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Over 40 countries offered to supply oxygen to help India tackle Covid crisis: Foreign secy

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date
Over 40 countries offered to supply oxygen to help India tackle Covid crisis: Foreign secy

India has prioritised imports of oxygen, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Thursday, adding that 40 countries had pledged their support.

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India is looking at getting around 550 oxygen generating plants, 4,000 oxygen concentrators and 10,000 oxygen cylinders from abroad to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Thursday.

“Over 40 countries, not just developed countries but also our neighbours Mauritius, Bangladesh, Bhutan have all come forward to offer assistance,” Shringla said.

He informed a flight coming in from Ireland with 700 concentrators. France’s flight will be coming in on Saturday.

“We’re also expecting tomorrow and over the next couple of days three special flights from the US. President Biden spoke to the PM and offered extensive assistance,” he added.

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Shringla also said that India is looking at procuring 400,000 units of Remdesivir medicine from Egypt besides exploring to get it from countries like the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.

“We normally manufacture 67,000 doses of Remdesivir a day. But the requirement today might be between 2-3 lakhs a day. So we have to bridge the gap, this is something that our producers are well aware of, they are actually ramping up their production,” the Foreign Secretary said.

He said a cargo flight arriving tonight from UAE with ventilators and carrying Favipiravir medicines.

At a media media briefing, he said over 40 countries have come forward to offer assistance to India to help in view of the unprecedented situation.

The foreign secretary said the government has been majorly focusing on procuring oxygen generators, concentrators, oxygen cylinders, cryogenic tankers as well as liquid oxygen.

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He said the medical supplies are being sourced through direct procurement and other modes.

Shringla said two special aircraft carrying large amounts of medical supplies from the US are expected to reach India by Friday and another one is likely in the next few days.

As India battles a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic, countries around the world have announced sending medical supplies to help it tide over the situation.

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