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Direct Relief Commits $5 Million to Mobilize Medical-Grade Oxygen for India



A patient breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, a place of worship for Sikhs, inside a van parked under a tent along the roadside amid Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Ghaziabad on April 26, 2021. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Direct Relief has committed an initial $5 million in emergency funding in response to urgent requests to provide oxygen concentrators and other supplies to India as the country experiences the world’s highest Covid-19 case count and critical shortages of medical-grade oxygen and other resources.

India tallied another record case total yesterday, with 352,991 new COVID-19 cases and 2812 deaths.

The virus is spreading in every state, with the most significant increases occurring in the heavily urbanized areas of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, and Kerala. The influx of seriously ill patients is overwhelming hospitals throughout large areas of the country.

Oxygen concentrators are among the most critical items needed to treat people with severe COVID-19, who often arrive at hospitals with extreme hypoxemia. High-flow oxygen concentrators are used in hospitals to treat patients needing intensive care. In contrast, low-flow concentrators can help hospitals safely discharge patients who are stable but require at-home breathing support.

Healthcare leaders in India have estimated the need for 200,000 oxygen concentrators; however, rising COVID-19 cases have caused many local manufacturing plants to shut down, resulting in shortages of oxygen throughout the country.

Direct Relief is working with several local Indian nonprofits, global logistics companies and large-scale manufacturers to source and transport oxygen concentrators and other critical items into India.

Today’s commitment of $5 million will cover the expense of an estimated 10,000 oxygen concentrators and other requested medical supplies.

Since January 2020, Direct Relief has delivered 4,000 oxygen concentrators to forty-five countries, including India.

Since the pandemic began, Direct Relief has also provided twenty-one organizations across India with more than $25 million in medical resources, including PPE, cancer drugs, rare disease medications, and $198,000 in grants.

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