As the number of persons testing positive for COVID-19 continues to rise in India, the Centre has been trying to procure essential medical items needed to treat coronavirus patients, including ventilators and key components of protective gears from China.

The Chinese government has offered to help India fight coronavirus by supplying medical items and supplements by means of a government-to-government deal, Economic Times has reported.

If the essential medical items are sent to India by Beijing, it may greatly reduce the pressure to produce them locally on short notice. While the country is encouraging domestic manufacturers to start producing these essential items with components available in India, several imported components are vital.

India used to import vital components for the production of N-95 masks and other protective gear from China and South Korea. This took a massive hit after the supply chain got disrupted due to the widespread outbreak of coronavirus in these two countries.

Currently, both India and China are working out the modalities for the procurement. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is already in touch with Wang Yi – his Chinese counterpart – and is trying to gauge the impact of the novel coronavirus in both countries.

During the conversation, Wang had reportedly requested India not to dub the novel coronavirus as the ‘Chinese virus’ as it is a stigma-ridden term that tarnishes the image of China. The request came as United States President Donald Trump has been insistent about referring to the deadly pathogen as the ‘Chinese virus’ since its place of origin was Wuhan in China.