The world’s largest cargo plane left Belfast in Northern Ireland on Friday, carrying three 18-tonne oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators as part of the UK’s latest response to India’s COVID-19 crisis, the British government said, reported by PTI.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), which has funded to supplies, said airport staff worked through the night to load the life-saving kit aboard the massive Antonov 124 aircraft, which is expected to land in Delhi at 0800 IST on Sunday morning after which the Indian Red Cross will help transfer them to hospitals. Each of the three oxygen generation units – the size of 40 foot freight containers – produces 500 litres of oxygen per minute, enough for 50 people to use at a time. The UK is sending surplus oxygen generators from Northern Ireland to India. The latest set of supplies were announced earlier and follow 200 ventilators and 495 oxygen concentrators sent from the UK to India last month, also funded by the FCDO. The assistance package has been sourced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the offer by Northern Ireland’s health service is in addition to 1,000 ventilators offered by the DHSC.
India is undergoing a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a shortage of vital medical equipment and supplies. The UK is among several countries that have stepped in with offers of support from their surplus stocks during the crisis.