Wednesday 5/12/21

Finland offers assistance to help India fight Covid-19 epidemic

The government is prepared to send oxygen concentrators via the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism.
27 April 2021, India, Prayagraj: Family members wait with bodies of their relatives who died of Covid-19 to be cremated at an electric crematorium in Prayagraj. India hit record numbers of Covid-19 infections worldwide for the sixth day running on Tuesday, as health systems buckled under the pressure, and shortages of medical oxygen and hospital beds led to more deaths. Photo: Prabhat Kumar Verma/ZUMA Wire/dpa
Family members wait with bodies of their relatives to be cremated at an electric crematorium in Prayagraj. Photo: Prabhat Kumar Verma/dpa.

Finland has offered to provide India with material assistance to help the country in the extremely difficult Covid-19 crisis.

The Nordic country is prepared to send oxygen concentrators to India via the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, according to a government press release.

“Finland considers it important that we respond to India’s request for assistance. An international request for assistance tells about the severity of the coronavirus situation and the depth of the crisis in the healthcare system,” says Kimmo Kohvakka, Director General for Rescue Services at the Ministry of the Interior.

“India is one of the EU’s strategic partners in Asia. The partnership involves solidarity at critical times. India helped other countries of the world by donating and exporting Covid-19 vaccines manufactured in the country. Finland and the EU are willing to help India,” says Piritta Asunmaa, Director General of the Department for the Americas and Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

“Finland's response to the request for assistance is an excellent example of the good cooperation between public authorities and business in security of supply and material preparedness. This helps to ensure that Finland is well prepared for and capable of providing assistance to others in distress, says Jaakko Pekki, Director at the National Emergency Supply Agency.

India has asked the EU to send material assistance in the form of oxygen concentrators and medical supplies

India has requested support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to tackle the crisis, which has overburdened the country's healthcare system.

Medical supplies

Medical supplies and oxygen are currently in short supply and hospitals are not able to admit new patients. India has reported over 16 million cases associated with Covid-19 and nearly 200,000 deaths.

The Finnish Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the National Emergency Supply Agency and Oy Linde Gas Ab, which will provide the oxygen concentrators, have prepared Finland’s response to the request for assistance together.

The European Commission is coordinating the pooling of assistance and supports Member States in the arrangement of logistics and in transport costs.