"Our first shipment of the oxygen concentrators and other supplies will leave [on a China Airlines flight] before the end of this week," said deputy foreign minister Miguel Tsao at a legislative session on Wednesday, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).
He further said that it would be the first of several shipments as Taiwan has made a long-term commitment to support India's efforts to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, describing India as a "like-minded and important international partner". The worsening COVID-19 situation in India has seen a surge in the demand for medical oxygen and beds for the patients and many parts of the country are reporting an acute shortage of essential medical supplies.
Several countries around the world have come forward to help India as it continues to struggle with rising coronavirus cases. According to Taiwan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu offered his support - via a deputy - to Gourangalal Das, director-general of the India Taipei Association, after learning of the situation in India.
The ministry then worked with local companies to ensure the speedy delivery of the medical equipment, she said. Earlier this month, Wu had said that Taiwan had worked with other democracies, including India, to provide its diplomatic ally Paraguay with COVID-19 vaccines after China had put pressure on the country to ditch Taipei in exchange for shots, reported SCMP.
Meanwhile, earlier today, India received a consignment of 120 oxygen concentrators from the United Kingdom to counter the surging coronavirus infections. The UK had earlier announced that it would send three oxygen generation units, each with the capacity of producing 500 litres of oxygen per minute, to India in support of the country's fight against COVID-19.
Prior to that, two Russian flights with oxygen concentrators, lung ventilation equipment, bedside monitors, medicines, including Coronavir and other essential pharmaceutical items landed in India to help the country in its fight against the COVID-19 surge. India once again recorded the highest single-day surge of COVID-19 infections, registering 3,79,257 new cases along with 3,645 deaths and 2,69,507 recoveries in the last 24 hours.