UK PM expressed gratitude towards the “help and generosity” of a UK-based industrial gas company that made the delivery of oxygen cylinders to India possible

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 3 expressed gratitude towards the “help and generosity” of BOC Ltd, the multinational and British-based industrial gas company that enabled Britain to deliver the “much needed” oxygen cylinders to India on May 2. While reiterating UK’s support during India’s crippling second wave, Johnson also said that “we stand by our friends in India.” As India continues to log in record-breaking daily cases and deaths, Indian Air Force aircraft airlifted 450 oxygen cylinders from Brize Norton in the United Kingdom and delivered them to Chennai airbase.

The assistance reached the nation while as of May 3, India registered a record of 3,417 COVID-19 casualties pushing the total death toll to 2,18,959 with the total cases spiking to 1,99,25,604 as the nation logged in 3,68,147 fresh infections of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. The data showed that the active cases mark has already surpassed 34,13,642 while recording a steady increase comprising over 17.13% of the total infections. Further, the national COVID-19 recovery rate has drooped to 1.10%, as per data.

After the in-person visits were largely cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with his UK counterpart Boris Johnson for a virtual summit on May 4 and will discuss the elevation of India-UK bilateral ties. The Ministry of External Affairs statement said that both leaders will reveal 10-year planning for multi-faceted strategic ties. Earlier on April 19, UK PM had cancelled his scheduled visit to India due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. At the time, a separate official statement released by Downing Street had said that both leaders will speak on bilateral matters in near future.

The MEA release this week also said, "A comprehensive Roadmap 2030 will be launched during the Summit, which will pave the way for further expanding and deepening India-UK cooperation over the next decade across five key areas, namely people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare.”