Covid-19: France to provide India 120 ventilators, 50,000 test kits

A French Air Force aircraft will fly in the equipment and personnel on Tuesday. The Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft is equipped with a “Morpheus” kit that enables the transport of critically ill patients.

France on Monday announced it will provide India 120 ventilators and 50,000 test kits to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, the move coinciding with the first five of 36 Rafale combat jets ordered by New Delhi flying out from a French airbase for the country.

A team of French personnel who are experts in inter-hospital transfers by military means is also being sent to India. France acquired expertise in this field as it organised numerous transfers between hospitals.

A French Air Force aircraft will fly in the equipment and personnel on Tuesday. The Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft is equipped with a “Morpheus” kit that enables the transport of critically ill patients.

The donation of the medical equipment and provision of technical expertise is in line with a recent announcement by President Emmanuel Macron, the French embassy said in a statement.

The medical assistance package includes 50 Osiris-3 ventilators, which are portable and easy to use, and 70 Yuwell 830 ventilators with “bilevel positive airway pressure” (BiPAP mode), which are non-invasive hospital ventilators for mild Covid-19 patients.

The Osiris ventilators are useful for emergency transport, intra-hospital transfer and recovery, and have different modes, including non-invasive ventilation. The Yuwell 830 ventilators use BiPAP to supply oxygen to lungs without intubation.

France will also donate 50,000 high-quality serological IgG/IgM test kits and 50,000 nose and throat swabs and modes of medical transport.

“As longstanding strategic partners, France and India are working together closely on the international response to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as providing reciprocal assistance according to the needs of the two countries,” the statement said.

In a letter dated July 24, Macron thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s support to France with medical supplies earlier this year.

Macron wrote: “When France was going through a critical phase of this public health crisis earlier this spring, India was by our side. It played a very important role with regard to medicines. I wish to thank you once again for having authorised the export of medicines essential for the treatment of critically ill patients. This gesture reflected the exceptional nature of the partnership between our two countries.”

He added, “India, in turn, is going through a difficult phase of the crisis. In these painful times for your nation, I desired France to stand fully by your side. To this end, I directed that we be able to respond to the needs identified by your administration by extending aid that is exceptional in its scope and modalities."

“I believe that it is during tough times that historic ties are forged and strengthened between nations.”

The announcement of the medical assistance coincided with the five Rafale jets leaving a French airbase for the 7,000-km journey to India with air-to-air refuelling and a stop en route in the United Arab Emirates. They are scheduled to reach India on July 29. France has completed the delivery of 10 jets on schedule, and five will stay back for a training mission. The delivery of all 36 jets will be completed by the end of 2021.

French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain will hand over the medical equipment to RK Jain, secretary general of the Indian Red Cross Society, on Tuesday.

France had earlier extended financial support of 200 million euros to India through the French Development Agency (AFD) to boost social welfare systems and protect vulnerable people. The credit financing agreement was signed on June 22, with the programme designed by the World Bank already being rolled out.

French companies have contributed more than six million euros (Rs 48 crore) to India’s national relief funds as part of their Covid-19 crisis response. Several companies have also supplied essential medical equipment and others are providing help to vulnerable sections of society.

Source : Hindustan Times

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