United States Delivers Six Planes to India with Emergency Medical Supplies to Combat COVID-19 Surge

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Unloading of the Second Shipment of USAID COVID-19 Supplies
Unloading of the Second Shipment of USAID COVID-19 Supplies
USAID photo by Martha VanLieshout

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 6, 2021
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

Through a massive mobilization effort, the U.S. Government is delivering on its commitment to stand with the people of India as they fight a devastating second wave of COVID-19. Over the past week, the U.S. government rapidly deployed six planeloads of life-saving supplies to New Delhi in six days and mobilized its partners in India to immediately stand up surge support. Together, U.S. Government assistance to combat the current crisis is about $100 million. The United States is continuing to work closely with Indian officials and health experts to identify and respond to emerging trends in this ongoing crisis.

The generosity of the American people will have significant, on-the-ground, life-saving impacts for critically ill patients battling COVID-19. The six emergency airlifts to India, deployed in just six days, delivered:

  • 20,000 courses of remdesivir (125,000 vials) to help treat critically ill patients.
  • Nearly 1,500 oxygen cylinders to address India’s critical oxygen shortage, which can be repeatedly refilled at local supply centers.
  • Nearly 550 mobile oxygen concentrators that obtain oxygen from ambient air. These units have a lifespan of more than five years and can serve multiple patients at once, depending on their oxygen needs.
  • One million rapid diagnostic tests to quickly identify COVID-19 cases and prevent community spread.
  • Nearly 2.5 million N95 masks to protect health care professionals and other frontline workers.
  • A large-scale Deployable Oxygen Concentration System that can provide oxygen to treat 20 or more patients at a time.
  • 210 pulse oximeters to measure oxygen levels in a patient’s blood to determine whether a higher level of care is needed.

At the request of the Government of India, USAID provided these urgently needed supplies to the Indian Red Cross Society to ensure they reach those in need as fast as possible.

The six US government shipments were made possible by a USAID-led whole-of-government effort, which included: the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, Travis Air Force Base, in partnership with the state of California, National Airlines, and United Airlines.

In addition to the airlifted supplies, last week, USAID immediately allocated funding to purchase locally an additional 1,000 mobile oxygen concentrators. These life-saving units will be used in hundreds of primary health care facilities to address India’s critical oxygen shortage. USAID is also supporting the Government of India’s efforts to stand up 150 Pressure Swing Adsorption oxygen generating plants, allowing 150 healthcare facilities to generate their own oxygen for years to come.

This surge of immediate assistance builds on the United States’ 70-year development partnership with India, and USAID’s ongoing response efforts in India since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To maximize collaboration, USAID is working closely with the private sector to help address the immediate health needs in India. USAID will leverage its experience with a range of private sector partners—from manufacturers to investors, from multinational companies to small- and medium-sized enterprises—to meet the critical needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This approach will spur and sustain recovery efforts by mobilizing additional resources and capabilities, and accelerating communication and collaboration with large and small businesses, in coordination with partner country governments and non-governmental stakeholders.

To contact the team working on mobilizing private sector engagement to support the response, please email COVID-PSE@usaid.gov.

For guidance on supporting COVID-19 relief efforts in India and around the world, please visit the Center for International Disaster Information.

Please see here for photos and videos of USAID’s COVID-19 response in India to-date.

Last updated: June 18, 2021

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