150 tonnes more oxygen has been supplied to Sri Lanka, by India. India has lent its helping hand to the island nation to combat the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sri Lanka had extended its nationwide lockdown till the 13th of this month amidst a surge in COVID-19 deaths and mounting pressure on the healthcare system.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo tweeted on Saturday, “Lifeline from India to Sri Lanka close to 150 tonnes of oxygen from Vizag and Chennai reached the shores of Colombo.”
Since mid-last month India has been helping out the Sri Lankan government to manage the Covid-19 situation in the country, urgently supplying the country with oxygen, following a personal request for India’s assistance by Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa.
Shakti, India’s naval ship, has already delivered 100 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in August, to help the nation. India has helped the county during the pandemic on a need-based basis and on varied terms.
Close to 26 tonnes of essential medical supplies were gifted in April-May 2020. A currency swap of USD 400 million was later provided in July 2020.
It was also India’s first consignment of vaccine donation, which allowed the Sri Lankan government to roll out their vaccination programme ahead of the planned schedule.
Sri Lank has witnessed a series of lockdowns and curfews, to contain the spread of COVID-19, as the country experiences a rapid rise in infections. As of 2nd September, over 9,600 people had succumbed to the coronavirus and the total number of infections stood at 447,757.
The tourism sector which generates a large part of revenue for the country has drastically fallen causing the country to scramble for help during the pandemic.
-Supratik Mitra (04/09/21)