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Foreign aid sent to 38 institutes in 31 states, says Centre

With the global community responding to India’s Covid crisis by sending aid in the form of medicines, oxygen concentrators and ventilators, the Centre has now begun distributing these, with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday saying 40 lakh items have been sent to 38 institutions across 31 states.

“The global community has extended a helping hand in supporting efforts of Government of India in this collective fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic… The materials are being given by countries due to the immediate and urgent requirements in different parts of the country. This help is over and above what Govt of India is already providing, and is thus an additionality for the states and UTs,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The list of institutions that have received the Covid-19 supplies include nine hospitals in the Delhi-NCR region, which has been battling a severe oxygen crisis over the last few weeks. Supplies have also been sent to 14 All India Institutes of Medical Science (AIIMS) across the country and other hospitals under the Central Government/PSUs and state government-run hospitals, the Ministry said.

“The allocations are done keeping in mind equitable distribution and the load on tertiary health care facilities,” the Ministry statement said, adding, “As the different tranches are coming in, the rest of the States and UTs will also be covered in the coming days.” According to the Ministry, the equipment include BiPAP machines, oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and pulse oximeters; drugs such as favipiravir and remdesivir; and PPE kits, N-95 masks and gowns.

Saying the Centre has adopted a “streamlined and systematic mechanism” to allocate the supplies to States and UTs, the Ministry said the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL) are also involved in the process.

According to the statement, a cell has been created in the Health Ministry under the Additional Secretary [Health] to “coordinate the receipt and allocation of foreign COVID relief material as grants, aid and donations.”

The Centre observed that it is leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in collaboration with the states and Union Territories through a “whole of Government” approach.

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