World News, China, CoronaVirusOutbreak, SARSvirus, Vikram Misri

BEIJING: India will soon send a consignment of medical supplies to China to assist Beijing in combating the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Indian Ambassador Vikram Misri said on Sunday as he expressed solidarity with the people of China in their fight against the epidemic.

The death toll from COVID-19 outbreak in China has climbed to 1,665 after 142 more people died, mostly in the worst-hit Hubei province, officials said on Sunday.

“As a concrete step to tackle the outbreak, India will soon send a consignment of medical supplies to China,” Misri said, adding that this is a concrete measure which will fully demonstrate the goodwill, solidarity and friendship of the people and Government of India with the Chinese people.

He said India will do everything within its means to assist the people of China in this time of difficulty.

Indian officials said the details of the aid required by China are being worked out and the consignment would be sent as soon as they are finalised. Also, India has lifted the ban and cleared some of the medical equipment ordered by the Chinese importers to meet the requirements.

China has said that it needed medical masks, gloves and suits especially for the medical staff attending the virus affected patients. Masks also have become scarce in China in view of the nationwide demand in the last three weeks.

“During the past few weeks, the entire world has borne witness to the severity of the novel coronavirus outbreak and the tremendous challenges posed by it,” Misri said in a video message released to Chinese media outlets on Sunday.

“I wish to convey my solidarity and support to the Chinese people and Government in tackling this epidemic,” he said.

“We feel deeply for the people and the families that are affected by this epidemic. I would particularly wish to express support for the people of Wuhan City and Hubei province who have been most affected by this epidemic, and who hold a very special place in the hearts of the people of India,” he said.

Hubei and its capital Wuhan have become the epicentre of the virus and most of the fatalities in China have been reported from the province.

“The determination of the Chinese people and Government in dealing with this epidemic is evident to all of us. We hope that it will be effectively controlled in the near future,” he said. Misri said that India is also facing the threat of infections from the novel coronavirus epidemic and the country is working hard to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its citizens. “I once again express my support for all people in China affected by this outbreak, and I hope through courage, persistence and effective measures, we will be able to overcome this epidemic,” he said.

On February 9, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping, offering India’s assistance to China to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang appreciated Modi’s offer and said, “India’s acts of goodwill fully demonstrate its friendship with China”. PTI