Hours after promising aids to help India battle the pandemic, French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday put out a message of solidarity on Facebook in Hindi.
“No one is untouched by the pandemic we are going through. We know that India is going through a difficult period. France and India have always been united and we are ready to provide our support,” read the post.
“Solidarity is at the heart of our nation. It is at the centre of friendship between our countries. We will win together,” Macron wrote.
Earlier in the day, France announced that it is sending to India oxygen generators, liquid oxygen containers, ventilators and other medical supplies by air and sea to support the country in its fight against surging coronavirus cases.
The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said it is carrying out an “exceptional solidarity mission” to assist Indian people following a call for support by French President Emmanuel Macron.
“France and India have always stood by each other’s side in difficult times. This solidarity is at the core of our strategic partnership and the friendship between the Indian and the French peoples,” it said.
The US, Germany, Britain, Australia, Singapore, Israel and several other countries as well as the World Health Organisation and the European Union have already announced urgent medical assistance to India to help it deal with the situation.
“At the request of the President of the French Republic, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is fully mobilised to carry out an exceptional solidarity mission in support of the Indian people, who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic,” the ministry said.
“Coordinated by the ministry’s Crisis and Support Centre and carried out by the Embassy of France in India, the mission will involve shipping by air and sea freight by the end of this week,” it said in a statement.
French ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said the “massive solidarity mission” is being supported by the European Union and French companies present in India.
“This massive solidarity mission, initiated at Prez @EmmanuelMacron’s request, is supported by French companies present in India and the EU. It aims to both respond to the emergency and boost the long-term resilience of India’s healthcare system,” he said in a tweet.
The French foreign ministry said the medical supplies will include eight oxygen generators, each capable of uninterrupted supply of oxygen for a 250-bed hospital for nearly 10 years.
The ministry said five containers of liquid medical oxygen are being sent as part of the first instalment, adding they are capable of supplying medical oxygen to up to 10,000 patients per day. France is also sending to India 28 ventilators and their consumables, as well as 200 electric syringe pumps.