Bhutan to provide liquid oxygen to India to help combat COVID-19

Bhutan will supply about 40MT of liquid oxygen produced by its oxygen plant to Assam using cryogenic tankers. , the Indian embassy in Bhutan said.

Bhutan will supply life-saving liquid oxygen to India, which is battling an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, signalling a practical manifestation of the uniquely close and friendly bilateral ties, the Indian embassy in Bhutan said.

Every day, 40 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen produced by the oxygen plant will be exported to Assam using cryogenic tankers, the embassy said in a statement.

The liquid oxygen to India will be supplied from the new plant being set up at the Motanga Industrial Estate, Samdrup Jongkhar district by a Bhutanese company, S D Cryogenics Gases Private Limited, it added.

The oxygen plant has a domestic investment of 51 percent by the Bhutanese company and an FDI component of 49 percent by Assam-based Indian company Meghalaya Oxygen Private Limited.

This is a practical manifestation of the uniquely close and friendly ties between India and Bhutan, the statement said.

The provision of oxygen by Bhutan will augment India's efforts to win the fight against COVID-19 and save precious lives, it added.

In another development, New Zealand will provide 1 million NZ dollars (about $ 7,20,365) to the Red Cross to assist India as it grapples with a COVID-19 surge, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said on Wednesday.

"We stand in solidarity with India at this difficult time, and commend the tireless efforts of India's frontline medics and healthcare workers who are working hard to save lives," said Mahuta.

India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry said India's total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,76,36,307 with 3,23,144 people testing positive in a day, while the national recovery rate has further dropped to 82.54 percent.

The death toll increased to 1,97,894 with 2,771 daily new fatalities, it added.

Edited by Suman Singh