New Delhi, July 22
A total of 52 countries came forward to help India when the nation was hit by the second wave of Covid-19, the government said on Thursday.
In a written reply to parliamentarian Binoy Viswam in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (External Affairs) V.A. Muraleedharan said during the unprecedented crisis, the international community came forward with offers of solidarity and assistance for specific medicines and equipment that were not immediately available in the country.
He said that foreign materials from 52 countries have been received to date including from government to government, private to government, private to
“Donations were cleared through the Inter-Ministerial Committee that includes representatives of Ministry of Health, MEA, Niti Aayog, DPIIT, MHA, MoHFW, etc,” the Minister said.
Giving details of the assistance received, the minister said India received 27,116 oxygen cylinders, 29,327 oxygen concentrators, 48 Oxygen PSA plants and 19,375 ventilators from 52 foreign nations during the second Covid-19 wave.
The government also received 33,30,187 Favipiravir, 11,06,940 Remdesiver, 5,10,245 Tocilizumab from the foreign nations. A total of 19,88,985 rapid diagnostic kit was received during the Covid wave.
In February, when India had gotten Covid-19 under control from the peak of the first wave last year, a second wave of the virus hit the country with existing health infrastructure unable to cope up with the rise in cases.
On the ground, it was a heart-wrenching tragedy. Across the country, hospitals ran out of basic medical supplies and many patients died due to oxygen shortage. Family members were driving from clinic to clinic, frantically searching for ICU beds. Apart from that, people were looking for leads across the country for normal beds with oxygen facilities.
The government then sought help from the international community for oxygen supply. Indian Air Force transport planes were pressed into service, Indian Navy warships were sent to friendly countries to get the required medical needs of the time.
Eventually, the government started putting in all efforts to control the situation. And in June, the situation started improving with the number of cases coming down.