As India battles the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and resultant oxygen scarcity, the Centre and state governments have taken various measures to augment the production of medical oxygen in the country. Besides, efforts are also being made to procure and import oxygen concentrators to deal with the shortage of oxygen. Various foreign governments and global private sector companies have come forward to help India in the hour of crisis by sending oxygen concentrators. Here's where India is getting oxygen concentrators from:
Air India is airlifting over 10,000 oxygen concentrators, manufactured by Philips, from various countries, and has already flown in 636 concentrators from US till Tuesday. While Philips has sent 381 concentrators from US, the Indian Red Cross Society, which is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has imported 95 oxygen concentrators.
Besides, India is also likely to get 25,000 oxygen concentrators from China. A Jiangsu-based medical equipment supplier in China has received orders for 18,000 oxygen concentrators from India. The supplier is likely to send another 7,000 concentrators in early May, sources told India Today. Overall, India has received 495 oxygen concentrators from UK, 256 from Singapore and 800 from Hong Kong. Another 700 concentrators are likely to arrive in India on Thursday from Ireland.
A lot of private entities from across the world have also been providing oxygen concentrators to India. The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) is sourcing 1,00,000 portable oxygen concentrators through donation from member companies. The concentrators will be shipped immediately to India for use at home and hospitals. While Microsoft has said it will help in purchase of concentrators, Amazon India is procuring over 1,500 oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment for donating to hospitals and medical facilities.
Amazon is also collaborating with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR) and others to airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore. While Deloitte has already provided 1,000 oxygen concentrators, it is sourcing another 11,000 concentrators. Industry body FICCI has joined hands with its German partner BVMW to import 1,500 oxygen concentrators from the country.
The Centre has formed a Inter-Ministerial Group to ensure that the imported medical equipment are cleared quickly and provided to recipient hospitals and institutions across the country in coordination with the state government agencies.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned procurement of 1 lakh portable oxygen concentrators from the PM CARES Fund. Besides, 500 new pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants were also sanctioned. These PSA plants are in addition to the earlier sanctioned 713 PSA plants from PM CARES Fund.