UK to send 1,000 more ventilators ahead of Modi-Johnson virtual talks on Tuesday

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will maintain a virtual assembly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to agree a “huge range” of commitments to deepen cooperation between the 2 international locations, together with on combating the coronavirus pandemic, Downing Street mentioned on Sunday.

The authorities confirmed the talks schedule because it mentioned that 1,000 more ventilators will likely be despatched from the UK’s surplus provide to Indian hospitals to assist probably the most extreme COVID instances, as well as to 200 ventilators, 495 oxygen concentrators and three oxygen technology items the UK introduced as half of the help package deal final week.

“On Tuesday the Prime Minister will hold a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Modi to agree a huge range of commitments to deepen cooperation between the UK and India, including on fighting the coronavirus pandemic,” Downing Street mentioned.

“During his call with Prime Minister Modi, the Prime Minister will emphasise the importance of working with India to promote our shared values,” it added.

Besides the supply of much-needed tools, the UK authorities mentioned that England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance have spoken to their Indian counterparts to present recommendation, perception and experience to the Indian healthcare system because it offers with one of the world’s worse surges in COVID ranges. It has been agreed that the National Health Service (NHS) is to set up a scientific advisory group led by NHS England Chief People Officer Prerana Isaar to assist India’s COVID response.

Also Read | Covid: Switzerland to send oxygen concentrators, ventilators to India amid ‘challenging times’

“The UK will always be there for India in its time of need,” mentioned Johnson.

“The terrible images we have seen in India in recent weeks are all the more powerful because of the close and enduring connection between the people of the UK and India. I am deeply moved by the surge of support the British people have provided to the people of India and am pleased the UK government has been able to play our part in providing life-saving assistance,” he mentioned.

The new NHS advisory group effort will work with Indian establishments such because the All India Institute of Medical Services (AIIMS) to share expertise on managing COVID outbreaks. The group will embody researchers in public and international well being, alongside nursing and different well being professionals who’ve expertise of the Indian healthcare system.

“This support will help urgently meet some of India’s acute needs, particularly oxygen for patients. We are determined to help our Indian friends in their hour of need,” mentioned UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who will likely be internet hosting External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Britain for the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting and bilateral talks subsequent week.

“We need to all work together to defeat Covid-19. No one is safe until we are all safe,” Raab mentioned.

The UK authorities has welcomed the “powerful demonstration” of what Modi calls the diaspora “living bridge” between India and the UK, with British folks coming to the assist of India in large numbers.

“Businesses, civil society and the wider public have responded to appeals for help and launched funding drives. This includes the British Asian Trust’s ‘Oxygen for India’ emergency appeal, which is raising funds for oxygen concentrators to be rapidly deployed to Indian hospitals. The BAT appeal, which has been personally backed by the Prince of Wales, has raised more than GBP 1.5 million in the last week,” the federal government mentioned.

Virgin Atlantic additionally flew 200 containers of oxygen concentrators to Delhi on Saturday, after partnering with Khalsa Aid. Further cargo house will likely be given free of cost on six flights to India within the subsequent week, in affiliation with the Red Cross.

“India has also provided support to the UK throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As the ‘pharmacy of the world’ the country has kept its borders open to supply the UK with vital medicine and PPE [personal protective equipment] – exporting over 11 million face masks and 3 million packets of paracetamol over the course of 2020,” Downing Street mentioned.

It added that the world is “safer and stronger” as a result of of work between the UK and India, utilizing the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for example, which was developed within the UK, is presently being produced within the hundreds of thousands by India’s Serum Institute and will likely be distributed to the world at price by COVAX – the worldwide equitable vaccine entry facility.

“It is those shared values of openness and the pursuit of knowledge and scientific advancement for the betterment of our societies that lie at the heart of the relationship between the UK and India,” Downing Street mentioned.

“India is the largest democracy in the world, a fellow Commonwealth country and in June Prime Minister Modi will travel to the UK to attend the G7 Summit as a guest – one of four world leaders invited to join the Summit of leading democracies,” it added.

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