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Second Wave Of Coronavirus: Countries Promise Medical Support To India Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

Amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and the healthcare system struggling to cope up with the situation, various countries including the UK and US have extended their support to India

Second Wave Of Coronavirus Countries Promise Medical Support To India Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases
Highlights
  • The UK is sending oxygen concentrators and ventilators to India
  • Saudi Arabia is shipping 80 metric tonnes (MTs) of liquid oxygen to India
  • Google has pledged for a funding of Rs. 135 crore in the fight against COVI

New Delhi: Since April 22, India has been setting a new record, reporting over 3 lakh fresh cases of COVID-19 daily. Amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and the visible strain on the healthcare system, various countries have extended their support to India. From promising to send raw materials to scale up COVID vaccine production to sending life-saving medical equipment, several countries have come forward to show solidarity with India in these trying times.

Also Read: “No Need To Panic”: AIIMS Chief, Top Doctors Clear Doubts About India’s COVID Surge

US To Send Raw Materials Urgently Required For Vaccines And Other Medical Supplies

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need”, wrote US President Joe Biden as he confirmed his support to India.

On Sunday (April 25), US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, and said that his country has “identified sources of specific raw materials urgently required for Indian manufacturers of the Covishield vaccine that will be immediately made available for India.”

Also Read: Coronavirus Crisis: Cricketers Urge Fans To Follow Guidelines On COVID-19 And Stay Safe Amid The Surging Cases

In addition to this, the US has also identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and PPE suits that will also be made immediately available to India. The US is also “pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis” to help India overcome a shortage that has endangered the lives of thousands of both COVID positive patients and those fighting other diseases.

We will work around the clock to help our ally and alleviate the suffering. And we implore others to do so as well, said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said during a closed virtual dialogue hosted by the United States, Argentina, Japan, Norway, and South Africa on Pandemic Preparedness and Response.

The US state of California will send life-saving oxygen equipment to India, announced Governor Gavin Newsom on April 26. To be specific, California will send 275 oxygen concentrators, 440 oxygen cylinders, 240 oxygen regulators, 210 pulse oximeters, one deployable oxygen concentrator system. The distribution of these lifesaving supplies is being coordinated through the U.S. Agency for International Development and will be provided directly to health care providers and front-line workers.

US Pharma firm Gilead has also announced steps to expand the availability of Remdesivir and to donate at least 4,50,000 vials of Remdesivir to address the immediate needs.

Also Read: COVID-19 Emergency: Madhuri Dixit, Bhumi Pednekar And Gul Panag Urge People To Stay At Home & Mask Up

UK Sends Vital Medical Equipment To India

The first shipment of COVID medical supplies from Britain to India, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, arrived early Tuesday (April 27), the foreign ministry said. Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs tweeted photos of the equipment being unloaded from a German Lufthansa aircraft in New Delhi, calling it ‘international cooperation at work’.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday had said that they were sending vital medical equipment to India to help stop the tragic loss of life from the virus. Mr Johnson assured constant support to India and said, “We stand side by side with India in the shared fight against COVID-19.”

In total, Britain will be sending nine containers carrying over 600 pieces – including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators this week.

Also Read: No Serious Side-Effect Attached To COVID-19 Vaccines: Director-General Of Health Services

‘Stay Strong India’: UAE Buildings Light Up With Tricolour

Prominent UAE buildings including the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai and the Adnoc headquarters in Abu Dhabi were lit up with the Indian flag and the message ‘Stay Strong India’ on Sunday night.

In a tweet on Sunday, the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi shared a 17-second video of Burj Khalifa displaying the Indian flag accompanied with a message #StayStrongIndia.

Also Read: India Can Bring Down Positivity Rate To Less Than 5 Per Cent In Next 3 Weeks, Says AIIMS Doctor

France Ready To Provide Support

On April 26, through a tweet, French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain informed that in the next few days, France will deliver to India not only immediate relief but also long-term capacities – eight high capacity oxygen generators, each providing yearlong oxygen for 250 beds; liquid oxygen for 2,000 patients for five days; 28 ventilators and equipment for ICUs.

The official statement of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France stated,

Eight medical oxygen generators, each of which can make an Indian hospital autonomous in oxygen supply for approximately 10 years. These oxygen production units are durable installations that can produce medical oxygen from ambient air yearlong. Each unit can uninterruptedly supply a 250-bed hospital. Its oxygen output can fulfil the needs of 15 critically ill COVID patients in an ICU (or 30 patients in the ICU of a conventional hospital) or 150 patients on oxygen therapy in a conventional hospital facility. These oxygen generators also include ramps for filling oxygen cylinders.

Also Read: COVID-19: Testing Negative But Still Have Symptoms? Here’s What You Need To Know

France will ship five containers of liquid medical oxygen in the first installment, each capable of supplying medical oxygen to up to 10,000 patients a day. Specialised medical equipment, notably including 28 ventilators and their consumables, as well as 200 electric syringe pumps will also be provided to India.

