India sends aid to Italy, the new global epicentre of coronavirus pandemic

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 22, 2020, 08.31 PM(IST) Reported By: Sidhant Sibal Edited By: Sonal Gera

File photo: Day seven of Italy's nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Rome. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

India has sent aid to Italy — a region that has become the new global epicentre of the pandemic — in terms of masks and medical equipment. This is despite India itself fighting the growth of the virus.

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has hit the entire world, cooperation is the only resort to bail humanity out of the crisis. India is upholding its share of responsibility.

India has sent aid to Italy — a region that has become the new global epicentre of the pandemic — in terms of masks and medical equipment. This is despite India itself fighting the growth of the virus.

Italy recorded a jump in deaths from coronavirus of over 780 on Saturday, taking the toll to almost 5,000.

The number of cases of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 341 on Sunday after fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said. Seven people have been reported to be dead.

Italy is grateful for the help.

Welcoming Indian "gifts", the Italian foreign ministry in a statement said, “We are grateful for the friendship and generosity in this time of need.”

Aid to Italy

India had last month provided 15 tonnes of medical assistance to China — comprising of masks, gloves and medical equipment.

The supplies were delivered by an Indian Air Force C-17 special flight which landed in Wuhan, China for evacuating stranded Indians.  

India has also provided support to South Asian countries -- Bhutan and Maldives, and is in the process to help Nepal under the announcements made during the SAARC COVID-19 meet. During the video conference, New Delhi had announced a COVID emergency fund and said its rapid response team was available to any SAARC country in the need.

The Indian government has been keeping a close watch on the preparedness of the health facilities in the wake of the rising number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

India observed an unprecedented shutdown on Sunday following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for a 'Janata Curfew’. Under this, people have been urged to voluntarily stay indoors to check the spread of coronavirus while public transport is suspended or curtailed and all markets and shops except those dealing in essential items are closed on the day.

PM Modi also asked the citizens to show appreciation for those who carried out essential services. People, hence, on Sunday clapped, clang utensils and rang bells in an unprecedented show of solidarity.