In touch with foreign embassies & responding to their medical demands: MEA

·2-min read

New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) The Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday said it is in continuous touch with all foreign embassies in India and is responding to their medical demands, especially those related to COVID-19.

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the response to medical demands of the embassies included facilitating treatment in hospital even as he urged all not to hoard essential supplies, including oxygen.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar hit out at Congress leader Jairam Ramesh after he said on Twitter that the youth wing of the Congress was attending to SOS calls from foreign embassies and wondered whether the MEA was sleeping.

Ramesh also shared a video posted on Twitter by Indian Youth Congress national president Srinivas B V that showed a mini pickup van entering the embassy of the Philippines in Delhi, carrying oxygen cylinders.

'The MEA checked with the Philippines Embassy. This was an unsolicited supply as they had no COVID cases. Clearly for cheap publicity by you know who. Giving away cylinders like this when there are people in desperate need of oxygen is simply appalling,' Jaishankar tweeted.

'Jairamji, MEA never sleeps; our people know across the world. MEA also never fakes; we know who does,' he said in another tweet.

Srinivas tweeted the video with a caption '#SOSIYC members at Embassy of the Philippines in New Delhi.' In his comments, Ramesh complimented the Indian Youth Congress.

'While I thank @IYC for its stellar efforts, as an Indian citizen I'm stunned that the youth wing of the opposition party is attending to SOS calls from foreign embassies. Is the MEA sleeping @DrSJaishankar?,' he tweeted.

Srinivas also shared a video of his team supplying oxygen cylinders to the New Zealand High Commission and thanked the IYC team for the quick relief.

The New Zealand High Commission tweeted, 'We are trying all sources to arrange for oxygen cylinders urgently and our appeal has unfortunately been misinterpreted, for which we are sorry.' In his statement, Bagchi said the MEA is responding to the medical demands by the foreign missions.

'The chief of protocol and heads of divisions are in continuous touch with all high commissions/embassies and MEA is responding to their medical demands, especially those related to COVID. This includes facilitating their hospital treatment,' he said.

'Given the pandemic situation, all are urged not to hoard essential supplies, including oxygen,' Bagchi said responding to media queries on the issue.

Hospitals across the national capital are reeling under severe shortage of medical oxygen in view of massive surge in COVID-19 cases. PTI MPB AAR AAR