The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said aid from other nations was distributed among states to help them deal with the rising Covid-19 cases.
Based on the criteria and principles laid out by the ministry, depending on each state’s requirement, 24 different categories of items numbering nearly 40 lakhs were distributed to 86 institutions in different states, the ministry said in a statement.
Major categories of equipment include BiPAP machines; oxygen (concentrators, cylinders, PSA Oxygen plants and pulse oximeters); drugs (Favipiravir and Remdesivir); and PPE (coveralls, N-95 masks and gowns).
Since grant in aid is limited in quantity, it has to be optimally utilised by allocating it to high burden states [states with higher number cases], where the requirement for such equipment/medicines is more, according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for allocations.
Spreading such aid thinly each time over a large number of states may not bring forth the desired results, the ministry said, adding it will lead to small packages travelling large distances, high turnaround times and possible wastage of resources.
The requirement of the high burden states in the context of number of persons in hospitals and prior distribution done by the Central resources would be considered.
Special focus can also be on states considered as medical hubs of the region, which have a patient in-flow from neighbouring states/cities.
In some cases, resource low states such as North Eastern and hill states where tankers etc don't reach, can also be covered to shore up their needs, the ministry said.
UK assistance reaches India
Nearly 35 tonnes of equipment, including 450 empty oxygen cylinders donated by the UK and airlifted by the Indian Air Force from Britain arrived here early on Tuesday.
According to the Indian Red Cross Society, UK donated 5,000 cylinders to India through it to meet the emergency requirement for empty oxygen cylinders during the second wave in India. Of these, 900 cylinders were meant for Tamil Nadu. The equipment were brought from Brize Norton, by one of two IAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft that earlier left for the UK on May 2 from its Jamnagar air base in Gujarat.