New Delhi: In view of the huge Covid surge in India, the Government of Japan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have partnered to provide oxygen generation plants to the North Eastern Region of the country.
“In the context of the ongoing pandemic overwhelming the health system across the country, one of the key challenges has been the acute shortage of medical oxygen,” said a statement issued by the Embassy of Japan here.
“In light of the critical need to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply, the support from the people of Japan has enabled UNDP in procuring and installing 8 Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants in the States of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura in the North Eastern Region of India,” it said.
The hospitals, with a capacity of approximately 1,300 beds in total, have been identified in the region for these oxygen generation plants. Excess oxygen will be distributed among other health facilities in the hospitals’ vicinity. The installation sites are being prepared so that the oxygen production can start at the earliest possible, the statement said.
Japan’s Ambassador Satoshi Suzuki said his country “stands with India, our friend and partner, in her efforts to fight against COVID-19 pandemic in this critical time.”
He said India’s North East occupies a special place for Japan-India relations and “I sincerely hope that the Oxygen generation plants will help those people in need in the North Eastern Region of India.”
UNDP India Resident Representative Shoko Noda said, “The situation in India is devastating and the pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives. UNDP urgently needs additional support to ensure that we reach the last mile to leave no one behind.”
She thanked the people of Japan for this critical support that will allow UNDP to ensure uninterrupted flow of oxygen in hospitals and health centres in the region, especially those in hard-to-reach areas.
In addition to this, UNDP has also been supporting the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with digitization of supply chain of vaccines and tracking beneficiaries across states to ensure better access and coverage.
It has also helped build capacities of 820,500 frontline workers across the country to support the ‘world’s largest vaccination drive’.
The Government of Japan has also committed a sizable commitment of providing critical items to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.