Canada sends medical supplies to India as COVID-19 overwhelms country’s health care

Canada is sending medical supplies in an effort to support India’s COVID-19 response as the country faces a devastating second wave that has overwhelmed its health-care system.

The federal government will send up to 350 much-needed ventilators from its national emergency stockpile and up to 25,000 vials of antiviral remdesivir to help, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) said in a release on Wednesday.

Remdesivir, which is also known as Veklury, is a medication used to help treat patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19. According to GAC, 25,000 vials of remdesivir can be used for at least 4,000 courses of treatment.

Read more: Canada preparing to send COVID-19 medical equipment from emergency stockpile to India

In an emailed statement to Global News, the Canadian Armed Forces said the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force left from Trenton, Ont., early Wednesday morning, and are set to arrive in India on Saturday.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-150 Polaris aircraft and aircrew left from Trenton, Ontario on May 5 (this morning), and are set to arrive in India on May 8, 2021.

“After identifying the needs and requirements on the ground and how best Canada can assist, these requested medical supplies have been made available to help bring some relief to those affected by COVID-19 in India,” said Minister of Health Patty Hajdu.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 patients in India can’t find hospital beds' 1:45 COVID-19 patients in India can’t find hospital beds

COVID-19 patients in India can’t find hospital beds

In collaboration with its international partners, Canada is also providing 1,450 oxygen concentrators. GAC said that the funding for the concentrators comes from the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was announced in December 2020.

“The supplies identified for this donation will not compromise continued efforts of the COVID-19 response at home in Canada,” the statement read.

Last week, the federal government also pledged $10 million to the Indian Red Cross, which is helping India procure medical supplies and medicine.

More to come. 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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