NEW DELHI: Over 3,000 tonnes of approximately 11,000 items received as aid from other countries have been dispatched across the country since April 27, the government said on Friday asserting not even one consignment has remained at the airport or seaport.
The items have been directly loaded from the airport to distribution locations for immediate use, officials said.
Addressing a press conference, Additional Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Arti Ahuja said 4,468 oxygen concentrators, 3,417 oxygen cylinders, 13 oxygen-generation plants, 3,921 ventilator/ Bi PAP/ C PAP and over 3 lakh Remdesivir vials besides PPE kits and accessories received as aid from abroad have been delivered or dispatched to various states and union territories till May 5.
The health ministry separately issued a statement stating 2,933 oxygen concentrators, 2,429 oxygen cylinders, 13 oxygen-generation plants, 2,951 ventilators/ Bi PAP/ C PAP, and more than 3 lakh Remdesivir vials have been delivered so far.
Major items received on May 6 include oxygen concentrators from New Zealand, cylinders from the UK, one mobile oxygen plant (first trench) from Germany and ventilators and oxygen concentrators from the Netherlands.
“All items received up to May 6 have been effectively allocated and promptly dispatched to the states/institutions. This is an ongoing exercise,” the ministry said in its statement.
“Not even one consignment has remained at the airport or seaport. They have been directly loaded from the airport to distribution locations for right immediate use. As on date, most of consignments have reached the destination, some small percentage may in the transit for logistical reasons but every consignment is tracked and it is ensured it is properly used in those locations,” Additional Secretary in the external affairs ministry Dammu Ravi said.
The NDRF has been an active partner in oxygen plants and Indian Navy and Indian Air Force have been transporting materials to different locations all over the country.
The MEA is the nodal agency for channeling offers of help from foreign countries, and is responsible for coordinating with Missions abroad.
It has issued its own SOPs which are applicable across board, Ahuja said.
Explaining the allocation criteria, she said accessibility and the immediate use of resources drive the need for immediate allocation of short-notice incoming consignments.
“The materials from abroad are currently coming in different numbers, specifications and at different times.
Hence there is a need to reconcile the distribution logistics with the need to reach the materials as expeditiously as possible to the states,” she said.
Accordingly, a priority list of states and union territories based on the current active cases, CFR, resource availability, etc. is drawn up.
Each consignment is not spread across all identified states; it is divided into few states and union territories initially, and as more items come in, the next states in order of priority are added and so on.
This facilitates quicker turnaround times at airports and ensures more streamlined transport to reach the destination quickly.