India covid crisis: International assistance delivered at AIIMS, Safdarjung, Lady Harding, ITBP, DRDO

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: May 09, 2021, 09:52 AM IST

Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo de Luca switched on an oxygen plant at ITBP Referral Hospital, Greater Noida. Photo credits: ITBP Photograph:(Others)

Story highlights

The assistance is allocated on basis of accessibility and immediate use of resources to hospitals and states

As international assistance pours into India, authorities have been able to deliver it to various end-users — hospitals spread across the country.

The top recipient of the assistance have been AIIMS (which is spread across the country), Safdarjung Delhi, Lady Harding, RML Hospital in Delhi, ITBP and DRDO.

The ministry of external affairs' covid cell is working 24*7 and contacting Indian missions and a mechanism (SOP) has been set up to smoothen the early delivery of assistance. 

So far, 11,000 items of over 3,000 tonnes have been dispatched all over the country with the Indian Air force and Indian navy playing an important part in transporting material.

The first flight of assistance came on April 27 from the UK. Nearly 80 oxygen concentrators from the UK went to DRDO Patna, 100 to DRDO Delhi and DRDO Ahmedabad each, 120 to Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi with RML and Safdarjung getting 50 ventilators each. UK's assistance of oxygen concentrators has been sent to states such as Goa, Bihar, UP, Jharkhand.

Australia had sent 43 Oxygen concentrators which have been delivered to West Bengal while 1,056 ventilators sent by the country have been delivered to Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, and Bihar. Two liquid oxygen containers that arrived from Bahrain have been given to DRDO. 

France had sent 200 syringe pumps, 500 machine filters, 500 anti-bacterial filters, 28 ventilators — all of which have been delivered to Lady Hardinge Medical College. Germany had sent 120 ventilators of which 40 were given to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, 45 to RML in Delhi, and 35 to AIIMS, Jhajjar. 

Assistance from Ireland went to AIIMS in Patna, Rai Barelli, Chandigarh, Rishikesh, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Delhi, Jhajjar, and several northeastern states.

One oxygen generation plant and 20 ventilators sent by Italy went to ITBP hospital, Noida. The plant that was installed within 48 hours was "switched on" by the Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo de Luca himself. The plant will supply oxygen to more than 100 beds at a time to the COVID-19 patients admitted at the center.

Romania had sent 80 oxygen concentrators, of which 40 went to AIIMS Jhajhhar and Lady Harding each, and of the 75 oxygen cylinders, 40 went to Safdarjung and 35 to Lady Harding. In addition to this, Lady Harding received 150-bed side monitors, 75 ventilators and 20 oxygen concentrators from Russia. 

Nearly 200 oxygen concentrators sent by Mauritius went to AIIMS Mangakagiri (20), AIIMS Nagpur (60), AIIMS Raipur (50) and JIPMER Puducherry (70).

New Zealand sent 72 oxygen concentrators, all of which went to army Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt. 

US supplies went across the country: Remdesivir was sent to Assam, Goa, MP, Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi, PGI Chandigarh, AIIMS Kalyani, AIIMS Bhopal. Rapid detection kits were delivered to Delhi and Punjab. One oxygen generation plant was sent to ESIC Faridabad and oxygen concentrators were sent to Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra.

Nearly 256 oxygen cylinders sent by Singapore were distributed to AIIMS Ranchi, Raipur, Patna, Lady Harding, with each getting 64 cylinders. Thailand had sent 30 Oxygen concentrators, with 15 going to Safdarjung, Delhi, 15 to CGHS, Delhi. 

Taiwan's assistance of oxygen concentrators (150) went to Mizoram (15), Punjab (50), Haryana (35), National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, Delhi (50), and 500 oxygen cylinders were sent to Mizoram (15), Himachal Pradesh (185) and Uttrakhand (300).

UAE's mega assistance went across the length and breadth of the country, such as the 1,707,600 masks were distributed to AIIMS Kalyani, Manglagiri, Rai Barelli, Jodhpur, Patna, Deogarh, Rishikesh, Delhi; 157 ventilators to DRDO Dehradun; ventilators to various AIIMS, DRDO, ITBP.

The West Asian country, with which New Delhi's partnership has grown in the past few years also sent 72,000 goggles, of which Safdarjung, Jodhpur and Lady Harding received 11,000 each, and RML and AIIMS Rishikesh received 10,000 each and Jhajjar received 20,000 each. 

The Ministry of External Affairs' covid cell's chief Dammu Ravi has assured that the international assistance sent to India by various countries is being distributed to various locations in real-time to bring immediate relief as the covid crisis wreaks the country. 

"Not even one consignment has remained at the airport or the seaport. They have been directly loaded at the airport to distribution location in real-time, it goes and gets distributed and given to that location for the right use, immediate use" Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary of MEA's COVID Cell explained. "Most of the consignments have reached the destination. some may be in transit, for a logistical reason and every consignment is tracked and ensured that it is properly used in those locations"

Nearly 10,000 doses of Remdesivir that were given by Bangladesh will be given to 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). They were formally handed over at the Petrapole border checkpoint between India and Bangladesh on May 05.

Belgium had also sent 9,000 vials of Remdesivir which have been delivered to the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, UP, Rajasthan. 20,000 doses of Favipiravir sent by Russia were sent to Lady Harding, Safdarjung, RLM, and AIIMS (Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Rai Barely, Delhi, Jhajjar).

So far, 4468 oxygen concentrators, 13 oxygen plants, 3417 oxygen cylinders, 3921 ventilators, and 300,000 Remdesivir have been dispatched or delivered (as of May 05).

According to the government data, 235 items were dispatched on April 28, 456 items from April 28, 355 items and 200,000 strips of medicines on April 29, 3595 items on April 30, 30 items on May 01, 2926 items and 130,000 vials of Remdesivir on May 02, 225 items on May 03, 1233 items and 160,000 vials of Remdesivir on May 04, 1782 items on May 05. 

The distribution of allocation that has been made is shared by foreign governments, both by Indian envoys abroad and MEA in Delhi, so that they are fully aware of how their donation is used by India. Ravi highlighted that "we are deeply appreciative of the generous offer coming from abroad, both by foreign governments, individuals, private entities, NGOs who have expressed solidarity and support with India" and "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" 

This international assistance is coordinated with a cell at the health ministry, in which MEA plays an important role since all the goods come via them. The group meets every morning at around 9:30 am to coordinate the entire process. It comprises two senior officials from MEA, two joint secretaries from the health ministry, chief commissioner of customs, economic advisor from the ministry of civil aviation, a technical advisor from the directorate general of health services, secretary-general of Indian red cross, and a representative from HLL Lifecare Limited which is an Indian government-owned healthcare manufacturing company. The cell was set up on April 26 and on April 28, the process of delineation started.

India is receiving assistance from countries, NRI bodies, and the international private sector with the Indian red cross society being the single consignee for all the consignments coming from abroad. HLL is a customs clearing agent and the transported, which is assisted by the national disaster response force. The assistance is allocated on basis of accessibility and immediate use of resources to hospitals and states are given on basis of current active cases. In fact, a priority list of state and union territory is prepared.