INDIA and the United Kingdom will hold a virtual summit on Tuesday (4) as prime minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Boris Johnson will unveil a 10-year roadmap to “expand” bilateral ties.
“A comprehensive roadmap 2030 will be launched during the summit, which will pave the way for further expanding and deepening India-UK cooperation over the next decade across five key areas,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
According to MEA, the five key areas in the summit will be – people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare.
Johnson was earlier expected to visit India on April 26, but was forced to cancel his trip on April 19 due to a surging second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Moreover, the summit “will be an important opportunity to elevate our multi-faceted strategic ties and enhance cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest.”
Both the leaders will also discuss Covid-19 cooperation and the global efforts to fight the pandemic.
UK to send 1,000 ventilators
Britain said on Sunday (2) it was sending an extra 1,000 oxygen ventilators to Covid-struck India, as a group of doctors staged their own intervention by offering long-distance telemedicine from Britain.
Britain has already sent 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators to India as the country grapples with a devastating surge in coronavirus cases, and is shipping three larger production units, dubbed oxygen factories.
Britain is home to a large Indian diaspora, which has mobilised with fundraising appeals to help supply oxygen and protective equipment to hospitals in India.
Members of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) have meanwhile started to hold remote consultations with patients requiring non-urgent care in India, to ease the load on hard-pressed medics there.
“We are trying to do as much as we can in the form of fundraising to send equipment in the form of oxygen concentrators, creating capacity for ICU (intensive card) beds, BAPIO secretary Parag Singhal told Sky News.
“So that’s one stream of work, but we are also trying to offer help to our exhausted colleagues in India — doctors are overstretched, they’re working too hard,” the professor said.
As well as phone and online consultations, BAPIO doctors are analysing the results of routine tests conducted in Indian hospitals, he said.
Some 250 volunteers from Britain have signed up to the telemedicine initiative, and the group is aiming to get 1,000 in all, working in partnership with hospitals and smaller clinics especially in more remote parts of India.