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


France announced on Monday that it would provide India with 120 ventilators and 50,000 test kits to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, the move coinciding with the first five of 36 Rafale fighter jets ordered by New Delhi departing from a French air base for the country.

A team of French personnel, experts in inter-hospital transfers by military means, is also sent to India. France has acquired expertise in this area by organizing numerous transfers between hospitals.

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

The donation of medical equipment and the provision of technical expertise are in line with a recent announcement by President Emmanuel Macron, the French Embassy said in a press release.

Read also | Coronavirus: France will grant special aid to the most vulnerable in India, says Macron

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

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

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

“As long-standing strategic partners, France and India are working closely on the international response to the Covid-19 pandemic and 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 in early spring, India was on our side. He played a very important role with regard to drugs. I would like to thank you once again for allowing the export of essential drugs for the treatment of critically ill patients. This gesture reflects the exceptional nature of the partnership between our two countries.

Read also: In the Covid-19 crisis, France is helping the most vulnerable in India with 200 million euros

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

“I think it is during difficult times that historic bonds are forged and strengthened between nations.”

The announcement of medical assistance coincided with the departure of five Rafale planes from a French air base for the 7,000 km trip to India with in-flight refueling and a stopover en route in the United Arab Emirates. They are expected to reach India on July 29. France has completed the delivery of 10 jets on schedule, and five will remain on mission for a training mission. Delivery of the 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, on Tuesday.

France had previously granted financial support of 200 million euros to India via the French Development Agency (AFD) to strengthen social protection systems and protect vulnerable people. The credit financing agreement was signed on June 22, with the program 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 response to the Covid-19 crisis. Several companies have also provided essential medical supplies and others provide assistance to vulnerable segments of society.


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