Madrid. 12 May 2021. The State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, the State Secretary for Health, Silvia Calzón, together with the Indian Ambassador to Spain, Sanjay Verma, and the Director of the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Centre, Fernando Simón, visited the cargo terminal at Barajas International Airport to supervise the shipment of medical material that will be sent to India tomorrow on a commercial flight with a stopover in Saudi Arabia.
This aim of this shipment is to contribute to tackling the second wave of COVID-19 that has hit India, which currently has the highest rate of positive cases in the world – an average of 380,000 infections a day, and the third highest in number of deaths, behind only the United States and Brazil.
In response to the call for international aid made by India on 23 April through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, which Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic have also responded to through the European Union, Spain will send a total of 167 respirators and 121 oxygen concentrators, as well as consumables such as filters and face masks, amounting to the value of some 2 million euros.
Of this total volume of material, 111 oxygen concentrators, 22 respirators and the consumables have been acquired by the Humanitarian Action Office of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID), while the Ministry of Health has donated 10 oxygen concentrators and 141 respirators, as well as 4 respirators manufactured and donated by the Spanish company Inbentus.
During her visit to Barajas, the State Secretary for International Cooperation stated that for Spain and the European Union, “it is an unquestionable duty to respond to the suffering of so many people; this is an ethical duty and a necessity to seek to overcome the scale of this crisis”.
For her part, the State Secretary for Health declared that “we are facing a pandemic with global repercussions, which can only be addressed on a global basis, and hence requires the aid and solidarity of everyone”.
The Indian Ambassador expressed his gratitude, on behalf of the people and Government of India “for Spain’s support and solidarity in the fight against the second wave of COVID-19”, and stressed that “this is a gesture that strengthens the close and long ties between our two countries”. He also recalled that “at the start of the pandemic, India provided material to other countries, and hence we express our gratitude which is a reflection of mutual cooperation and good-will”.
The shipment, arranged by AECID, will arrive in New Delhi on Monday, 10 May and will be handed over to the Indian Red Cross for its distribution. A second shipment is also scheduled to be sent from Barajas next week.
Outside of the European Civil Protection Mechanism, another shipment will be sent tomorrow from Barcelona with 400 respirators and 200 oxygen concentrators from the organisations Vicente Ferrer Foundation and Open Arms with the support of civil society agents and the Regional Government of Catalonia.