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Jakarta Post

China willing to help India in COVID-19 fight

China willing to help India in COVID-19 fight Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin takes a question at the Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing on November 9, 2020. (AFP/Greg Baker)
News Desk
Beijing, China   ●   Thu, April 22, 2021 2021-04-22 19:15 19 559f5bc8c5224ad06a25184c0a3ef943 2 World China,India,COVID-19,infection,vaccine Free

China is willing to help India as it fights a surge in coronavirus cases, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday.

China is aware that the epidemic in India has been severe recently, and there is a temporary shortage of necessary materials for epidemic prevention, said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman at the foreign ministry, quoted by Reuters. He was responding to a question at a regular media briefing about what action China is taking in view of the spreading epidemic in India.

"China is willing to provide the necessary support and help," Wang said, without giving details of what such assistance might consist of. "The novel coronavirus is a common enemy of all mankind, and the global community needs to unite as one to fight against epidemics."

India recorded nearly 315,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday and its health services are struggling to cope. Health officials in northern and western India said they were in crisis, with most hospitals full and running out of oxygen.

India reported Thursday that its tally of new daily coronavirus cases has topped 300,000 for the first time, as the South Asian nation of over 1.3 billion people grapples with a new wave of infections and a shortage of hospital beds.

The government said it recorded around 315,000 new cases over a one-day period, bringing the total to around 15.93 million cases, the second most in the world after the United States, Kyodo News reported.

India also reported 2,104 new fatalities from COVID-19, taking the total to around 185,000.

A so-called double mutation variant of the virus has been found in the country. The possibly more virulent variant is said to be driving the latest surge, but the government says that has yet to be proven.

Restrictions have been imposed in many parts of the country, while the cause of the rapid increase remains unknown. Local media have even reported the emergence of a triple mutation variant.

On Monday, the nation's capital region announced a six-day lockdown, with the local government warning its health system is on the verge of collapse.