Northern Ireland shipping three oxygen generators to India to fight Covid surge - see how you can make a donation
Northern Ireland’s health service is offering three oxygen generation units as part of the UK’s humanitarian response to India’s COVID-19 crisis.
Health Minister Robin Swann has been in discussions with Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock on the situation.
The country of nearly 1.4 billion has seen a dramatic spike in infections and deaths in recent weeks, overwhelming the national health system and leaving some dying without access to beds or oxygen.
The coronavirus death toll stands at more than 200,000 lives lost.
Minister Swann said: “A humanitarian crisis is unfolding and providing support is undoubtedly the right thing to do. Oxygen supply is under severe stress in India’s health system. The oxygen generation units [NI is donating to India] are each capable of providing 500 litres of oxygen per minute and I sincerely hope these units can help save lives.”
Following receipt of funding from the Department of Health, a number of oxygen generation component parts were procured by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust on behalf of the NI health service last year, as part of the regional response to the COVID pandemic. The three being provided to India have not been required at a hospital here to date.
The Health Minister added: “The scenes in India are a vivid reminder of the destructiveness of the virus. We must never lose sight of the damage it is capable of inflicting
Local charities are also appealing for support to tackle the surge in India. Tearfund, Save the Children and the Red Cross are NI supporting the UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help provide urgent life-saving assistance such as ventilators, oxygen concentrators, PPE and hygiene kits.
NI Director at Tearfund Glen Mitchell said: “The generosity of the Northern Irish people knows no limits and we have a chance to support thousands of vulnerable people.”
To donate visit www.dec.org.uk, call 0370 60 60 900, or send a cheque to DEC Coronavirus Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA. To donate £10 text SUPPORT to 70150.
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