The first consignment of oxygen generators and concentrators from Israel arrived in Delhi on Wednesday, as the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government there extended its strong support to India in its battle with the catastrophic second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
More such flights will follow throughout this week, carrying emergency medical aid, including group and individual oxygen generators, respirators, medications, and additional medical equipment, as per an official statement issued by the Israeli Embassy here.
Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel to India, said in a statement, “In this hour of need, our two democracies stand solidly side by side. The state of Israel is happy to lend a helping hand to our friend India in this complicated and difficult time. Our friendship is strong and collaboration during the Covid-19 crisis will only make it stronger. I see great importance in the cooperation with India in this joint fight against the global pandemic.”
This comprehensive delivery of medical equipment to India is the result of the cooperation of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the National Security Council, Health Ministry, Finance Ministry, and Control Centre, together with full coordination with the Indian government through the Indian Embassy in Israel, the statement said.
A task force was set up to gather support for Israel’s aid to India. Several private entities, Israeli companies, NGOs and the people of Israel have come together to contribute towards this aid.
“In the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Israel, India mobilised to assist Israel, and within this framework approved the air delivery of masks, gloves, and raw materials for medications to Israel, and also helped arrange the repatriation of Israeli citizens. Now, Israel is proud to reciprocate this significant gesture,” the Embassy said.
Last year, a high-ranking Israeli delegation had travelled to India and completed a series of tests to determine the effectiveness of several Israeli technologies developed for the rapid diagnosis of Covid-19. This was called ‘Operation Open Skies’.
The statement said that Israel delivered aid and supplies, including ventilators, that were exported to India following an exceptional approval. In recent months, the Embassy contributed advanced medical equipment and technologies to hospitals in Delhi, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The past few years have cemented the strategic relations between India and Israel, includig two historical visits by the Prime Ministers of both the nations.
Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, both countries have shared mutual assistance in dealing with the virus and are committed to joint technological and scientific research.