KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan on Saturday offered to help longtime rival India in its efforts to stem a catastrophic COVID-19 wave that has ravaged the world’s second-most populous country.

“As a gesture of solidarity with the people of India in the wake of the current wave of COVID-19, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support to India including ventilators, BiPAP, digital X-ray machines, PPEs [personal protective equipment] and related items,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The offer comes amid a recent thaw in heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

The concerned authorities of Pakistan and India, the statement said, can work out modalities for “quick delivery of the relief items.”

“They can also explore possible ways of further cooperation to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic,” the statement concluded.

A staggering surge in infections has kept India’s daily case count over 300,000 since Thursday, hitting another global record of 346,786 on Saturday, with a daily death toll at 2,624.

The spiraling crisis has pushed India’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse and caused a crippling nationwide shortage of oxygen supplies.

The country’s overall tally is now over 16.6 million, including 189,544 fatalities.

The Edhi Foundation, Pakistan’s largest humanitarian agency, on Friday offered to send a fleet of 50 ambulances and staff to help in India’s fight against the pandemic. New Delhi has yet to respond to the offer.

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