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A ‘Token of Friendship’: Israel Begins Sending Virus Aid to India

05-05-2021
Workers load medical aid onto an Air India plane to be flown to India, at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP)
Workers load medical aid onto an Air India plane to be flown to India, at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP)

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel sent a shipment of life-saving medical supplies to India on Tuesday to help the country fight a devasting new outbreak of the coronavirus. 

"You're witnessing now yet another milestone of the bond, the unbreakable bond between Israel and India,” Gilad Cohen, Deputy Director-General for Asia and Pacific Affairs at Israel's foreign ministry said at Ben Gurion airport. “Israel is standing now by India and sending medical equipment, oxygen generators and oxygen respirators, as well as medical equipment to our great friend. And we hope that this equipment will help (people to) survive and have the Indians recover from this COVID-19 that India is facing right now."

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Tuesday’s shipment was the first of many to be flown from Israel to India throughout the week.

"In the coming days, we are going to witness an airlift of Indian airplanes landing here at Ben Gurion Airport and collecting the next shipments that will be sent to India,” said Cohen. "During the first days of the pandemic in Israel early last year, India has sent us much-needed medical equipment, including gloves, masks, and materials for medicines. This is now a small token of friendship and reciprocity from Israel to India."

India is currently experiencing one of the worst outbreaks since the pandemic began. India's official count of coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million Tuesday, nearly doubling in the past three months. The country’s hospitals have buckled under the outbreak and many patients are suffocating to death due to a lack of oxygen.

The country’s death toll officially passed 220,000 on Tuesday as crematoriums work about the clock to handle the surge.

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