Germany and U.K to send Oxygen factories to India

As India is reeling under the surge of second wave of Covid-19, Germany and the U.K are sending oxygen production units to India.

Britain announced Wednesday it was sending three oxygen generation units to Covid-struck India following a first consignment of aid this week, but said it had no spare vaccines to offer, an AFP report said.

The three units, dubbed oxygen factories, are each the size of a shipping container and can produce 500 litres of oxygen per minute, the UK government said, AFP reported.

“We stand with our Indian friends in their fight against Covid-19,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.

“International collaboration is more essential than ever, and this additional UK support package will help meet India’s current needs, particularly for more oxygen.”

According to the report, the new shipment follows a first batch of oxygen concentrators and ventilators from Britain which arrived in India on Tuesday, with more of those supplies coming on Friday.

In total, Britain is sending 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators to India this week. There was no immediate response from the Foreign Office to an AFP query about when the container-sized factories would arrive.

India’s coronavirus death toll shot past 200,000 Wednesday as a relentless wave of new cases swamped hospitals and sent desperate families out into the streets of New Delhi in search of oxygen supplies and medicine.

According to Reuters, Germany will also send 120 ventilators to India on Saturday, followed by a mobile oxygen production facility next week, to help the country fight a drastic surge of COVID-19 cases, the German defence ministry said.

Britain itself does not have any surplus vaccines to offer India “at the moment”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a news conference.

But he said research by experts at Oxford University underpinned the AstraZeneca jab, and “that is the biggest contribution that we can make which effectively comes from British science”, along with the oxygen supplies.

The German military will fly 120 ventilators donated by the health ministry to India on Saturday, a defense ministry spokesman said.

Next week, two more planes will bring a mobile oxygen production facility to the country, he added, saying up to 16 German soldiers will help set it up and instruct staff of the Indian Red Cross in its operation.

The German military will lend the facility to India to help it tackle the health crisis, according to the spokesman.

India reported 379,257 new COVID-19 infections and 3,645 new deaths on Thursday, according to health ministry data. It was the highest number of deaths reported in a single day in India since the start of the pandemic.