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Covid-19: India says medical aid is support and friendship

By Standard Reporter | May 10th 2021

Kenya's Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and the Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Dr Virander Kumar (left) receive Covid-19 vaccine doses donated by India at the JKIA Airport, Nairobi, on March 11, 2021. [ David Gichuru, Standard ]

Terming COVID-19 as a "shared problem" and a "global crisis", External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says that India had earlier extended its friendship and support to other countries by sending medicines and vaccines and it is now being reciprocated in view of the surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

Speaking with ANI in an exclusive interview, Jaishankar said there is a need to understand the uniqueness of the problem being faced by the global community and people were connecting to the situation faced by India.

"As I said Covid is a shared problem. Now look at last year when it came or even this year when it came to medicines, we gave hydroxychloroquine, paracetamol, we gave to the US, we gave to Singapore, we gave to European countries, we sent medical team to Kuwait, we gave vaccines to some countries. Now what you describe as aid we describe as friendship as support," he said.

He was asked if there is a shift in India's policy and if it was now accepting aid. "I think this is to my mind not accurate way of projecting the situation," he added.

He said the world has never seen global crisis of this proportion and it requires people to come together. He said there should not be point-scoring.

"I think we have to understand the uniqueness of the problem we are facing today. So when you say it is not like before, look there was no COVID before. We never really had it in my lifetime. I am older than you. We have never seen a global crisis of this proportion, global crisis requires people to come together, so I think this kind of aid kind of argument this sort of point-scoring, I think people are not connecting conceptually to the problem," he said.

The minister said he will do everything in his power to "get help our for people" and leverage all his relationships. He said people in India were going through very difficult phase of COVID in the second wave.

"The kind of situation which I am seeing and you are seeing in Delhi, I will do everything in my power to get help to our people, so I will leverage all my relationship. I have done my shift in the past and people know that. I would like to do this. There are people who say at least 'I am morally with you, I feel I like doing something I have limitations'.

"We are getting support from outside. For me, I have one objective. My people are going through a very difficult phase of COVID in the second wave. As Foreign Minister, as someone heading a ministry which has relationships around the world, I will do everything which I have accumulated in many, many years. This is my duty. It is natural," he said.





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