COVID-19 - india

France sends medical supplies in international drive to aid Covid-stricken India

People carry oxygen cylinders after refilling them in a factory, amidst the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus disease in Ahmedabad, India, 25 April 2021.
People carry oxygen cylinders after refilling them in a factory, amidst the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus disease in Ahmedabad, India, 25 April 2021. REUTERS - AMIT DAVE

France has begun sending oxygen generators destined to become long-term fixtures of hospitals in India, which has begun receiving the first deliveries of foreign aid to help it face a surging Covid-19 epidemic with more than 300,000 new cases every day for nearly a week.

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International aid for India has come as the world’s second-most populated country is averaging 2,000 deaths per day, peaking on Monday at 2,812 deaths, with 352,991 new infections.

France said what it called an “extraordinary solidarity operation” would see medical equipment arrive by the end of the week.

France’s delivery was to include eight oxygen concentrators that will provide Indian hospitals with the capacity to produce medical oxygen from oxygen present in the air.

“Each one can continuously supply a 250-bed hospital,” France’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “The system’s flow rate is sufficient for 15 intubated Covid patients in a resuscitation care unit (or 30 patients in conventional intensive care) or 150 patients requiring oxygen in a conventional hospital setting.”

The French-provided equipment also contains an initial delivery of five liquid oxygen containers that can provide medical oxygen to 10,000 patients per day as well as specialised medical equipment including 28 respirators and 200 syringe pumps.

“In response to needs expressed by Indian officials, this equipment is designed to respond to the emergency but also to significantly boost the capacity of Indian hospitals over the long term to treat patients and fight the pandemic,” the statement read.

 

Overwhelmed hospitals

In some of the India’s worst-hit cities, bodies were cremated in makeshift facilities in parks and parking lots. Critically ill patients were left on beds outside overwhelmed hospitals.

 

Multiple funeral pyres of victims of COVID-19 burn in a ground that has been converted into a crematorium for mass cremation, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
Multiple funeral pyres of victims of COVID-19 burn in a ground that has been converted into a crematorium for mass cremation, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. AP

 

 

In a bid to tackle the shortage of beds, authorities have converted train carriages into isolation wards. Oxygen tankers have been airlifted to states in need and special trains with oxygen supplies are also running.

Britain, Germany, Israel, Pakistan and the United States have also pledged aid in the form of oxygen, diagnostic tests, treatments, ventilators and protective gear.

Medical supplied including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators arrived in Delhi from the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

The US meanwhile was preparing to share raw materials to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine.

(with newswires)

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