WORLD / CROSS-BORDERS
India-Pakistan solidarity trends on social media amid worsening COVID-19 crisis in India
Published: Apr 26, 2021 12:38 PM
Cemetery workers wearing PPE kits (personal Protection Equipment) sort logs of wood for the funeral pyres to perform the last rites of the patients who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus disease on April 22, 2021 at a crematorium in the outskirts of New Delhi, India. Photo: VCG

Cemetery workers wearing PPE kits (personal Protection Equipment) sort logs of wood for the funeral pyres to perform the last rites of the patients who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus disease on April 22, 2021 at a crematorium in the outskirts of New Delhi, India. Photo: VCG


 
The subject of solidarity between India and Pakistan, despite their long-time hostility, has been trending on social media as Pakistan provides relief support to its neighbor that is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The hashtag #PakistanstandswithIndia began trending on Twitter after Pakistan provided timely help to India. "The concerned authorities of Pakistan and India can work out modalities for quick delivery of the relief items. They can also explore possible ways of further cooperation to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic,” Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, the spokesperson for Pakistan's foreign office said, on its official Twitter account.

Pakistan has offered to provide relief materials to India such as ventilators, Bi-PAP, digital X-ray machines and PPEs to help its neighboring country through the hard times, according to Khaleej Times. 

Many netizens from the two countries swarmed onto Twitter to express their thanks and joy for Pakistan’s timely help, while feeling chilled over the unsympathetic response from the US.

“Glad to see this Hashtag #PakistanstandswithIndia number 1 on Pakistan Panel. Highly Prayers for India, we stand with you Guys. Political differences are apart it's time to show solidarity with humanity,” Umaid Ali, a Pakistani student, posted on Twitter. 

“Even Pakistan has expressed solidarity with India. This thing is missing from USA. India should remember well all who expressed solidarity with us during difficult time,” another Twitter user from India posted. 

China also expressed its willingness to help India with oxygen, face masks and other medical supplies, with the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka announcing on Monday morning: “800 Oxygen Concentrators have been airlifted today from #HongKong to #Delhi ; 10,000 more in a week. #China is keeping in touch with #India for urgent needs. Stay Strong!” 

France, Britain and Germany have also promised rapid support. Germany will send oxygen and medical aid to India in the coming days to help it tackle its COVID-19 crisis, according to Reuters on Monday. 

It was only after a phone call between Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan on Sunday that the US assured supplies of specific raw materials that are needed by the Serum Institute of India to ramp up vaccine production, according to Indian media The Print.

Facing growing pressure in and outside the US, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet on Saturday night, ”Our hearts go out to the Indian people in the midst of the horrific COVID-19 outbreak," and added that the US will rapidly deploy additional support to the country. 

A statement issued by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne Sunday said “the US has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and PPE” for India.

India has been asking the US to lift its export ban for weeks, but the US refused to do so, insisting the priority is ensuring the distribution of vaccines to millions of Americans. The US' indifferent response ignited a wave of anti-US sentiment on social media inside and outside India.

The number of cases in India surged by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks. Hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds, Reuters reported on Monday. 
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