UNICEF sends 3,000 oxygen concentrators and other critical supplies to India as country battles deadly COVID-19 surge

30 April 2021
Oxygen Concentrators shipment India
UNICEF/UNI370550/Vishwanathan

NEW DELHI/KATHMANDU, 29 April 2021 – UNICEF has sent critical lifesaving supplies, including 3,000 oxygen concentrators, diagnostic tests, medical kits, and other equipment to help India in its battle with a deadly wave of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is severely overstraining the health system in India,” said Dr. Yasmin Haque, UNICEF Representative in India. “Urgent action is needed to avert further tragic loss of life. UNICEF has provided oxygen supplies and other critically needed emergency equipment for immediate response while supporting resilience building against recurrent shocks and stresses. Indeed, much more is needed as the outbreak continues to spread rapidly.”

Along with the oxygen concentrators, UNICEF has supplied more than 500 high flow nasal cannulas and 85 RT-PCR (COVID testing) machines. Additionally, UNICEF is supporting the procurement and installation of 25 oxygen plants for hospitals in the Northeast and in Maharashtra, and the installation of more than 70 thermal scanners at various ports of entry countrywide.

UNICEF has deployed senior level experts in worst hit states such as Maharashtra, to provide support to state and local authorities for short-term COVID-response planning and monitoring.

"The scenes we are seeing in India are simply devastating," said George Laryea-Adjei, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia. "The most vulnerable families are paying a steep price for this deadly new surge. UNICEF calls on all partners who are able to support in responding to this new wave to do so immediately."

While providing urgent support to the healthcare system, UNICEF has also been assisting the Government of India in ensuring critical services for the most vulnerable children continue functioning.

UNICEF provided more than 11,000 personal protection kits for functionaries working on India’s Childline so that childcare services can continue. Across all states, UNICEF is providing guidance and support for the safety and care of children in childcare institutions.
 

UNICEF is also providing technical support to the government and partners to help 12.3 million children in 17 states continue learning from home. For example, ‘Mobile learning Centres’ in Bihar are helping 28,000 children who did not have access to any type of digital equipment to continue learning.

UNICEF and partners also continue to support the Government of India in the acceleration of the national vaccine rollout to equitably reach all population groups. Through its work on Risk Communication and Communication Engagement (RCCE) UNICEF has also consistently worked to counter misinformation and promote COVID Appropriate Behaviours (wearing masks, physical distancing, and handwashing), using social media listening and audience insights. New multimedia content is produced weekly in multiple languages for broadcast on digital channels and media, especially at the state level.

UNICEF needs $21 million for the urgent delivery of additional testing equipment, supplies and oxygen products in India, and more than $50 million for lifesaving COVID-19 interventions across sectors.

 

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About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. Learn about the Every Child ALIVE campaign.

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For more information, please contact:

Zafrin Chowdhury, UNICEF India, +91 98181 06093, zchowdhury@unicef.org

Eliane Luthi, UNICEF South Asia, + 977 9801030076  eluthi@unicef.org

Sabrina Sidhu, UNICEF New York, +1 917 4761

Media contacts

Zafrin Chowdhury
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Philippines
Tel: +63 917 867 8366
Sabrina Sidhu
UNICEF New York
Tel: +1 917 4761537

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap

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