Read how New Zealand High Commission tweet for oxygen support sparked controversy
New Delhi, May 2, 2021: The deadly second wave of COVID-19 in India has hit everyone including the foreign diplomats based in New Delhi. This unprecedented state of affairs however took a political turn on Sunday after New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi asked for oxygen support on social media.
On Sunday morning, the Twitter account (N Z in India) of the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi asked for help with the oxygen cylinders.
The commission tagged Srinivas B V, national president of Youth wing of Indian National Congress with #SOSIYC, an initiative launched by Congress to help those in need of oxygen cylinders at this time.
Srinivas B quickly responded to the tweet and assured prompt supply.
It is to be mentioned before New Zealand High Commission, Phiillipnes Embassy has also made a similar request to the youth wing of the opposition party last night.
While the foreign embassies in India were reaching out the groups for oxygen support, the opposition used this as an opportunity to criticize the government on its handling of the COVID-19 situation.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh took a dig at the BJP-led Central government for its callous approach towards foreign embassies. Tagging Dr. S Jaishankar, Congress MP question asked if MEA is sleeping?
Dr. S Jaishankar while defending the functioning of MEA made the counterattack on the opposition party and also gave clarification on the alleged shortage of oxygen cylinders with foreign embassies and high commissions.
The foreign high commission exchange with the Congress youth wing however didn’t go down well with the Ministry of External Affairs who quickly asked embassies to ‘not hoard essential supplies including oxygen’.
Stung by the High commission public request to Congress for oxygen cylinders official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs posted clarification concerning requirements of Foreign High Commissions/Embassies in India.
After the tweet soon caught the attention of the social media users, the New Zealand High Commission quickly deleted the said tweet. The Congress leaders and supporters however have already circulated the tweet all over the internet.
For sparking the controversy, the New Zealand High commission later apologized and said that their appeal was misinterpreted, they were in the dire need of an Oxygen cylinder.
The team led by Srinivas soon provided the Embassy with the oxygen cylinders.
India on Sunday reported 3,92,488 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, down from yesterday's high of over 4 lakh cases, taking the cumulative count of the cases to 1,95,57,457, the Union Health Ministry said.
With 3,689 people succumbing to the infection in the last 24 hours, the death toll has mounted to 2,15,542. Currently, there are 33,49,644 active cases of COVID-19 in the country.
India also witnessed as many as 3,07,865 recoveries in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative recoveries to 1,59,92,271.