New Delhi: As India grapples with the worst health crisis, triggered by second wave of Covid-19, several countries around the world have come forward to help the nation and offered humanitarian assistance. On Thursday, two Russian flights with oxygen concentrators, lung ventilation equipment, bedside monitors, medicines, including Coronavir and other essential pharmaceutical items landed in India to help the country in its fight against the COVID-19 surge.Also Read - Russian President Vladimir Putin Announces 10-Day 'Non-Working' Period in May to Prevent Virus Surge

“The Russian Federation decided to send humanitarian assistance to India in the spirit of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our two countries as well as in the context of our anti #COVID19 cooperation,” said Ambassador of Russia to India, Nikolay Kudashev. “For this purpose, 2 urgent flights, operated by Russian EMERCOM arrived here today. These are oxygen concentrators, lung ventilation equipment, bedside monitors, medicines, including Coronavir & other essential pharmaceutical items,” added Kudashev.

He further said that Russia is closely watching the situation in India, which is becoming more and more alarming with the unprecedented spread of the coronavirus infection. “We sincerely empathize with the Indian people due to our traditionally warm and friendly relations,” said Kudashev.

He added that deliveries of COVID- 19 vaccine Sputnik V to India will start from May 2021. “Joint fight against coronavirus one of the most important areas of our cooperation at present, also includes forthcoming deliveries of Sputnik V starting from May ’21 & subsequent facilitation of its production in India, cooperation in field of medical science,” said the Russian envoy.

Notably, India had approved emergency supplies of hydroxychloroquine to Russia as a gesture of a goodwill, when the pandemic unfolded last year. Lauding India’s effort Kudashev stated, “We appreciate and remember it. This is the only way we can defeat the coronavirus – by uniting our endeavors and supporting each other in difficult times. Collective efforts and mutual respect should be the most important recipe to respond to any challenge!”

The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke over the phone. During the phone call, Putin announced the decision to send emergency humanitarian aid to India. PM Modi thanked Putin for Russia’s help and support in India’s fight against Covid-19.

(With ANI inputs)