Coronavirus Asia

Singapore extends lifeline to India during oxygen crisis

Text message sparks Republic's mission to act as logistics hub for crucial medical items

In addition to 46 cryogenic containers, India has procured thousands of oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, Bipap machines/ ventilators and other items from Singapore. They have been ferried on Indian Air Force aircraft and Indian Navy ships. PHO
In addition to 46 cryogenic containers, India has procured thousands of oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, Bipap machines/ ventilators and other items from Singapore. They have been ferried on Indian Air Force aircraft and Indian Navy ships. PHOTO: INDIAN HIGH COMMISSION IN SINGAPORE/ FACEBOOK
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India's "Mission Oxygen" with comprehensive partner Singapore began with a three-sentence text message between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on April 22, with the second wave of the pandemic leaving afflicted Indians breathless.

The text message was followed by a telephone call between the two ministers as Mr Jaishankar asked for medical oxygen and his Singaporean counterpart agreed. The prime ministers of both countries were also kept in the loop.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2021, with the headline Singapore extends lifeline to India during oxygen crisis. Subscribe