France to soon announce 'exceptional package' to boost India's COVID-19 fight: Envoy

France will soon announce an "exceptional package" for India, including ventilators and expertise, as part of its efforts to jointly combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the French envoy to India said on Tuesday.

In his message on the French National Day -- Bastille Day, French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said that since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the two countries have shown exceptional solidarity.

"India has provided much needed equipment and drugs to French hospitals. Friendship is a two-way road and France has reciprocated," Lenain said.

The French development agency AFD has granted an exceptional loan of 200 million euros (Rs 1,600 crore) to provide social services to the most vulnerable population in India, he said.

"We are going to announce soon an exceptional package comprising serological test (kits), ventilators and some expertise," the French envoy said in the message posted on all social media handles of the French Embassy here.

Solidarity has been exceptional in the way the India government has lent support to the operation to repatriate stranded tourists, he said, thanking Indian authorities for it.

Another great way to express solidarity is the involvement of French companies in corporate social responsibility, he said.

Lenain cited the example of French firms partnering Indian companies for producing ventilators and a French firm contributing 65 ICU beds.




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