Hindustan Times thanks S'pore for providing oxygen-related supplies to India

The news outlet elaborated in detail the degree of aid that Singapore had provided by air and sea.

Matthias Ang | May 17, 2021, 12:50 PM

India media Hindustan Times thanked Singapore for being a "critical partner" to India, amidst a new surge of Covid-19 cases.

In a tweet, the media said that Singapore had "truly played the role of a comprehensive partner" in serving as a logistics hub for oxygen-related supplies, despite having the population of a "Delhi suburb".

The news outlet also gave an overview of the help that Singapore provided to India beginning in late April.

Extent of Singapore's aid to India

According to HT, the chain of events in Singapore helping India began with an exchange between India's Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, with a text message that was three sentences long.

This was then followed by a phone call, in which HT claimed that Jaishankar asked for the provision of medical oxygen, while Balakrishnan voiced his agreement that both countries should be kept in the loop on the matter.

Temasek's delivery

The date of the text exchange was given as April 22, three days before Temasek announced that Singapore had sent oxygen concentrators, non-invasive BiPAP ventilator machines, and other essential medical supplies to India.

HT said that 8,000 oxygen concentrators, 51,000 oxymeters, over 900 BiPAP machines and 27 ventilators were delivered in total.

Air delivery of oxygen-related supplies

Separately, the Indian Air Force (IAF) was also called in to begin transporting supplies from Singapore.

The first of these many deliveries began with the airlift of four cryogenic tanks, on April 24, for the purpose of transporting liquid medical oxygen from the eastern side of India to the Covid-stricken regions in the west and north.

HT further claimed that India has since procured 46 cryogenic containers from Singapore, with the IAF having sent them to locations such as Panagarh, Chennai and Ghaziabad.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also made its own delivery on April 28, with two C-130 aircraft carrying oxygen cylinders.

The following day, Singapore's Minister for Defence, Ng Eng Hen, said that he had spoken with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, about providing moral and physical support to India.

Medical supplies also delivered by ship

The news outlet also highlighted deliveries of medical supplies by sea, via two of the Indian navy's ships, the INS Airavat and INS Jalashwa.

A post by the High Commission of India in Singapore said that the INS Airavat arrived in Singapore on May 2, at Changi Naval Base, and left on May 5, carrying 3,650 oxygen cylinders of varying capacities.

As for the INS Jalashwa, HT added that the ship was scheduled to reach Singapore on May 15 to pick up 15 cryogenic containers, along with nearly 5,000 oxygen cylinders.

India's Minister of External Affairs expresses his gratitude

In a Facebook post put up on May 1, Vivian said Jaishankar had expressed his gratitude for Singapore's contribution of oxygen cylinders, as well as facilitating the transfer of cryogenic tanks, for the purpose of transporting oxygen to hospitals.

The sentiment was echoed by India's High Commissioner to Singapore, Kumaran Periasamy, who said that Singapore continues to serve as a key logistics hub for the country.
Speaking in Parliament on May 11, Balakrishnan said that Singapore was amongst the first countries to send oxygen cylinders to India.

Besides the Singapore government, other local entities such as Singapore Airlines have also contributed efforts to help India fight the second wave of the pandemic.

The Singapore Red Cross has also launched a fundraiser for the cause, coordinating contributions from the private and public sectors, Vivian mentioned.

"We will continue to work with our Indian friends during this difficult time and explore various avenues to help in areas that we can," he said.

Top photo via Vivian Balakrishnan Facebook