New Delhi: As international aid pours into India, authorities have been directing it to various end-users, including hospitals across the country. AIIMS across the country, Safdarjung Delhi, Lady Harding, RML Hospital in Delhi, ITBP, and DRDO have been the top recipients of the assistance. The covid cell of the Ministry of External Affairs is operating 24 hours a day, contacting Indian missions, and a mechanism or standard operating procedure has been established to smooth the early delivery of assistance.
So far, 11,000 items totaling over 3000 tonnes have been distributed throughout the country, with the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy playing critical roles in material transport.
The first aid flight arrived on April 27th from the United Kingdom. The UK donated 80 oxygen concentrators to DRDO Patna, 100 to DRDO Delhi, 100 to DRDO Ahmedabad, and 120 to Lady Hardinge Medical College in Delhi, with RML and Safdarjung receiving 50 ventilators each. Oxygen concentrators from the United Kingdom have been sent to states such as Goa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand. Australia sent 43 oxygen concentrators, which were delivered to West Bengal, and 1056 ventilators, which were delivered to Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, and Bihar. The DRDO has been given two liquid oxygen containers that arrived from Bahrain.
France sent 200 syringe pumps, 500 machine filters, 500 anti-bacterial filters, and 28 ventilators to Lady Hardinge Medical College, all of which were delivered. Germany sent 120 ventilators, 40 of which were distributed to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, 45 to RML in Delhi, and 35 to AIIMS Jhajjar.
AIIMS Patna, AIIMS Rai Barelli, AIIMS Chandigarh, AIIMS Rishikesh, AIIMS Jodhpur, AIIMS Bhopal, AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jhajjar, Safdarjung Delhi, and several northeastern states received assistance from Ireland. Italy sent one Oxygen Generation Plant and 20 ventilators to the ITBP hospital in Noida. The plant, which was installed in 48 hours, was “turned on” by the Italian Ambassador to India, Vincenzo de Luca. The plant will provide oxygen to over 100 beds at a time for Covid19 patients admitted to the centre. Romania sent 80 oxygen concentrators, 40 of which went to AIIMS, Jhajhhar, and 40 to Lady Harding, and 75 oxygen cylinders, 40 of which went to Safdarjung and 35 to Lady Harding. Lady Harding received 150 bedside monitors, 75 ventilators, and 20 oxygen concentrators from Russia.
Mauritius sent 200 oxygen concentrators to AIIMS Mangakagiri (20), AIIMS Nagpur (60), AIIMS Raipur (50), and JIPMER Puducherry (70). New Zealand sent 72 oxygen concentrators, which were all delivered to the army Base Hospital in Delhi Cantt.
From Remdesivir to Assam, Goa, MP, Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi, PGI Chandigarh, AIIMS Kalyani, AIIMS Bhopal, Rapid detection kits to Delhi, Punjab, One Oxygen generation plant to ESIC Faridabad, Oxygen concentrators to Punjab, Kerala, and Maharashtra. Singapore sent 256 oxygen cylinders to AIIMS Ranchi, Raipur, Patna, and Lady Harding, with each receiving 64 cylinders. Thailand had sent 30 oxygen concentrators, 15 to Safdarjung in Delhi and 15 to CGHS in Delhi.
Taiwan donated 150 oxygen concentrators to Mizoram (15), 50 to Punjab, 35 to Haryana, 50 to the National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases in Delhi, and 500 to Mizoram (15), Himachal Pradesh (185), and Uttrakhand (300). The UAE’s massive assistance was distributed across the country, with 1707600 masks distributed to Aims Kalyani, Manglagiri, Rai Barelli, Jodhpur, Patna, Deogarh, Rishikesh, and Delhi, as well as 157 ventilators distributed to DRDO Dehradun and ventilators distributed to various AIIMS, DRDO, and ITBP.
The West Asian country, with which New Delhi has grown in recent years, also sent 72000 goggles, which were distributed to Safdarjung (11000), Lady Harding (11000), RML (10000), AIIMS Rishikesh (10000), Jhajjar (20000), and Jodhpur (11000).
Dammu Ravi, the chief of the ministry of external affairs’ covid cell, has assured that international aid sent to India by various countries is being distributed in real-time to various locations to provide immediate relief as the covid crisis wreaks havoc on the country.
Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary of the MEA’s COVID Cell, stated at a press conference, “There hasn’t been a single consignment left at the airport or the seaport. They were directly loaded at the airport to a distribution location in real-time, where it was distributed and given to the appropriate location for immediate use.” He elaborated, “The majority of the consignments have arrived at their destination. Some may be in transit for logistical reasons, and each consignment is tracked to ensure that it is used properly in those locations.”
Bangladesh will distribute 10,000 doses of Remdesivir to the North-Eastern states of Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, and North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS). On May 5, they were formally handed over at the Petrapole border checkpoint between India and Bangladesh. Belgium also sent 9000 vials of Remdesivir to the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, UP, and Rajasthan. Russia sent 20,000 doses of Favipiravir to Lady Harding, Safdarjung, RLM, and AIIMS—Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Rai Barely, Delhi, and Jhajjar.
As of May 5th, 4468 oxygen concentrators, 13 oxygen plants, 3417 oxygen cylinders, 3921 ventilators, and 3 lakh Remdesivir had been dispatched or delivered.
According to government data, 235 items were dispatched on April 27th, 456 items on April 28th, 355 items and 2 lakh strips of medicines on April 29th, 3595 items on April 30th, 30 items on May 1st 2926 items, and 1.3 lakh vials of Remdesivir on May 2nd, 225 items on May 3rd 1233 items, and 1.6 vials of Remdesivir on May 4th 1782 items on May 5th.
The allocation has been shared with foreign governments, both by Indian envoys abroad and by the MEA in Delhi, so that they are fully aware of how their donation is used by India.
“We are deeply appreciative of the generous offer coming from abroad, both by foreign governments, individuals, private entities, and NGOs who have expressed solidarity and support with India,” Ravi said, adding that “internationally recognition of the fact, that this crisis is not that of India alone, and it is a global crisis requiring collective actions and collective strategies.”
The international assistance is coordinated through a cell at the health ministry, where the MEA plays an important role because all goods pass through them. Every morning at around 9.30 a.m., the group meets to coordinate the entire process. It is made up of two senior MEA officials, two joint secretaries from the health ministry, the chief commissioner of customs, an economic advisor from the ministry of civil aviation, a technical advisor from the directorate general of health services, the secretary-general of the Indian Red Cross, and a representative from HLL Lifecare Limited, an Indian government-owned healthcare manufacturing company.
The cell was established on April 26th, and the delineation process began on April 28th.
India is receiving aid from countries, NRI organisations, and the international private sector, with the Indian Red Cross Society serving as the sole consignee for all consignments arriving from abroad. HLL is a customs clearing agent and transportation company that is aided by the national disaster response force. The assistance is allocated to hospitals and states based on their accessibility and immediate use of resources, as well as their current active cases. In fact, a priority list of states and union territories has been developed.