Gurugram, India - May 7, 2021: A view inside the "Oxygen Centre" being run by Hemkunt Foundation at Sector 56 for Covid-19 patients, in Gurugram, India, on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Vipin Kumar / Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
Gurugram, India - May 7, 2021: A view inside the "Oxygen Centre" being run by Hemkunt Foundation at Sector 56 for Covid-19 patients, in Gurugram, India, on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Vipin Kumar / Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)

Indian companies to buy 60,000 oxygen concentrators from China

The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products (CCCMHPIE) has been swamped with queries from Indian companies about procuring active pharmaceutical ingredients and drugs used to treat Covid-19.
By Sutirtho Patranobis
PUBLISHED ON MAY 08, 2021 02:28 PM IST

Indian companies have placed orders for more than 60,000 oxygen concentrators with Chinese medical equipment manufacturers to meet the shortage of medical oxygen in India, which is facing a devastating surge in Covid-19 cases, the top Chinese medical industry association has said.

The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products (CCCMHPIE) has been swamped with queries from Indian companies about procuring both the APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) and drugs used to treat Covid-19 like remdesivir, favipiravir, and dexamethasone, the chamber told HT in an exclusive statement.

“As of May 5, oxygen concentrator manufacturers of the industry had received orders for over 60000 oxygen concentrators (from India),” the chamber said, adding that the delivery of some of the consignments will be done by the end of May.

The chamber, the statement said, has been in close touch with the Indian counterparts and also “…received lots of inquiries and procurement requests from India for pulse oximeters and anti-epidemic drugs and APIs including Favipiravir, Dexamethasone, Remdesivir etc.”

In addition, Chinese enterprises have also received inquiries for nitrile gloves, CT scan equipment from India and are currently increasing their production scheduling to guarantee the supply, the Chamber said.

“On April 26, CCCMHPIE launched a public proposal for Chinese medical enterprises to take immediate action and provide support and help to solve the shortage in medical supplies to India in fighting the epidemic by doing what they can,” the statement added.

The Chamber added that it has maintained “constant communication” with the Indian embassy in Beijing and the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India or Pharmexcil, which is New Delhi’s authorised agency to promote pharmaceutical exports from India.

India until now has not accepted any government-to-government aid from China but allowed private companies to purchase medical supplies and equipment from their Chinese counterparts.

In fact, it has led to a windfall for Chinese companies like the Yuyue Medical Equipment and Supply whose shares soared last month after Indian companies placed an order for 1,8000 oxygen concentrators with it, local media reported.

According to official data until late April, Chinese companies have supplied more than 5,000 ventilators, 21,569 oxygen generators, over 21.48 million masks, and around 3,800 tonnes of medicines to India.

Donations from private Chinese companies are being accepted.

On May 2, Fosun Pharma, a leading healthcare group in China, dispatched the first batch of donated medical protective supplies comprising some 10,00,00 masks to Mumbai.

The company told the official news agency, Xinhua, on Friday that 150 ventilators donated by Fosun Pharma’s subsidiary Gland Pharma were to be delivered to Hyderabad in central India, and 20,000 oxygen generators were to be provided soon.

The Chamber China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products, meanwhile, has said it was ready to help the “Indian partners” with transportation and logistics of the goods being supplied from here.

“We are willing to help and support our Indian friends facing the ravages of the virus,” it said.

On April 30, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed serious concerns over the pandemic situation in India and offered to help fight the outbreak, in a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“China is willing to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation with India and provide support and help to the country,” official news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

“I am very concerned about the recent outbreak of new coronary pneumonia in India and would like to express sincere condolences to the Indian government and people on behalf of the Chinese government and Chinese people, and on my own behalf,” Xi added in the message.

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