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Singapore Red Cross seeks public donations to buy medical supplies for India's Covid-19 fight

​SINGAPORE — The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) is launching a public appeal to raise money for urgently-needed medical equipment and supplies for the communities in India that have been hit hard by Covid-19.

A patient wearing an oxygen mask is wheeled inside a Covid-19 hospital for treatment in Ahmedabad, India on April 26, 2021.

A patient wearing an oxygen mask is wheeled inside a Covid-19 hospital for treatment in Ahmedabad, India on April 26, 2021.

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SINGAPORE — The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) is launching a public appeal to raise money for urgently-needed medical equipment and supplies for the communities in India that have been hit hard by Covid-19.

The funds will be used to purchase resources such as ventilators, oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators, the humanitarian organisation said on Wednesday (April 28).

SRC chief executive officer Benjamin William said the organisation has been closely monitoring the situation in India.

“The rapidly growing number of cases has stretched to the limit, and even overwhelmed, most of the hospitals and other healthcare institutions,” he said.

“There is a dire shortage of resources like ventilators and oxygen. Containing the pandemic requires a concerted effort at the national level with global support.”

SRC said it will work with its partners who have been actively responding to the crisis there.

“We are working in close collaboration with the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) to ensure that the supplies we are providing are channeled to the hospitals treating the worst affected communities.”

SRC will be meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other organisations on Thursday to discuss their response to the crisis.

The public appeal will also include donations from the India Health Relief Fund, an initiative by the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Little India Shopkeepers Association that was announced Monday.

SRC said it has already purchased five ventilators, and will be delivering them to community hospitals in the capital New Delhi through the IRCS.

Separately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said it has sent a consignment of oxygen cylinders to support India’s fight against Covid-19.

Minister Maliki Osman and Indian High Commissioner P Kumaran at the ceremony for the handover of humanitarian assistance to India at Paya Lebar Air Base. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

At the handover of humanitarian assistance at Paya Lebar Air Base, Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman said the contribution would complement the work undertaken by Singaporeans, private entities and civil society organisations, including SRC.

“We hope that it will bring comfort and relief to those in need and encourage those on the frontline in India, who are working tirelessly, to fight on,” he added.

India is facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, with the death toll surpassing 200,000. Over 300,000 cases were reported for the sixth day in a row on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 17.64 million — although experts believe the real number to be higher.

The B1617 variant of Covid-19, which was first found in India, has been listed as a "variant of interest" by the World Health Organization.

The WHO said its preliminary modelling indicates "that B1617 has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India, suggesting potential increased transmissibility". 

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India Covid-19 virus Singapore Red Cross

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