France on Tuesday announced a "solidarity mission" for India under which it will send oxygen generation plants, ventilators and other medical supplies to support the country in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said it is carrying out an exceptional solidarity mission in support of the Indian people, who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Coordinated by the ministry's Crisis and Support Centre and carried out by the Embassy of France in India, the mission will involve shipping by air and sea freight by the end of this week," the ministry said in a statement. French ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said the "massive solidarity mission" is being supported by French companies present in India and the European Union.
"This massive solidarity mission, initiated at Prez @EmmanuelMacron's request, is supported by French companies present in India and the EU. It aims to both respond to the emergency and boost the long-term resilience of India's healthcare system," he said in a tweet.
The French foreign ministry said the medical supplies will include eight oxygen generators, each capable of uninterrupted supply of oxygen for a 250-bed hospital for nearly 10 years.
"Each unit can uninterruptedly supply a 250-bed hospital. Its oxygen output can fulfil the needs of 15 critically ill COVID-19 patients in an ICU (or 30 patients in the ICU of a conventional hospital) or 150 patients on oxygen therapy in a conventional hospital facility. These oxygen generators also include ramps for filling oxygen cylinders," it said.
The ministry said five containers of liquid medical oxygen are being sent as part of the first instalment, adding they are capable of supplying medical oxygen to up to 10,000 patients for a day.
France is also sending to India 28 ventilators and their consumables, as well as 200 electric syringe pumps. The ministry said the supplies are being sent in response to the needs expressed by India's authorities and they are intended to not only to address the emergency but also to significantly boost capabilities of Indian hospitals to "treat the sick and fight the pandemic".
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