London: The British Government is sending three 18 -tonne oxygen generators and 1000 ventilators, onboard the world’s largest cargo plane as a part of the UK’s response to India’s Covid-19 crisis.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), which has funded to supplies, said that the life-saving kit have been safely carried aboard the massive Antonov 124 aircraft, which left Belfast in Northern Ireland on Friday is expected to land in Delhi at 0800 IST on early Sunday morning.
As an aid to transfer the supplies to the hospitals, the Indian Red Cross would be available. Each oxygen generation plant is the size of about 40-freight containers with a capacity of 500 liters of oxygen production per minute, enough for a total of 50 people to use at a time.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the UK is sending surplus oxygen generators from Northern Ireland to India in order to support the country’s hospitals as they care for vulnerable COVID-19 patients. He also added that both UK and India are working together to handle the crisis.
This set of supplies is in addition to 200 ventilators and 495 oxygen concentrators sent to India by the UK last month. It was also funded by the FCDO. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)has sourced the assistance package and the offer by Northern Ireland’s health service is in addition to 1,000 ventilators offered by the DHSC.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock expressed his condolences towards the heartbreaking condition in India and assured that the UK stood side by side to face this immense challenge. He said that to battle this global pandemic together, vital equipment such as ventilators and oxygen generators provided by the UK government will help in supporting India’s healthcare system and save lives.
Earlier on Friday, Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann was at Belfast International Airport to survey the surplus oxygen generators supplied by his department loaded onto the giant cargo plane.
In another development, the Japanese embassy, on Friday announced that as a part of the first batch of emergency medical assistance from Japan, 100 oxygen concentrators would be sent to India by the 8th of May.
Last month, the Japanese government had announced an aid of a total of 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators to India. The embassy said that Japan will continue to extend further support to India in response to the surge of Covid-19 infections.
At present, India is undergoing a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic with setting up new records of active cases and death rates everyday. This has resulted in a shortage of vital medical equipment and other supplies nationwide. The death tally count due to the shortage of oxygen and ventilators has been shockingly rising. The UK and Japan are among several other countries that have stepped in with offers of support from their surplus stocks during this battle of India against Covid.