Situation unprecedented, over 40 countries have offered help: Foreign Secretary on COVID crisis - SARKARI JOB INDIAN

Situation unprecedented, over 40 countries have offered help: Foreign Secretary on COVID crisis

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New Delhi: Amid a shortage of medical supplies including oxygen, drugs and vaccines, the central government is welcoming all the help it can get.

Calling the situation in the country unprecedented, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday (April 29) said that over 40 countries have come forward to offer help in the fight against the second wave of the pandemic.

He said that India has helped many of these countries in their hour of need and now they are returning the favour.

“It’s an unprecedented situation. We’ve certainly prioritising, we’re sourcing many of these items (oxygen, drugs, etc.) from many countries. Many countries have come forward on their own to offer us assistance. Countries said they appreciated our assistance and they’re giving us in return,” Shringla was quoted as saying by ANI.

“We’re also expecting tomorrow and over the next couple of days three special flights from the US. President Biden spoke to the PM and offered extensive assistance. We have a cargo flight arriving tonight from UAE with ventilators and carrying Favipiravir medicines,” he said.

“We also have a flight coming in from Ireland with 700 concentrators. France’s flight will be coming in on Saturday. Over 40 countries, not just developed countries but also our neighbours Mauritius, Bangladesh, Bhutan have all come forward to offer assistance,” he added.

Shringla underlined the priority areas that include liquid oxygen and “any equipment that produces oxygen – oxygen generators, concentrators, cryogenic tankers, transportation equipment for oxygen.”

Shringla further said that there is an urgent need for pharmaceutical products like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab.

“Although we produce Remdesivir given the requirements the production has not been adequate to meet the immediate shortfall,” he pointed out.

“We normally manufacture 67,000 doses of Remdesivir a day. But the requirement today might be between 2-3 lakhs a day. So we have to bridge the gap, this is something that our producers are well aware of, they are actually ramping up their production,” he said.

He said that the drug manufacturers have ramped up production of Remdesivir up to 4 lakhs a day, but they need raw material. For this the government has got assurance from the US and it is also in touch with manufacturers in Egypt and other parts of the world.

On the travel restrictions imposed by several countries in the wake of surge in COVID cases,  Shringla said that the measures were temporary and that similar curbs were placed by India earlier. He added that the cargo connectivity would remain unaffected.

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