MELBOURNE: The Australian state of Victoria on Thursday announced 41 million dollar worth of aid and medical equipment, including 1,000 ventilators, for India to assist it to curb the devastating second wave of COVID-19.
The donation will be made to the Commonwealth medical stockpile.
"We are working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to deliver this support to India as the country works to manage the second wave of coronavirus and treat those infected," according to an official statement.
"The 1,000 ICU Ventilators are currently owned by the Department of Health and will be donated to India for humanitarian purposes and the state was also preparing to send a range of supporting equipment like connectors and humidifiers, with the total package valued at over 41 million Australian dollars.
Announcing the support package, the state's acting Premier James Merlino said: ''The situation in India right now is devastating and shows that the fight against this pandemic is not over, we have a responsibility to help where we can and that's exactly what we're doing.''
Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence said: ''Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this unfolding tragedy and we hope this package will go some way to addressing the challenges India is facing right now.''
New coronavirus cases and deaths in India hit a record daily high with 4,12,262 new infections and 3,980 fatalities being reported, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,10,77,410 and the death toll to 2,30,168, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
Expressing solidarity with India and the people, Kaushaliya Vagghela, the first Indian-born MP elected to the Victorian Parliament, said ''at this painful and difficult time, all Victorians stand side by side with our Indian community, both here and abroad."
She said she had also expressed her concerns about India and requested the state government to support India and Australians in India during this crisis.
"I stood up in Victorian Parliament to urge the federal government to explore all options possible to safely bring back Australians currently in India,'' she added.
Victoria has the highest number of migrants from India followed closely by New South Wales.