New Zealand Envoy Joins Indians Clamoring for Oxygen on Twitter
An oxygen cylinder sits next to a bed in a makeshift ward at an emergency Covid-19 care center set up in New Delhi. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

New Zealand Envoy Joins Indians Clamoring for Oxygen on Twitter


The New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi turned to Twitter on Sunday to request oxygen cylinders amid a deadly outbreak of coronavirus in the national capital where hospitals have run out of crucial medical supplies.

The high commission initially tagged the youth wing of India’s main opposition Congress party for help, but the Tweet was deleted after it generated a social media storm over whether it was intended to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government look bad.

Calls made to the New Zealand High Commission outside office hours weren’t answered immediately.

Hours earlier, the Congress party’s youth wing said it had supplied oxygen cylinders to the Embassy of the Philippines in New Delhi.

The pandemic’s deadly second wave has overwhelmed India’s health system, with infections topping 400,000 on Saturday in another global record and demand for hospital beds, oxygen and medical supplies far outrunning supply. Twelve patients including a senior doctor died in a hospital in capital New Delhi after it ran out of oxygen -- the third such incident in the last 10 days.

India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said there were no Covid-19 cases in the Philippines embassy, and that the supply of oxygen cylinders was unsolicited by forces bent on making the Modi government look bad.

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