Washington: The US state of California, which has the highest concentration of Indian-Americans, will send life-saving oxygen supplies to India to deal with the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.
India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. “Everyone deserves quality medical treatment against this terrible disease, and California will answer the call and provide aid to the people of India who so desperately need it,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday as he released details of the first shipment that his State Administration will send to India.
These include 275 oxygen concentrators, 440 oxygen cylinders, 240 oxygen regulators, 210 pulse oximeters, and one Deployable Oxygen Concentrator Systems (DOCS), which is capable of producing 120 liters per minute of oxygen and is generally used to fill large cylinders.
The distribution of these lifesaving supplies is being coordinated through the US Agency for International Development and will be provided directly to health care providers and front-line workers.
India recorded 3,52,991 cases on Monday, the highest so far.
California’s contributions come as part of a wider effort by the United States to fight the spread of COVID-19 in India.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden pledged to provide more medical aid to the country, including raw materials for vaccine production, test kits, ventilators and PPE.
The supplies being sent to India are now being tested, packed and prepared for shipment at state warehouse facilities and are expected to be flown out as soon as tomorrow.
“When communities across the world need help, California steps up. As we surpass 28 million vaccinations and continue to see the lowest positivity rates in the country, we must meet this moment with compassion by aiding those that are hardest hit by this pandemic,” Newsom said.
Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey, which has one of the highest concentrations of Indian-Americans after California and New York, spoke to India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, about the latest COVID-19 situation in India.
During the call, he “pledged to do whatever we can to help,” the governor said. “New Jersey has one of the largest Indian diasporas in the United States, and we stand with the people of India in their hour of need,” he said.
According to the California Governor’s office, 275 oxygen concentrators concentrate the oxygen from a gas supply by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream. These units are capable of producing 10 litres per minute of oxygen supplied directly to patients via a mask.
440 oxygen cylinders are large metal cylinders designed to store oxygen that are used for both hospital and at-home use. The 240 oxygen regulators are high-flow oxygen regulators for H tanks used to adjust and control the rate of oxygen flow. These devices provide for greater efficiency in the rate at which oxygen is delivered to patients.
The 210 pulse oximeters are small sensors generally clipped to the finger, toe or ear lobe that measure the oxygen saturation within an individual’s blood to determine whether they are getting enough oxygen into their bloodstream.
According to the 2018-2019 estimates by the US Census Bureau, California has a population of over 8,00,000 Indian-Americans.
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