Monday 26 April 2021 6:44 AM UTC
“Today we have sent the first of several urgent deliveries of surplus medical equipment to our friends in India to help provide life-saving care for vulnerable Covid patients”, Health Secretary Dominic Raab Tweeted with the above picture
NEW DELHI April 26: As India battles a severe second wave of coronavirus pandemic, the UK on Sunday announced sending life-saving medical equipment including ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices to the country.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent “tragic loss” of life from the “terrible virus”.
The UK high commission here said the support follows a request from India and Prime Minister Johnson’s pledge for the UK to do all it can to help the country.
“We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19,” Johnson was quoted in a statement released by the high commission.
“We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time and I’m determined to make sure that the UK does everything it can to support the international community in the global fight against the pandemic,” he said.
The high commission said more than 600 pieces of vital medical equipment are being sent to India to support the country in its fight against COVID-19.
It said the ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices are due to leave the UK on Sunday and the first shipment is expected to arrive in Delhi early on Tuesday with further consignments reaching later this week.
“In total, nine airline container loads of supplies, including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators, will be sent to the country this week,” it said.
It said the equipment will be crucial in helping to save the lives of the most vulnerable in India.
“The oxygen concentrators, for example, can extract oxygen from the air in the atmosphere so that it can be provided to patients, taking the strain off hospital oxygen systems and allowing oxygen to be provided in situations where hospital oxygen supplies have run out,” it said.
The high commission said the assistance package, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, includes ventilators and oxygen concentrators from surplus stocks.
“The UK is working closely with the government of India to identify further assistance it can provide in the coming days,” it said.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK is supporting India with vital medical equipment at a difficult time for the country.
“We have all got to work together to tackle COVID-19. India is a very important partner to us, so we’re providing oxygen concentrators and ventilators to help save the lives of the most vulnerable,” he said.
“We will be following up on this first delivery with further support, based on our ongoing discussions with the Indian Government,” he added.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has said: “The heart-breaking scenes in India show once again how awful this terrible disease is.”
“We are determined to support the people of India through this very difficult time, and I am hugely grateful to those who have worked hard to make this initial delivery happen,” he added.
Hancock said the UK stands ready to do more.
“The global pandemic has challenged health systems all across the world and the best way to overcome adversity is to unite and defeat this dreadful disease together,” he said.
India is struggling with a second wave of coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
The country recorded over three lakh-plus coronavirus cases for the fourth straight day.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said her government is “urgently” preparing a “mission of support” for India as it battles a massive spike in coronavirus cases that has triggered a severe shortage of medical oxygen in several states.
In a message, Merkel said Germany stands in solidarity with India in the “common fight” against the pandemic.
“To the people of India I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that COVID-19 has again brought over your communities,” Merkel said.
“The fight against the pandemic is our common fight. Germany stands in solidarity with India and is urgently preparing a mission of support,” added.
Her message was shared on Twitter by German Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani too expressed solidarity with India as it reels under the second wave of the pandemic.
“Our hearts go out to the Indian people & government as they fight the horrendous outbreak of COVID. On behalf of the Afghan people & government, we send our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones & wish a quick recovery to those who are suffering from the virus,” Ghani tweeted.
Afghan foreign minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar said India has the prayers and support of all those nations that it has assisted generously with COVID-19 vaccines.
“Our hearts & prayers go to all the great people of India at this time of national struggle against Covid-19. India has the prayers and support of all those nations that it has assisted generously with COVID vaccines.”
“India will come out of it even stronger,” he said.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed solidarity with India and offered his country’s support to it.
“I want to send a message of solidarity to the Indian people, facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. France is with you in this struggle, which spares no one. We stand ready to provide our support,” Macron said.
India is struggling with the second wave of coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
The country recorded over three lakh-plus coronavirus cases for the fourth straight day. – PTI
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