London, April 28 (PTI) The UK on Wednesday said that it will send further vital oxygen equipment to India in support of the country’s fight against COVID-19, including so-called 'oxygen factories' capable of high levels of oxygen production per minute.
Three oxygen generation units will be sent from surplus stocks in Northern Ireland, with each oxygen unit capable of producing 500 litres of oxygen per minute, enough for 50 people to use at a time.
The mini-factories, the size of shipping containers, have been organised to meet the ongoing massive demand for oxygen at Indian hospitals as one of the main requirements during a devastating second wave of the pandemic in the country.
“We have all seen the harrowing pictures of what is happening in India. It pains each one of us who is seeing those scenes,' said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, during a Downing Street briefing on Wednesday evening.
'India is a stark reminder that the pandemic is not over and a reminder of the need to be vigilant,' he said, as he revealed that he had been working with the devolved Northern Ireland government to organise the supply of the oxygen production equipment.
The supply will be over and above the equipment already sent and on its way to India, including 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators, also sent from surplus stocks.
The first batch of the medical supplies arrived in Delhi around 0100 local time on Tuesday and the rest is due to arrive in Delhi by Friday.
“We stand with our Indian friends in their fight against COVID-19. International collaboration is more essential than ever, and this additional UK support package will help meet India’s current needs, particularly for more oxygen,” said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the support was sent in response to a request from India and a pledge from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the UK to do all it can to help.
The assistance package has been sourced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and funded by the FCDO. PTI AK RUP RUP