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Ireland to make emergency donation of 700 oxygen concentrators to India

Ireland is to donate vital emergency supplies, including 700 oxygen concentrators, to India in re...
Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

15.44 26 Apr 2021


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Ireland to make emergency dona...

Ireland to make emergency donation of 700 oxygen concentrators to India

Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

15.44 26 Apr 2021


Share this article


Ireland is to donate vital emergency supplies, including 700 oxygen concentrators, to India in response to the country's severe COVID-19 outbreak.

Daily coronavirus infections rose to 352,991 in India today, setting a new global record for the fifth day in a row.

More than 17 million cases have been reported there since the pandemic began, while more than 190,000 deaths have also been reported.

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Over the weekend, doctors across India were reduced to begging for help on social media warning of desperately low oxygen supplies.

Jot Jeet, chair of a disaster management cell with an organisation helping in New Delhi, described the situation in India as a medical disaster.

He told Newstalk that the situation in the country has been converted from a "simple emergency" to "a disaster" because the Indian government weren't prepared.

India's prime minister said that the coronavirus outbreak which is overwhelming hospitals has "shaken the nation".

However, Narendra Modi is facing mounting criticism for allowing Hindu festivals and huge election rallies to go ahead in recent weeks - events that likely accelerated the surge in infections.

india A man who tested positive for COVID-19 is taken to a critical care unit at a hospital in Kolkata, India. Photo: Debarchan Chatterjee/ZUMA Wire

In response to the crisis, Ireland will be sending emergency materials to India as part of a coordinated EU response.

These include 700 oxygen concentrators which are being supplied through the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

The donation is being made from stocks originally purchased by the HSE for use in a field hospital setting as part of pandemic preparations.

These devices draw oxygen from the air and deliver it to the patient at over 90% concentration.

A number of state agencies, the HSE and the Health, Housing, and Foreign Affairs Ministers have been working on the plans in recent days.

Announcing the response today, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said we have all seen "the rapidly deteriorating situation in relation to COVID-19 in India".

He said the "life-saving donation" of the oxygen concentrators "will support frontline healthcare workers in India to deliver care to patients who need it".

Transportation of the supplies is being arranged through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism along with the Department of Housing and the Department of Foreign Affairs through Irish Aid.

“Ireland is among the first States to confirm concrete support to India," the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said.

"At a time of great difficulty for India, we want to show solidarity with a country and people with whom we have strong historical and modern day relations.

"We are glad to provide this support at a time of such need and to be doing so as part of a wider EU response.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien added that the donation "is another example of the Irish people’s extraordinary generosity of spirit and clear desire to want to help our international friends".

"I am keenly aware that many people living in Ireland have friends and family in India and are distressed at the very sad scenes we are witnessing there and I hope Government’s rapid response offers them some comfort," he said.

Main image: A health care workers rushing with an oxygen cylinder on a stretcher at Jaipur Golden hospital where at least 25 Covid-19 patient passed away while in ICU the previous night due to shortage of medical oxygen.

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