India got 33mn items as foreign aid for Covid: Government data
New Delhi: India has received over 33 million items as Covid-19 aid from all over the world, according to latest government data.
Apart from Covid-19 drugs that came in bulk quantities, the largest consignments were of oxygen cylinders followed by oxygen concentrators that helped India meet the surging demand of the life-saving gas at the peak of the second wave of the pandemic.
Private donations — aid from organisations or individuals — comprised nearly one-third of the total aid India received since April 27, according to data. Out of 33.1 million items, 21.4 million came through the government-to-government route. Private contributions amounted to over 11.7 million items, the data, reviewed by HT, shows.
India started receiving foreign aid from April 27 and its distribution was based on optimal use primarily to states with high caseloads and to regional medical hubs. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who heads the group of secretaries on coordination with the private sector, NGOs and global organisations for pandemic response, said: “99.6% of these items are delivered. Rest have been dispatched and in transit.”
New Delhi received 27,000 oxygen cylinders and nearly 23,000 oxygen concentrators — two key items in high demand during the second wave. It also got more than 16,000 ventilators and 53 oxygen plants. Four oxygen tankers were also brought in, according to official data.
The overseas aid also comprised more than 1 million rapid antigen test kits, 9.5 million Favipiravir and 2.2 million Medirol. India also received over 8 million Remdesivir doses. The recent arrivals included oxygen-generating plants from Canada, UAE and Qatar, and oxygen cylinders from Indonesia.
The lion’s share of these items was distributed to government hospitals and states. But now, with Covid-19 cases declining in the second wave, the requirement of aid is low. “With the situation improving, we are going slow now,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.
As many as 43 countries committed to help India and nearly 100 consignments have been received from abroad.