In a statement released by the French government, it said France and India have always stood together in solidarity at difficult times.(Reuters file photo)
In a statement released by the French government, it said France and India have always stood together in solidarity at difficult times.(Reuters file photo)

France joins global call to help India, to send medical equipment

The call for support by French President Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron comes at a time when India is facing an acute crisis of medical oxygen as state governments and hospitals scramble for oxygen for thousands of critical patients across the country.
By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 27, 2021 07:35 AM IST

France is the latest country to join the global call for support to India India ride out the crisis of coronavirus pandemic that has destabilised the country’s healthcare mechanism.

The French government late on Sunday said that President Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron has requested the country’s ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs to mobilise a solidarity operation to support India ride out the crisis of coronavirus pandemic with the help of the French embassy in India.

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The statement released by the French ministry said the operation will air and sea support to deliver 8 oxygen concentrators, containers of liquid oxygen, specialized medical equipment including 28 respirators and 200 electric syringe pumps among others.

The call for support comes at a time when India is facing an acute crisis of medical oxygen as state governments and hospitals scramble for oxygen for thousands of critical patients across the country.

ALSO READ: Why India is facing an oxygen crisis as Covid-19 cases mount

France said the oxygen concentrators that it will provide can provide a hospital with oxygen autonomy for a dozen years. “These units are permanent fixtures that can produce medical oxygen from the oxygen present in the air. Each one can continuously supply a 250-bed hospital. The system’s flow rate is sufficient for 15 intubated Covid patients in a resuscitation care unit (or 30 patients in conventional intensive care) or 150 patients requiring oxygen in a conventional hospital setting. Also included are devices to refill oxygen cylinders,” a statement released by French ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs read.

It further said that in response to needs expressed by Indian officials the equipment is designed to respond to the emergency but also to boost the capacity of Indian hospitals over the long term to treat patients and fight the pandemic.

“France and India have always stood together in solidarity at difficult times. This solidarity lies at the heart of our strategic partnership and the friendship between the French and Indian people,” the release read.

Close allies United States, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have come forward to support India’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic with Washington asking its nearest bases to air-lift oxygen generators, concentrators, Remdesivir anti-viral drug and raw materials for vaccine in the next 48 hours.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden took to Twitter to say that his administration is determined for India to tide over the crisis of coronavirus

UAE is sending a huge shipment of oxygen concentrators and Saudi Arabia large number of oxygen generators to India.

Medical support to India has started to come from countries like Denmark, Singapore Israel and some other EU nations in reciprocation to New Delhi’s solidarity for the world when it stood firm with the democratic world in supply of much-needed drugs and vaccine.

Under its ‘vaccine maitri’ initiative, India supplied much-needed drugs in the form of grants as well as on commercial basis. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started last year, India supplied hydroxychloroquine to the US and Europe with the total number of countries touching 150. India supplied 6.5 crore vaccine doses to 93 countries in Asia, Latin America and African countries apart from UK.

India's Covid-19 crisis continued unabated as the country reported over 300,000 new infections of the disease for the fifth straight day on Monday. With 352,991 new cases of the coronavirus disease and 2,812 fatalities, the country's cases tally reached 17,313,163 while the death toll climbed to 195,123. The active caseload now stands at 2,814,658 and accounts for 16.25% of the overall cases.

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