Coordinated by the Ministry’s Crisis and Support Centre and carried out by the Embassy of France in India, the mission will involve shipping by air and sea freight by the end of this week.

Mr Lenain further stated that this massive solidarity mission, initiated at French President Emmanuel Macron’s request, is supported by French companies present in India and the European Union. “It aims to both respond to the emergency and boost the long-term resilience of India’s healthcare system”, he wrote.

Earlier on April 23, French President Emmanuel Macron had said that France stands ready to provide support to India in its fight against coronavirus pandemic. Tweeting his message, French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain had said, “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.”

Also Read: How To Treat Covid-19 Patients At Home, Here Is What Doctors Recommend

Singapore And Saudi Arabia Ship Liquid Oxygen To India

As reported by news agency PTI, the Indian Air Force on Saturday brought four cryogenic tanks, to be used for transporting oxygen, from Singapore. The containers were airlifted from Singapore by C17 heavy-lift aircraft of the IAF. The aircraft “with 4 cryogenic containers for storage of liquid O2 from Singapore landed at Panagarh airbase” in West Bengal on Saturday, a home ministry spokesperson tweeted.

Saudi Arabia is also shipping 80 metric tonnes (MTs) of liquid oxygen to India as the country is running low on oxygen supply amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic. Sharing the news on social media, Indian Embassy in Riyadh tweeted, “Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/s Linde in shipping much needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our heartfelt thanks to Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support and cooperation.”

Also Read: Langar Sewa At The Doorstep? The Sikh Community Shows The Way As It Provides Food To COVID-19 Patients At Home

In addition to this, India is also securing another 5,000 medical-grade oxygen cylinders from Linde Saudi Arabia, informed Gautam Adani, Adani Group Chairman through a tweet.

European Union Assures Help

“Upon request for assistance by #India, we have activated the #EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The EU will do its utmost to mobilise assistance to support people of India. Our #ERCC is already coordinating EU MS that are ready to provide urgently needed #oxygen & medicine rapidly,” tweeted Janez Lenarcic, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management.

A confirmation came from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission. She said, “Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support. The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India’s request for assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We stand in full solidarity with the Indian people!”

Also Read: As COVID Cases In India Sets World Record, Centre Recommends “Proning”. Here’s All You Need To Know

Other Countries Who Offer To Help India Fight COVID-19 Surge

German Chancellor Angela Merkel too said her government is ‘preparing a mission of support’ for India. Calling a fight against the pandemic as ‘our common fight’, Ms Merkel said, “To the people of India I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that Covid-19 has again brought over your communities. The fight against the pandemic is our common fight. Germany stands in solidarity with India and is urgently preparing a mission of support.”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also assured China’s full support to the Indian government and its people. Through a tweet, he informed that China is keeping in touch with India and added, “We have no doubt that the Indian people will defeat the virus at an early date.”

Also Read: Production Of COVID Vaccines Is Being Augmented, Won’t Be Difficult To Meet Obligation Of Vaccinating All Above 18: Renu Swarup

Google And Microsoft Pledge To Support India

‘Heartbroken’ Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela has expressed concern over the prevailing COVID-19 situation in India and assured to aid relief efforts. Sharing his commitment to support India, Mr Nadela tweeted, “I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the U.S. government is mobilizing to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, too, tweeted that he was “devastated” to see the worsening COVID crisis in India. He said Google and Googlers will be assisting Rs. 135 crores in funding to Give India and UNICEF for medical supplies, organisations supporting communities, and grants to help spread critical information.

Also Read: Google To Contribute Rs. 135 Crore For COVID-19 Fight In India: CEO Sundar Pichai

In a statement, Sanjay Gupta Country Head & VP, Google India, said the tech giant’s funding would include grants from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm. Giving out details of the financial support, Mr Gupta said,

Today we’re announcing Rs. 135 crore ($18 million USD) in new funding for India. This includes two grants from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, totalling Rs. 20 crore ($2.6 million USD). The first is to GiveIndia to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses. The second will go to UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it’s needed most in India. It also includes donations from our ongoing employee giving campaign — so far more than 900 Googlers have contributed Rs. 3.7 crore ($500,000 USD) for organisations supporting high-risk and marginalised communities.

Talking more about the funding and how the organisation is helping the Government of India and WHO in reaching out to more people with COVID related information, Mr Gupta said,

This funding also includes increased Ad Grant support for public health information campaigns. Since last year, we’ve helped MyGov and the World Health Organization reach audiences with messages focused on how to stay safe and facts about vaccines. We’re increasing our support today with an additional Rs. 112 Crore ($15 million) in Ad Grants to local health authorities and nonprofits for more language coverage options.

The worsening COVID-19 situation in India has grabbed headlines across the world and people from all walks of life are coming forward to support the nation. Climate and environmental activist Greta Thunberg too called the situation ‘heartbreaking’ and urged the global community to step up and immediately offer the assistance needed.

Also Read: COVID Vaccine Equity: Where Does India Stand And How Can We Tackle Global Inequity Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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