• Tuesday, November 30, 2021
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 425,195
Total Cases 31,726,507
Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 425,195
Total Cases 31,726,507
Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549

Coronavirus

Victoria accused of not giving India promised ventilators

Representational Image (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE government of the Australian state of Victoria has been accused of betraying the promise of donating 1,000 ventilators to India to help it in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

In early May this year, when India was facing a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Victoria’s acting premier James Merlino announced that they would send to ventilators as part of a $41 million package, which also included supporting equipment such as connectors and humidifiers, Australia Today reported.

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“The situation in India right now is nothing short of devastating. We simply cannot sit by and do nothing. We must step up and provide real, tangible support,” Merlino wrote in a tweet then.

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“That’s why we’re sending 1000 ICU ventilators to support Indian doctors, nurses, and medical staff.”

However, a recent revelation in a public accounts and estimates committee hearing said that when Liberal Democratic member of the Victorian legislative council David Limbrick raised a question over the same, the state’s health officials said they did not know whether the pledge was fulfilled.

“I’m not sure,” Euan Wallace, secretary of the department of health, Victoria, said.

Australia Today cited government officials as saying that there were over 400 ventilators in Victoria’s stockpile and they would seek to confirm details on whether the promise of giving the ventilators to India was kept.

While it is understood that the Indian government advised that the donation of the medical equipment was no longer required in June, high-placed sources in the Indian ministry of external affairs played diplomatically when asked about it.

“Our requests were very specific to our friends, However, we would not comment who promised what and whether those promises were 100% fulfilled,” a top official in the Indian ministry told the Australian news outlet.

Even officials of the Indian High Commission in Canberra were not ready to reveal much on the issue.

On June 4, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne released a statement saying 19 of India’s 36 states and union territories had received Australian medical supplies from earlier deliveries, including 300 ventilators and 250 oxygen concentrators.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said, “India is a great friend of Australia and a comprehensive strategic partner. We share so much in common as peoples, as democratic nations, and we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences and our support to the nation of India and the people of India and the Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister Modi.”

While Victoria’s donation was first sought to be made through the commonwealth’s donation of supplies to India, Australia’s federal government was not able to help with suitable shipping for ventilators, the Australia Today report added.

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