Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said 1,764 oxygen concentrators, 1,760 oxygen cylinders, seven oxygen generation plants, 450 ventilators, and over 1.35 lakh remdesivir vials have been received as aid from abroad between April 27 and May 4 in 38 medical institutions across 31 states and union territories. India has been receiving medical supplies and equipment for COVID-19 relief since April 27 from different countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Russia, the UAE, the USA, Taiwan, Kuwait, France, Thailand, Germany, Uzbekistan, Belgium and Italy.
“All items received up to May 4 are allocated to states and institutions, and a substantial part of it stands delivered. This is an ongoing exercise," the health ministry said in its statement. A streamlined and systematic mechanism for allocation of the support supplies received by India has been put into place by the Central government for effective distribution of medical and other relief and support material, it said.
It said that 1,764 oxygen concentrators, 1,760 oxygen cylinders, seven oxygen generation plants, 450 ventilators, more than 1.35 lakh remdesivir vials and 1.20 lakh favipiravir strips have so far been delivered to38 tertiary care institutions and 31 states union territories in the first tranche between April 27 and May 4. The major items received on May 4 include 1,274 oxygen concentrators, 101 ventilators, 587 oxygen cylinders, two oxygen generation units or plants, 33 medical cabinet and 1,53,708 remdesivir vials among others.
A standard operating procedure for this purpose has been framed and implemented by the Health Ministry since May 2. A dedicated coordination cell has been created in the Health Ministry to coordinate the receipt and allocation of foreign COVID relief material as grants, aid and donations. This cell started functioning on April 26.
About the distribution of the COVID relief material, the ministry said, “This is done considering certain criteria like the number of active cases, case fatality rate, positivity rate and need among others." “This will help to supplement the medical infrastructure of these institutions and 31 states and UTs, and strengthen their clinical management capacities for prompt and effective clinical management of the hospitalised COVID19 patients," the ministry stated. Cargo clearance and deliveries are facilitated without delay in coordination with the agencies concerned. Deliveries and further installations, if required, are also being monitored by the health ministry on a regular basis, it said.
There has been an unprecedented surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country in the past few weeks. The health infrastructure of several states and UTs has been overwhelmed by the very high number of daily cases and increased mortality. “The Government of India is at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with the states and Union Territories. The aim is to extend all support and assistance through various means and measures to strengthen their efforts during this critical phase.
“Following the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the global community has extended a helping hand in supporting efforts of Government of India in this collective fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said.