Sri Lanka is currently facing the third wave of the deadly coronavirus wave, amid to fight this difficult phase, India has sent about 150 tonnes more oxygen to Sri Lanka to help the island nation.
Sri Lanka’s nationwide lockdown was extended till September 13 on Friday, amidst a spike in the number of coronavirus deaths and increasing pressure on the healthcare system.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo tweeted on Saturday, Lifeline from India to Sri Lanka close to 150 tonnes of oxygen from Vizag and Chennai reached the shores of Colombo”
Following a personal request for assistance by the Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, India has been sending urgent supplies of oxygen to Sri Lanka since mid-last month, it said. Indian naval ship Shakti in August delivered 100 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen to Sri Lanka to help the island nation. India’s assistance to Sri Lanka during the pandemic has been diverse and need-based.
In April-May 2020, close to 26 tonnes of essential medical supplies were gifted. A currency swap of USD 400 million was given in July 2020. This was the first consignment of vaccines that was donated by India in January 2021, enabled Sri Lanka to roll out its vaccination programme ahead of the schedule, said the Indian High Commission.
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing a rapid increase in Covid-19 infections. As of Thursday, over 9,600 people have died due to the coronavirus and the total number of infections stood at 447,757. To contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country Sri Lanka, which has witnessed a series of lockdowns and curfews, has been impacted in terms of its economy.
The tourism sector, which generates a huge quantum of revenue for the island nation, has seen a drastic decline.