India has received the first part of an oxygen-generating plant shipment from Germany, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet Thursday.
“Deeply grateful to our trusted partner Germany for providing a massive oxygen generating plant. Capacity to generate up to 4 lakh [400,000] litres of O2/day. Being shipped in 2 parts. 1st part arrived today. Further boosts our oxygen capacities,” Bagchi said.
The official Twitter account for Germany’s Luftwaffe, its air force, shared video and images of the shipment, saying it was cracking on with its humanitarian relief mission to India.
“Another A400M is loaded with lifesaving equipment to support the fight against Covid. Great cooperation between the Luftwaffe, the German federal armed forces medical service and the European Union,” one tweet said.
On Wednesday, Col. Wolfgang Stern, deputy commodore of the German Airforce Transport Fleet 62, said in an on camera interview: “Flights like these are never routine and especially in this case where we fly all the way to India and carry a cargo which has never been shipped before the preparation and planning requires extra attention. But especially if there are human lives at stake we feel the special motivation in everybody involved which makes those flights so special.”
“The equipment can produce 400,000 litres of gaseous oxygen per day under schoolbook conditions which means supplying 28 patients in intensive care,” Major Sascha Haugk, a logistics expert in the medical service added in the German army handout video.
Some more background: As India’s Covid-19 crisis tipped past breaking point last month, dozens of countries pledged critical aid. Planeloads of ventilators, oxygen supplies and antiviral drugs began arriving last week, with photos showing massive parcels being unloaded at New Delhi airport.
However, much of the shipped cargo was not immediately delivered as hospitals on the ground pleaded for more provisions. Medical workers and local officials are still reporting the same devastating shortages that have strained the health care system for weeks now — raising questions, even among foreign donors, of where the aid is going.
Indian government junior cabinet minister Ashwini Kr. Choubey tweeted Wednesday that “Covid-19 supplies received from the global community have been effectively allocated to states and UTs by Government of India.”