. “Last year, [India] helped the world and [Singapore] by exporting essential medicines & supplies. Now, we stand with [India] as you fight Covid,” Singapore high commissioner Simon Wong tweeted.

On Saturday, the Indian Air Force airlifted four cryogenic tanks from Changi airport in Singapore that will be used to transport oxygen.

Singapore’s second minister for foreign affairs Maliki Osman formally handed over the assistance to Indian high commissioner P Kumaran at Paya Lebar airbase.

Singapore is among the first countries to send oxygen supplies to India during the second wave. More help is expected from the island nation in the coming days.

“We have all witnessed in the past year how this pandemic is a trans-boundary threat. It gives no regard for country, nationality, or race. This is exactly why we must work collectively to support each other,” he said.

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