IRELAND IS to provide India with 700 oxygen contractors to help the stricken country through a devastating second wave of Covid-19.
More than 350,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in India over the past 24 hours with hospitals at breaking point due to a lack of oxygen and limited bed capacity.
It marks the fifth successive day of record case numbers in the subcontinent in a development that has prompted nations around the world to come together to offer assistance.
Ireland is donating 700 oxygen concentrators as part of a larger material donation.
Devices of this kind work by drawing oxygen from the air and delivering it directly to patients.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed the donation.
He 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.”
The lifesaving equipment is being donated hrough the European Civil Protection Mechanism, as part of a joint EU response to the crisis.
These machines have been taken from stocks originally purchased by the HSE for use in a field hospital setting.
I'm pleased to say that following work with @roinnslainte @HSELive @simoncoveney @DarraghOBrienTD over the weekend, Ireland is to offer assistance to India. An emergency donation of 700 oxygen concentrators is being made.
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) April 26, 2021
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the news.
“Ireland is among the first states to confirm concrete support to India,” he said.
“At a time of great difficulty for India, we want to show solidarity with a country and people with whom we have strong historical and modern day relations.
“We are glad to provide this support at a time of such need and to be doing so as part of a wider EU response.”
The plan has been developed in co-ordination with the Department of Health, Foreign Affairs and Housing and Local Government.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said: “This emergency donation is another example of the Irish people’s extraordinary generosity of spirit and clear desire to want to help our international friends.
“I am keenly aware that many people living in Ireland have friends and family in India and are distressed at the very sad scenes we are witnessing there and I hope Government’s rapid response offers them some comfort.”
Ireland sends life-saving medical equipment to India as part of #TeamEurope4India!
With the support of 🇪🇺, we are sending 700 oxygen concentrators to India on an emergency basis to assist frontline healthcare workers deliver care to patients in 🇮🇳 #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/5MHDq65Zib
— Irish Embassy India (@IrlEmbIndia) April 26, 2021
The plans come just a day after Tanaiste Leo Varadkar pledged that Ireland would provide support.
Varadkar, whose dad is Indian, tweeted: “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.”