TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan has bought 150 oxygen concentrators and aims to send them to India this weekend to help it deal with a massive increase in COVID-19 infections, and is also looking at providing further aid, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Thursday.
Countries around the world have been rushing to help India alleviate the crisis. India’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surged past 200,000 on Wednesday, worsened by shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.
Wu told reporters that they had been working on an aid package for India and have already purchased 150 oxygen concentrators which should be able to be sent this weekend.
“We are in the process of buying more oxygen concentrators and buying raw materials from overseas so our companies at home can produce even more,” he said.
An oxygen concentrator reduces nitrogen from an air supply to produce an oxygen-enriched air supply to a patient.
Taiwan is also looking at providing other aid as requested by India, Wu added.
While India, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, the two have gotten closer in recent years thanks to their shared antipathy of Beijing.
Taiwan sees India as an important like-minded democracy and friend, and there are close cultural and economic links too.
Last year Taiwan accused China of trying to impose censorship in India after its embassy in New Delhi advised journalists to observe the “one-China” principle after newspapers carried advertisements for Taiwan’s national day.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)