Ireland to send 700 ventilators to India to help fight deadly new wave of Covid-19

Ireland to send 700 ventilators to India to help fight deadly new wave of Covid-19

Health workers attend to a patient at the Jumbo Covid-19 hospital in Mumbai, India. New infections are rising faster in India than any other place in the world, stunning authorities and capsizing its fragile health system. Picture: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Ireland will send 700 ventilators and other equipment to India to help in its fight against a deadly new wave of Covid-19.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney made the announcement this afternoon.

India yesterday reported 349,691 new infections, bringing its total to 16.9 million, behind only the United States worldwide.

Across the country, hospitals and crematoriums are stretched beyond breaking point.

A number of Irish state agencies are assisting with the donation, which includes 700 oxygen concentrators. The donation is being made to India through the European Civil Protection Mechanism and is part of a coordinated EU response.

The equipment was originally purchased by the HSE for use in a field hospital setting, during the early pandemic preparations. These devices draw oxygen from the air and deliver it to the patient at over 90% concentration.

Mr Donnelly said:

 “We have all seen the rapidly deteriorating situation in relation to Covid-19 in India. I am pleased that Ireland is in a position to make this emergency donation of 700 oxygen concentrators to India. These machines will support frontline healthcare workers in India to deliver care to patients who need it. I am grateful to all those who have been working together over the weekend to make this life-saving donation happen.

“Transportation is being arranged through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism along with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Foreign Affairs through Irish Aid.”

Mr O’Brien said the donation was "another example of the Irish people’s extraordinary generosity of spirit and clear desire to want to help our international friends", while Mr Coveney said that Ireland is "among the first states to confirm concrete support to India."

In a tweet, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar showed his support for the move: "There are many Indian people working in our health service. India is currently facing a terrible second wave causing suffering beyond our comprehension. We are assessing a plan to provide oxygen and ventillators to India working with the EU."

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