Coronavirus | Medical equipment flown in from U.S., U.K., Romania and Ireland

Masks, oximeters, rapid diagnostic kits, drugs arrive

The United States, Romania, Ireland, and the United Kingdom on Friday flew in a large quantity of oxygen-related items and medicines to deal with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and “reviewed” the ongoing American efforts to bolster India’s position to counter COVID-19.

Two aircraft from the U.S. landed on Friday bringing a large quantity of essential supplies. The first flight brought 423 oxygen cylinders, 210 pulse oximeters, 1,84,000 Abbott rapid diagnostic test kits and 84,000 N-96 face masks. The second flight brought 17 large oxygen cylinders, and 7,00,000 Abbott rapid diagnostic test kits. The third flight from U.K. arrived in India carrying 280 oxygen concentrators and 40 ventilators.

A shipment containing 700 units of oxygen concentrators and 365 ventilators arrived from Ireland. Friday also saw increased flow of assistance from EU member countries.

One C-130 aircraft of the Romanian Air Force landed at Palam Air Base with oxygen and other medical supplies as part of a joint Romania-EU effort for India. This includes 80 oxygen concentrators, 75 oxygen cylinders and 20 high flow humidify oxygen therapy devices. Ambassador of Romania Daniela Sezonov Tane said the medical supplies from Bucharest will be followed by “additional medical devices and equipment shipped by the other EU Member States”.

The medical supplies from Romania are among the first foreign assistance to arrive here which will be followed relief from Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Sweden among other EU countries. The support from these countries is being channelled through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Two C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted eight oxygen tankers from Singapore to Panagarh in West Bengal.

According to the Defence Ministry, as on April 29, IAF carried out 23 sorties from abroad, airlifting 39 oxygen containers with 670 MT capacity, while from within the country, it carried out 124 sorties, airlifting 87 containers with 1,798 MT capacity.

Japan is expected to provide 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators.

“Japan stands with India in her greatest time of need,” Japanese Ambassador Satoshi Suzuki said on social media.

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