On Friday, China Said that it was willing to talk to India about what it needs to tackle the huge rise in coronavirus cases, a day after offering New Delhi much-needed assistance and support.
India has registered 314,835 new coronavirus cases, on 22nd April the highest single-day count recorded anywhere in the world since the pandemic began last year. In the same time frame, India’s death toll from the disease increased by 2,104. The increase in Covid-19 cases has placed a strain on medical facilities, with hospitals in parts of India running out of critical medical supplies such as oxygen.
“China is willing to communicate (on) specific matters with India according to its needs,” the ministry said.
It was unclear if Beijing had formally informed New Delhi of its intention to assist in the fight against the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India. Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said on Thursday that Beijing was aware of the severity of the epidemic in India and that there was a temporary shortage of required materials for epidemic prevention.
At the daily ministry briefing, Wang was responding to a query from Chinese official media about what action China was taking in light of the spreading epidemic in India. Without elaborating on what such assistance could entail, Wang had said “China is willing to provide the necessary support and help.”
“The novel coronavirus is a common enemy of all mankind, and the global community needs to unite as one to fight against epidemics,” he further added.
India was one of the countries that assisted Beijing with medical supplies last year when the Covid-19 outbreak was at its peak in China. At the time, India had sent China 15 tonnes of medical supplies, including masks, gloves, and emergency medical equipment, for a cost of about 2.11 crore.
When the first wave of the pandemic hit India in April, China returned the favour by dispatching hundreds of aircraft with Covid-19-related medical supplies.
390 tonnes of medical supplies, including RT-PCR test kits, Rapid Antibody test kits, and personal protection equipment, were loaded onto flights bound for India from Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xi’an, and Hong Kong.
However, relations between India and China soon deteriorated to their lowest point in decades as a result of military clashes along the disputed border in eastern Ladakh. The two countries are still working to defuse the crisis almost a year later.