The UK is to send three ‘container-sized oxygen factories’ to India as the country’s death toll passes 200,000.
On Wednesday afternoon, Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, tweeted: “We stand with our Indian friends in their fight against COVID-19.
“The next package of UK support includes 3 container-sized oxygen factories to help Indian hospitals care for the most vulnerable.”
We stand with our Indian friends in their fight against Covid-19. The next package of UK support includes 3 container-sized oxygen factories to help Indian hospitals care for the most vulnerable.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) April 28, 2021
At a Downing Street conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “large-scale oxygen production equipment” was being donated by Northern Ireland which could deliver more than 1,000 litres of oxygen per minute.
Mr Hancock described the pictures circulating coming in from the country as “harrowing” and said the UK stood “side by side with the people of India in these troubled times”, but said donating vaccines was not possible as Britain does not have excess doses.
Oxygen supplies are depleting to dire levels as more and more hospitals run out – resigning families to source supplies privately, to help their loved ones stay alive.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his support for India and stated how he plans to work with the Indian government during the ‘shared’ fight against Covid-19.
We stand side by side with India in the shared fight against COVID-19. Vital medical equipment is on its way from the UK to India to help stop the tragic loss of life from the virus and we’ll continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 25, 2021
The UK has already sent around 200 ventilators and oxygen concentrators to India, with more on the way.
The aid comes as India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare gave an updated official figure for COVID deaths of 201,187, although some speculate the statistic may be higher.