Foreign missions should not hoard oxygen and other essential supplies, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday, as many of them turned to volunteers of Indian Youth Congress for help amid the Oxygen crisis in Delhi.
The statement came after New Zealand High Commission and the Philippines embassy got help from Youth Congress, who responded to their SOS message. Congress leaders on Sunday, while congratulating their youth volunteers, attacked India’s Ministry of External Affair for ‘sleeping’.
“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. Given the pandemic situation, all are urged not to hoard essential supplies, including oxygen,” the foreign ministry said.
“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,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted on Saturday.
“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,” retaliated Jaishankar.
The New Zealand mission deleted the tweet as many wondered whether they had come under government pressure to do so but the Congress splashed photos on social media of its activists delivering the cylinders.
Indian Youth Congress shared screenshots of SOS messages from the embassies to prove their claim. “We got a request for an urgent requirement of Oxygen Cylinders for 2 Covid patients in Philippines Embassy The Cylinders were delivered at the embassy on a much-solicited request,” Congress tweeted, refuting the claims of minister indicating hoarding COVID-19 supplies.
“We are trying all sources to arrange for oxygen cylinders urgently and our appeal has unfortunately been misinterpreted, for which we are sorry,” the high commission said in a follow-up tweet.
Hundreds of SOS messages for medicine, oxygen and hospital beds still floods social media even after weeks into apocalyptic crisis due to second wave. Over 4,00,000 new caseload was added on Saturday taking the tally