After Japan announced that it was going to install oxygen generation plants in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura to aid India in its fight against a vicious second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tokyo will be sending a second consignment of 200 oxygen concentrators to New Delhi. A batch containing 100 of these machines from Japan had reached India on May 8.
Japan’s ambassador to India, Satoshi Suzuki, had announced on Twitter that his country is working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India. “We are planning to install oxygen generation plants in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura," he said on May 10.
The spike in coronavirus cases has left hospitals in India swamped, creating a critical shortage of oxygen, intensive care beds and ventilators. Many patients with Covid-19 need assistance with their breathing to stay alive. Japan is among the friendly nations that have come forward to support India with medical equipment and other supplies to combat the crisis.
Japan’s ministry of foreign affairs announced on Tuesday that on May 12 and 13, 200 oxygen concentrators will be sent to India as part of the emergency assistance from Japan to India.
“The above-mentioned is a part of the package of assistance announced by the Government of Japan on April 30, which is for Japan to proceed with the procedure to provide India with 300 oxygen concentrators and 300 ventilators. Among those, 100 oxygen concentrators were already arrived in India on May 8,” the ministry statement said.
The Japanese government has said that the country will continue to steadily implement its support as part of the efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in India.
On May 5, Japan’s foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi during a conversation with India’s minister of external affairs Dr S Jaishankar said that Tokyo was ready to provide assistance of up to 50 million US dollars to India, based on the latter’s needs, in addition to the above-mentioned aid, in response to the current surge in coronavirus infections in India.
A statement issued by UNDP India also said that it has partnered with the Government of Japan to provide eight oxygen generation plants in the north-eastern states of India.
“In the context of the ongoing pandemic overwhelming the health system across the country, one of the key challenges has been the acute shortage of medical oxygen. In light of the critical need 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 States of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura in the North Eastern Region of India”, the statement read.
It also said that hospitals, with a capacity of approximately 1,300 beds in total, have been identified in the region for these 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 statement 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 UNDP to provide vital oxygen generation plants for the people of India’s North East. India’s North East occupies a special place for Japan-India relations and I sincerely hope that the Oxygen generation plants will help those people in need in the North Eastern Region of India,” said the statement, quoting ambassador Suzuki.