The Chief Cabinet Secretary in Japan Katsunobu Kato said on Friday that Japan is prepared to provide 300 respirators and 300 oxygen concentrators to India once talks are finalised. Kato however did not specify when the concentrators and respirators would be delivered. He said that they would be provided “swiftly” after all the discussions with India were finalised.
This is not the first time that Japan has helped India during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. In August last year, when India was facing health and economical problems amidst the pandemic, Japan announced that it will extend an emergency loan of up to 50 billion yen, approximately Rs 3,500 crore to help India fight the COVID-19 crisis. The help was given to improve the implementation of health and medical policies of the country and for the development of hospitals equipped with ICUs.
The statement which was issued by the Japanese Embassy said that the government has taken several measures in response to the spread of COVID-19, and the loan would provide the necessary funds for any emergency response that India would need to fight against COVID.
In early January this year, Japan also provided monetary assistance of 30 billion Yen which is around Rs 2129 crore to mitigate the socio-economic impact that the pandemic had on the country.
Both India and Japan exchanged notes for the “COVID-19 Crisis Response Support Loan for Social protection” in New Delhi in which Japan was represented by Suzuki Satoshi as its envoy. While India was represented by the Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance, Dr C. S. Mohapatra.
India has been struggling to secure medical oxygen and hospital beds as the cases of coronavirus have seen a huge surge. On Wednesday, the death toll in India from COVID-19 touched 200,000.
Many countries like the US, Australia, Singapore have promised assistance to India in order to tace the crisis caused by the pandemic.