The Irish state is donating medical supplies including oxygen concentrators, ventilators and more than one million surgical masks amid a surge of Covid-19 in Nepal.
The supplies will leave Shannon Airport today on a flight to Nepal as part a coordinated response from EU member states, after the country appealed for international aid in May.
The flight will hold a donation of 72 oxygen concentrators, 42 ventilators, 12 bipap machines, 400 oximeters, 50 respiratory monitors, 50 defibrillators, 100 thermometers and 1,126 oxygen and air regulators.
The donation also includes 99,750 protective coveralls, 201,600 face shields and 1,008,000 surgical masks.
The equipment was donated by a range of organisations, including the HSE, Respicare, the Bons Secours Hospital in Cork, the Nepal Ireland Society, Bartra Healthcare, the Irish Red Cross, Air Liquide Healthcare, Home Health Care and the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the equipment will support frontline healthcare workers in Nepal to deliver care to patients who need it.
“I am grateful to all those who have worked together to make this life-saving donation happen,” he said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said EU member states were pooling resources to “respond quickly to the terrible situation in Nepal.”
“The Irish Aid programme, managed in my Department, is supporting the delivery costs of the donation. This is part of Irish Aid’s €100 million contribution to the global public health response to the pandemic this year.”
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management, part of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, is coordinating the dispatch of the equipment through the European Civil Protection Mechanism.
According to Reuters, Covid-19 infections are now decreasing in Nepal, with 2,405 new cases reported on average each day. This number represents 27 per cent of the country’s highest daily average, reported on May 12th.