UNITED Kingdom yesterday said it was sending an extra 1,000 oxygen ventilators to India where the pandemic is worsening with a group of doctors staging their own intervention by offering long-distance telemedicine from Britain.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said this in a chat with newsmen as a prelude to meeting India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar today on the margins of G-7 talks this week in London.
According to him, Britain will do everything it can in India’s “hour of need” although the government says it has no coronavirus vaccines to spare at this time.
“We’re going to be sending out another package of 1,000 ventilators, very shortly,” he said.
Members of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) have meanwhile started to hold remote consultations with patients requiring non-urgent care in India, to ease the load on hard-pressed medics there.
BAPwas trying everything to come out of the pandemic.
“We are trying to do as much as we can in the form of fundraising to send equipment in the form of oxygen concentrators, creating capacity for ICU (intensive card). So that’s one stream of work, but we are also trying to offer help to our exhausted colleagues in India — doctors are overstretched, they’re working too hard,” he said.
As well as phone and online consultations, BAPIO doctors are analysing the results of routine tests conducted in Indian hospitals, he said.
Some 250 volunteers from Britain have signed up to the telemedicine initiative, and the group is aiming to get 1,000 in all, working in partnership with hospitals and smaller clinics especially in more remote parts of India.
Britain has already sent 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators to India as the country grapples with a devastating surge in coronavirus cases, and is shipping three larger production units, dubbed oxygen factories.