BiPAP machines, oxygen (oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, PSA oxygen plants, pulse oximeters), drugs (Faviparivir and Remdesivir), PPE (coveralls, N-95 masks and gowns) are some of the categories of equipment that have been distributed
The Centre has issued a statement on the steps taken to ensure expeditious allocation of COVID-19 supplies received from the global community. It said that medical infrastructure of 31 states and union territories have been strengthened with the help of foreign aid. The central government said that 40 lakh items of 24 different categories have been distributed to 86 institutions in different states. BiPAP machines, oxygen (oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, PSA oxygen plants, pulse oximeters), drugs (Faviparivir and Remdesivir), PPE (coveralls, N-95 masks and gowns) are some of the categories of equipment that have been distributed.
Following are the states/UTs that have either received or where equipment has been dispatched:
The following institutions (region-wise) have received equipment. The rest will be covered in the following days:
Central Govt. & PSU
The government said that it is leading the fight against coronavirus in collaboration with the states and UTs through a 'whole of government' approach. It acquiesced that the health infrastructure of several states and UTs have been overwhelmed by the high number of COVID-19 cases. It said that global community has come to the aid of the country and provided medical equipment, medicines, oxygen concentrators, ventilators etc. A systematic mechanism has been put in place for the distribution of the same.
In order to expedite clearance by Indian Customs of goods within hours of arrival the government has decided to give high priority to such goods over others, alert nodal officers on email to monitor and approve clearance, monitoring by senior officers for pendency of COVID-related imports, hand hold for complying with requirements beforehand and enable trade to get the goods cleared through outreach activities and helpdesks.
The government has already waived off basic duty and health cess on such goods. IGST too has been waived off on goods when imported free of cost and are distributed freely. For import of oxygen concentrators for personal use, IGST has been reduced from 28 per cent to 12 per cent.
A cell has also been created under Additional Secretary of Health, MoHFW to coordinate the receipt and allocation of foreign COVID relief material as grants, aid and donations. A high-level committee under CEO, NITI Aayog and comprising Secretary Expenditure, MEA and officials of Niti Aayog and MoHFW has also been formed to oversee the whole operation
"The Ministry of External Affairs is the nodal agency for channeling offers of help from foreign countries and coordinates with Missions abroad. The MEA has issued its own SOPs which are applicable across board," said the Centre. The consignee for all consignments received via MEA is the Indian Red Cross Society. HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL) is the customs agent for Red Cross, and the distribution manager for MoHFW. After the consignments are processed at the airport, they are transported for distribution by HLL.