Covid: Scotland and Wales send urgent supplies to India

  • Published
A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
India's hospitals have been swamped by the country's second wave of coronavirus

Life-saving medical equipment has been flown to India from Scotland and Wales to help the country deal with its Covid-19 crisis.

The Scottish government provided 100 oxygen concentrators and 40 Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) ventilators which arrived on Friday.

The Welsh government sent 638 oxygen concentrators and 351 ventilators which arrived earlier this week.

The operation is being funded by the Foreign Office.

The devices can be used in hospitals, intensive care wards or other locations and are ideally suited to treat Covid-19 patients when there are constraints on the medical gas infrastructure supply.

They will be distributed by the Indian Red Cross.

The Scottish government's Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "The coronavirus situation in India is a human tragedy. We are working with the other UK nations to help tackle the crisis by providing equipment that can be used immediately to save lives.

"We will continue to make contributions within the international community, while tackling Covid-19 here in Scotland."

He said there were a number of ways to donate to the response effort, including the British Asian Trust's Oxygen for India Emergency Appeal, and the Disasters Emergency Committee, which has extended its Coronavirus Appeal to include India.

Image source, FCDO
Image caption,
The medical supplies from Scotland arrived in India on Friday night

The medical equipment comes from surplus stocks across the UK, based on the needs identified by the Indian government.

Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: "Covid-19 is a global emergency and as such it is right that we are part of the global response, supporting other nations.

"We have worked closely with the UK government and the government of India on the logistics and arranged for supplies of ventilators and oxygen concentrators to be transported to India and distributed to the hospitals where they are needed most."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "The UK, Scottish and Welsh governments are working together to support India in its struggle against Covid.

"Our contribution of more oxygen concentrators and ventilators will save lives - and help our Indian friends overcome the virus."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The equipment is being distributed to hospitals that need it most

Oxygen concentrators are machines that take in room air, made up of oxygen, nitrogen and a small amount of carbon dioxide and remove the nitrogen from the air by passing it through special filters to create oxygen that can be delivered to patients through tubing.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a type of non-invasive ventilation that keeps the airways open and aids oxygenation.

The first delivery from the UK in late April provided 200 ventilators and 495 oxygen concentrators.

Earlier this month, the world's largest cargo plane flew over from Belfast with three surplus 18-tonne oxygen generators supplied by the Department for Health (Northern Ireland) plus a further 1,000 ventilators from the Department of Health and Social Care.