Global aid comprising 8,900 oxygen concentrators, 5,043 oxygen cylinders, 18 oxygen generation plants, 5,698 ventilators or BiPAP and more than 3.4 lakh Remdesivir vials have been delivered to States and UTs so far to strengthen their Covid-19 response. Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the “central government is ensuring a streamlined and fast delivery of the global aid to states and the Union Territories (UTs) through faster custom clearances, and by use of air and road”. These medical supports were received from the global community in the last 14 days — from April 27 to May 9. The major items received on Sunday from the UK, South Korea, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) include 2,267 oxygen concentrators, 10,000 oximeters, 200 cylinders and 1,000 Ventilators or BiPAP or CPAP. The Ministry said the union government is ensuring that the global aid is being expeditiously delivered to States and the UTs through fast custom clearances, and use of air and road. A coordination cell has been created in the Union Health Ministry to coordinate the receipt and allocation of foreign Covid relief material. This cell started functioning from April 26, and Standard Operating Procedure has been framed and implemented by the Health Ministry since May 2, the Ministry said. According to the Ministry, the Central government has designed a streamlined mechanism for effective allocation and prompt distribution of the supplies received by India. This will help to supplement the medical infrastructure of the tertiary care institutions and recipient states and UTs, and strengthen their clinical management of the hospitalised Covid-19 patients. India has been receiving international aid of Covid-19 medical supplies and equipment since April 27 from different countries and organisations.

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UP to set up 10 oxygen plants in a week.(photo:https://pixabay.com)

As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread virulently in India, the government of Japan and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have partnered to provide oxygen generation plants to northeastern states.

A statement issued by the UNDP India said that since June 2020, the Japanese government and the agency have been jointly supporting the Centre’s battle against the pandemic by strengthening health and social protection systems and reviving livelihoods of the most vulnerable population.

In the ongoing pandemic, which is overwhelming health systems across the country, one of the key challenges has been acute shortage of medical oxygen.

To ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply, the support from the people of Japan has enabled UNDP in procuring and installing eight Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants in the northeastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.

The hospitals, with a capacity of approximately 1,300 beds, have been identified in the region for the oxygen generation plants.

Excess oxygen will be distributed among other health facilities in the hospitals’ vicinity.

The installation sites are being prepared so that the oxygen production can start at the earliest possible, the UNDP India said.

In addition, the UNDP has also been supporting the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with digitisation of supply chain of vaccines and tracking beneficiaries across states to ensure better access and coverage.

It has also helped build capacities of 820,500 frontline workers across the country to support the ‘world’s largest vaccination drive’, the statement said.

The government of Japan has also committed a sizable commitment of providing critical items to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.

In a statement, Satoshi Suzuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to India, said: “Japan stands with India, our friend and partner,in her efforts to fight against Covid-19 pandemic in this critical time. I am pleased that Japan is working with the UNDP to provide vital oxygen generation plants for the people of India’s northeast.

“The northeast occupies a special place for Japan-India relations and I sincerely hope that the oxygen generation plants will help those people in need.”

Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India, thanked the people of Japan for this critical support that will allow the agency to ensure uninterrupted flow of oxygen in hospitals and health centres in the region, especially those in hard-to-reach areas.

“The situation in India is devastating and the pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives. The UNDP urgently needs additional support to ensure that we reach the last mile to leave no one behind,” she said.

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