Covid: India to be sent life-saving equipment from Wales

India to be sent life-saving equipment from Wales

5/10/2021 8:54:00 PM

India to be sent life-saving equipment from Wales

Supplies including ventilators are not needed at home due to improving Covid situation.

image captionHealth Minister Vaughan Gething (in suit) visited an NHS depot in Newport where the shipment is being preparedA thousand pieces of life-saving equipment will be sent from Wales to hospitals in India to help with the Covid crisis engulfing the country.

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Oxygen ventilators and concentrators are being donated by NHS Wales.Health officials say the improving situation in Wales means they have surplus equipment.Prof Keshav Singhal, helping co-ordinate the relief effort, says it is one of the biggest shipments of life-saving equipment coming from the UK.

India has recorded more than more than 19 million cases of coronavirus - second only to the US.Scientists are looking into whether a new Indian variant could be behind the rise in cases.The equipment will be sent to hospitals in some of the worst-hit areas of India.

media captionInside India's rundown rural hospitals unable to cope with the Covid crisis"It's been very intense work for the last week or so," said Mr Singhal, Wales chair of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin."I must say it's been incredibly powerful because officials were working all through the weekend," he added.

Junior doctors in India: 'We've grown up really fast'Wales' health minister Vaughan Gething visited an NHS distribution centre in Newport on Monday which is preparing the shipment.He said Wales was able to send the equipment to India "because we have got additional supplies".

"Covid-19 is a global threat and as such it is right that we are part of the global response, supporting other nations," he said."We have worked closely with the UK government and the Government of India on the logistics in arranging for these supplies to be transported to India and distributed to the hospitals where they are needed most."

Mark Roscrow of NHS Wales Shared Services added that the shipment was possible "because the situation in Wales is much better", saying Wales was "able to play our little part in helping".Supplies of vaccines and personal protective equipment (PPE) are also held at the site, which was previously used to stockpile essential supplies in the run-up to Brexit.

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Covid test labs have also been built there. Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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