PH offers solidarity with India amid COVID-19 crisis

The Philippines has expressed solidarity with the people of India as the second wave of coronavirus infections continued to batter the world's second most populous country.

President Duterte has already sent a letter of solidarity to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon Bagatsing Jr.

"How can the Philippines help? I think President Duterte has already sent a letter of solidarity and support to the Prime Minister here. Other countries, there at least 40 countries that have donated oxygen equipment and other ventilators and other medical equipments to India," he said during an online press briefing.

The government has not yet disclosed plans on the kind of humanitarian aid that will be sent to India as it battles the coronavirus crisis. Since the Philippines was also dealing with a coronavirus surge, Bagatsing explained that the Filipino nation could offer prayers for India for now.

"Ang pinakamalakas sigurong puwedeng ibigay natin sa kanila ay ang ating dasal, ang ating pakikiisa, ang ating solidarity, pakikipagkapwa, service to humanity (The strongest support we can give is our prayers, our solidarity, service to humanity)," he said.

"That’s the best, I think, that we can do under the circumstances right now because the whole world is aware also that we have our challenges back in Manila," he added.

He said the county remained "fortunate" that health capacity has not been overwhelmed by cases of coronavirus. In India, he said it has become "extremely difficult" to get a hospital bed and oxygen needed by the patients infected with the coronavirus.

"So, we are fortunate in that sense that we do not and I hope we will never reach that saturation point where we will not have all the health care services required of our kababayans who get stricken with COVID," he said.

India reportedly recorded more than 300,000 cases of infections Monday, that pushed the total number to 19.9 million. The case surge has left many hospitals overwhelmed while oxygen supplies run short.

The Palace earlier said it would ask the Department of Foreign Affairs about the kind of humanitarian aid for India battling the devastating coronavirus case resurgence.#