COVID-19: Sewa spends USD 6 mn on lifesaving equipment for India

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Houston, May 11 (PTI) Non-profit organisation Sewa International said that it has spent over USD 6 million to procure lifesaving equipment in the last two weeks as part of its ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19’ campaign.

The equipment shipped to India from New York on May 7 included 260 oxygen concentrators, 1,000 oximeters and nine Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machines, it said in a statement.

MedShare, a non-profit organisation that sources and delivers surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need, donated the concentrators. The United Parcel Service Foundation partnered with Sewa International to ship them to New Delhi by air for free.

Sewa has so far raised USD 16 million for the initiative to supply aid material to India. It raised USD 7.7 million from over 104,000 donors from its Facebook campaign and USD 4.2 million through its website.

So far, the organisation has spent over USD 3.5 million to order 7,482 oxygen concentrators and procured 5,118 of them from various vendors in the US and elsewhere, it said.

Of these, Sewa has shipped 2,844 oxygen concentrators and 2,084 of them have reached India. They are being distributed to government hospitals and COVID-19 care centers and hospitals run by Sewa’s partner organisations.

It is planning to ship more than 6,000 additional oxygen concentrators to India in the next two weeks.

Sewa has spent over USD 6 million to procure lifesaving equipment in the last two weeks as part of its ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19’ campaign, it said.

“Shipping large quantities of medical equipment to another country from the US has a lot of logistical challenges. We are optimising our shipments so that they reach India fast,” Sewa’s President Arun Kankani said.

Sewa has established a control room in Atlanta and it is managed by 10 volunteers. They are constantly researching the availability of medical equipment, vendor credentials, price and other details to purchase them or find donors who can donate them, he said.

“We have received phenomenal support from across the US for our ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19 Campaign’. Many corporates, hospitals and community organisations are calling us to offer help. Sewa volunteers are working hard to connect the dots. We thank all those who have given help and continue to offer support to Sewa in this time of crisis,” Kankani said.

The equipment has gone to Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, according to Sewa’s Vice President for Disaster Recovery Swadesh Katoch.

“It’s very important to save every life and I am confident that the equipment we have sent to India will ease the shortage of emergency equipment and help COVID-19 patients recover and enable families to protect their loved ones,” Katoch said.

Sewa started its campaign to aid India on April 23, 2021, when it saw an alarming rise in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

Describing itself as a “Hindu faith-based charitable non-profit,” Sewa works in the areas of disaster recovery, education and development, and serves people regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin, it added.

India has been severely affected by the unprecedented second wave of the coronavirus and hospitals in several states are reeling under the shortage of health workers, vaccines, oxygen, drugs and beds.

After recording over four lakh fresh cases for four consecutive days, India witnessed a single-day rise of 3,66,161 COVID-19 cases on Monday, which pushed its tally to 2,26,62,575, according to the health ministry.

The death toll due to the viral disease climbed to 2,46,116 with 3,754 more people succumbing to it, the ministry's data showed. PTI SHK CPS

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