The New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi landed in controversy on Sunday after tweeting an appeal to the youth wing of the opposition Congress for medical oxygen amid the unprecedented coronavirus crisis in India that has crippled its healthcare system.
The diplomatic mission quickly deleted the tweet as many wondered whether they had come under government pressure to do so but the Congress splashed photos on social media of its activists delivering the cylinders anyway.
“We are trying all sources to arrange for oxygen cylinders urgently and our appeal has unfortunately been misinterpreted, for which we are sorry,” it said in a follow up tweet.
India is reeling under a massive surge in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed hospitals and left hundreds of patients dying from shortage of oxygen and medicines across the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been skewered by critics in the country and the international press for bungling its response to the pandemic and possibly exacerbating it with mega political rallies and religious events.