Ottawa: With the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic having devastating impacts in India, Canada has announced that it is sending up to 25,000 vials of Remdesivir and up to 350 ventilators from its National Emergency Strategic Stockpile to help respond to the critical situation across India.
This support, announced on Wednesday, complements Canada's work with its international partners to respond to the needs caused by the pandemic and to help save lives.
The Canada government is also providing support through UNICEF's response to the pandemic in India with the urgent provisioning of 1,450 oxygen concentrators. The funds for these operations come partly from the $230 million contribution to the therapeutics pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, announced in December 2020.
This support is in addition to Canada's $10 million support to the Canadian Red Cross Society, which is supporting the Indian Red Cross Society's procurement of essential supplies and medicines.
The supplies identified for this donation will not compromise the continued efforts of the Covid-19 response at home in Canada.
The Canadian armed forces will provide airlifting support to transport these supplies to India.
"Canada continues to stand in solidarity with the people of India. We must all unite in this hour of need and work together in the global fight against this virus that is devastating lives across the globe," said an official statement quoting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Garneau.
"The Covid-19 pandemic is a global challenge and has reminded countries around the world that we are better off with each other's help. That's why the Canadian armed forces will support and transfer supplies to our friends in India to help defeat Covid-19. Throughout this pandemic and into the future, Canada will continue to be there for its allies in the Indo-Pacific region," said Canada's Indian-origin Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan.
Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, added, "If there was ever a time for countries to support one another, it is right now. Canadians have always showed solidarity in times of crisis, and by sending these supplies, we will be helping the frontline workers carry out their life-saving work."
The Canadian armed forces deployed a CC-150 Polaris aircraft from 8 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Trenton, on May 5 to deliver the vials of Remdesivir (brand name Veklury) and 50 ventilators that are ready for shipment to India.
Remdesivir is used in the treatment of patients with severe symptoms of Covid-19. Twenty-five thousand vials are equivalent to more than 4,000 courses of treatment.
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