New Delhi: As the country battles with a massive spike in coronavirus cases that has triggered a severe shortage of medical oxygen and medicines in several states, Germany and the European Union on Sunday expressed their solidarity with India saying they are extending help on a war footing.Also Read - International Flights: Fares of India-US Flights Rise Threefold After America's Advisory Against Travel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government is “urgently” preparing a “mission of support” for India. In a message, Merkel said Germany stands in solidarity with India in the “common fight” against the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Pakistan PM Imran Khan, Other World Leaders Express Solidarity as India Battles COVID Crisis

“To the people of India I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that COVID-19 has again brought over your communities,” Merkel said.

“The fight against the pandemic is our common fight. Germany stands in solidarity with India and is urgently preparing a mission of support,” added.

Her message was shared on Twitter by German Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner.

EU to respond rapidly to India’s request for help

The European Union said it is pooling in resources to respond rapidly to help India’s fight against COVID-19. A senior official of the 27-nation powerful bloc said the European Union (EU) has already activated its Civil Protection Mechanism to mobilise support for India including supplying urgently needed oxygen and medicines.

“Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support. The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India’s request for assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism,” der Leyen said in a tweet.

EU Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto said the European Union, together with its member states, will do its utmost to support India in this difficult moment.

Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management in charge of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, said the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is coordinating with member states to provide urgently needed oxygen and medicines to India.

“Upon request for assistance by #India, we have activated the #EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The European Union will do its utmost to mobilise assistance to support people of India,” he tweeted.

“Our #ERCC is already coordinating EU MS that are ready to provide urgently needed #oxygen & medicine rapidly,” he said.

UK sending hundreds Of oxygen concentrators, ventilators to India

The United Kingdom said it was sending more than 600 medical devices including oxygen concentrators and ventilators to India to help the country amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. The first shipment is due to arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday, said the British foreign ministry.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner in fight against COVID19. We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time.”

Afghanistan expresses solidarity with India

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani too expressed solidarity with India as it reels under the second wave of the pandemic.

“Our hearts go out to the Indian people & government as they fight the horrendous outbreak of COVID. On behalf of the Afghan people & government, we send our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones & wish a quick recovery to those who are suffering from the virus,” Ghani tweeted.

Afghan foreign minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar said India has the prayers and support of all those nations that it has assisted generously with COVID-19 vaccines.

“Our hearts & prayers go to all the great people of India at this time of national struggle against Covid-19. India has the prayers and support of all those nations that it has assisted generously with COVID vaccines. “India will come out of it even stronger,” he said.

France supports India in fight against COVID-19

On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed solidarity with India and offered his country’s support to it.

“I want to send a message of solidarity to the Indian people, facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. France is with you in this struggle, which spares no one. We stand ready to provide our support,” Macron said.

(With inputs from PTI)