India Receives More Supplies from Abroad, Air India Airlifts 190 Tonnes of Medical Equipment in 10 Days

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India on Tuesday received essential medical supplies from several countries, including the US, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, as hospitals in several states and union territories continued to reel under an exponential growth in COVID-19 cases. Seven tankers each carrying 20 metric tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) arrive at Mundra Port in Gujarat in the first such shipment of LMO to India.

“Further consolidating our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. 7 ISO tankers with 20 MT Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) each arrive at Mundra Port (India). First such shipment of LMO to India. Deeply value the support from UAE. Will help augment oxygen availability,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter.

Air India said it has airlifted over 190 tonnes of medical equipment from various countries, including Germany, the US, the UK and Singapore, in the last 10 days amid a massive surge of COVID-19. India is struggling with the second wave of the coronavirus infection as hospitals in several states are reeling under a severe shortage of drugs, equipment, oxygen and beds.

In the last 10 days, Air India has been ferrying critical medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machines, and ventilators from several locations globally, the airline said in a statement. “Till date, we have carried more than 8,000 medical equipment worth over 190 tonnes from Hong Kong, Germany, USA, Singapore, Dubai, London etc. into India for onward delivery in various states,” it noted.

A special flight from the US brought to Delhi the country’s fifth consignment of medical aid comprising 545 oxygen concentrators.

The second shipment of medical supplies from Ireland, included two oxygen generators, 548 oxygen concentrators, 365 ventilators and other medical equipment. “Deeply grateful to our EU partner Ireland for the support which will help add to our oxygen capacities,” Bagchi said.

He said an Indian Air Force aircraft carrying 450 oxygen cylinders arrived in Chennai from the United Kingdom. India also received a shipment of 282 oxygen cylinders, 60 oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies from Kuwait.

“Deepening our fraternal ties of friendship. Thank Kuwait for shipment of 282 oxygen cylinders, 60 oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies that arrived today,” Bagchi said in another tweet. India has been ravaged by a massive spike in coronavirus infections in the last few weeks and hospitals across the country are facing acute shortage of beds, medical oxygen and other supplies due to rising COVID-19 cases. At least 40 countries have announced medical aid to India so far.

The European Union on Monday announced additional emergency medical support by its member countries including Denmark, Spain and Netherlands to India to help it deal with the severe wave of infections. Under the additional package, Denmark is sending to India 53 ventilators while Spain is supplying 119 oxygen concentrators and 145 ventilators.

The EU said the medical supplies from the Netherlands included 100 oxygen concentrators, 30,000 vials of antiviral drugs Remdesivir and 449 ventilators.

Various international agencies such as Amazon, Temasek Foundation, Phillips, Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) and World Hindu Council of America have trusted Air India to transport critical medical equipment and other supplies to India, the statement said. “In the coming days, we have plans to carry more such equipment in good numbers from countries from where it can be procured by any government or private agency,” it added.

India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed the 2-crore mark on Tuesday, with over 50 lakh infections being added in just 15 days. The total tally of coronavirus cases in the country has mounted to 2,02,82,833 with 3,57,229 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll increased to 2,22,408 with 3,449 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry.

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