NZ High Commission sends oxygen SOS to Congress, row follows
The New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi on Sunday dropped an SOS message to Congress for oxygen cylinder and received it soon after. However, the fact that the mission reached out to an Opposition party, and neither the state nor central government, sparked a controversy. The tweet was later deleted and the diplomatic mission claimed its appeal was "unfortunately misinterpreted." Here's what happened.
Mission sought help, chief of Congress youth wing replied
At 9:15 am, the official handle of the mission posted a tweet, tagging the youth wing of Congress and its chief BV Srinivas. "Could you please help with oxygen cylinder urgently at the New Zealand High Commission? Thank you," read the tweet. Srinivas promptly replied, "Right away." After his team rushed there, he tweeted, "Please open the gates and save a soul on time."
Later, the diplomatic mission apologized for 'misinterpretation'
The first tweet created a flutter with several netizens slamming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for their inability to handle the oxygen crisis. Later, the mission posted a tweet, reading, "We are trying all sources to arrange for oxygen cylinders urgently and our appeal has unfortunately been misinterpreted, for which we are sorry. (sic)"
IYC delivered oxygen cylinders at the gates
The patient was critically ill: Srinivas
Srinivas posted another tweet to reveal that the High Commission accepted the cylinders. "They thanked the #SOSIYC team for this quick relief as the patient inside the embassy was critically ill, (sic)" he wrote. On the episode, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that it was unfortunate that the High Commission turned to a leader from the Opposition party for help.
Here are the spot visuals
Update- New Zealand high commission opened gates of the embassy and accepted cylinders.— Srinivas B V (@srinivasiyc) May 2, 2021
Also, they thanked the #SOSIYC team for this quick relief as patient inside embassy was critically ill. pic.twitter.com/vu6TUhD1r8
MEA said embassies shouldn't hoard essential supplies
Left red-faced after the incident, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) urged foreign missions not to hoard essential supplies. "The Chief of Protocol and Heads of Divisions are in continuous touch with all High Commissions, Embassies and MEA is responding to their medical demands, especially those related to COVID-19. This includes facilitating their hospital treatment," the foreign ministry said.