NHS sends ventilators and oxygen to India as hospitals continue to struggle to cope

The donated items have some from the UK’s surplus supply which was bolstered during the first wave of the pandemic. 

Matt Bodell
6 May 2021

Over 400,000 new cases being reported on a daily basis.

1,200 ventilators and 495 oxygen concentrators and large 3 oxygen generation units are being to India in order to help with their pandemic response.

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It comes as India’s hospitals have been overwhelmed by the number of severe cases presenting leading to an acute shortage of beds, oxygen, and some emergency medicines.

With over 400,000 new cases being reported on a daily basis, nearly 4,000 deaths per day are being recorded.

The donated items have some from the UK’s surplus supply which was bolstered during the first wave of the pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance have also spoken to their Indian counterparts to provide advice, insight and expertise to the Indian healthcare system as it deals with the world’s worse surge in Covid levels.

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NHS England will establish a clinical advisory group to support India’s Covid response and work with Indian institutions such as the All India Institute of Medical Services to share experience on managing Covid outbreaks. The group will include researchers in public and global health, alongside nursing and other health professionals who have experience of the Indian healthcare system.

India has previously provided support to the UK during the coronavirus pandemic, keeping its borders open to supply the UK with vital medicine and PPE – exporting over 11 million face masks and 3 million packets of paracetamol over the course of 2020.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “As a close friend of India, we have all felt the harrowing scenes and are determined to do all we can.

“Only a few months ago we felt the pressure of the pandemic here in the UK. This virus attacks all of us and in the battle against coronavirus, we’re all on the same side.

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“This additional support will provide more capacity and expertise to help save lives and support India’s healthcare system.

“We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this immensely challenging time.”

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