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How Mideast Countries Are Helping India Cope With COVID
Workers load 300 tons of medical aid to be flown in a three-flight Qatar Airways convoy directly to destinations in India, at Qatar's Hamad International Airport in the capital Doha on May 3, 2021. (Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

How Mideast Countries Are Helping India Cope With COVID

Region states working to alleviate the unfolding humanitarian disaster

The Middle East has stepped up to aid India, the worst COVID-afflicted country at present.

On Thursday, the South Asian nation registered an all-time high of 412,262 new COVID-19 cases and the largest ever fatality count from the virus, 3,980, over the past day.

India’s hospitals have been overwhelmed, running low on oxygen and overflowing to the point where patients needing immediate medical attention are turned away.

As the world watches in horror, here is what some Middle Eastern countries are doing to help.


On Tuesday, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, tweeted confirmation of receipt for 282 oxygen cylinders, 60 oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies from the Gulf state. On Wednesday, the Kuwait News Agency announced the country was sending an additional 1,000 oxygen tanks and 215 metric tons of oxygen.

United Arab Emirates

Bagchi thanked the UAE in a tweet on Tuesday for its first shipment of liquid medical oxygen, some 140 metric tons in total. “Will help augment oxygen availability,” he wrote. Abu Dhabi had previously sent empty cryogenic oxygen containers to ameliorate delays in India’s oxygen distribution.

Saudi Arabia

Riyadh delivered 80 metric tons of oxygen in late April.


On Saturday, the Indian Mission in Bahrain tweeted that 40 metrics of liquid oxygen were homeward bound: “India thanks its friend Bahrain for expression of solidarity and timely supply of much needed liquid oxygen to support our efforts in fighting the current wave of COVID-19 pandemic.” The shipment arrived on Wednesday, Bagchi tweeted.


On Monday, Qatar Airways sent 300 tons of medical equipment in three planes to India that was donated by the international community, including personal protective equipment and oxygen tanks.


Aid from Jerusalem arrived in India on Wednesday consisting of thousands of oxygen generators and other medical supplies.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 7 am Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0) on Friday.


CountryConfirmed CasesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Palestinian Territories300,3873,326281,58615,475
Saudi Arabia423,4067,032406,5899,785
United Arab Emirates530,9441,604511,34018,000


Steven Ganot contributed to this report.

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