Net decline of 30,016 cases in 61 days: Govt denies 'delay' in the disbursement of Foreign aids

    12-May-2021   
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New Delhi: A net decline of 30,016 cases recorded from the total active caseload between May 10 and May 11 for the first time after two months, precisely 61 days.
 
"Also, after 61 days, the new recoveries outnumber the new cases seen in 24 hours," a statement from the Health Ministry said.
 
Foreign aids are helping India's fight in a big way.
 
"Foreign friendships matter. Every life counts; and every gesture makes a difference.
 
19 hospitals across India see that through their new oxygen generating plants. A global challenge meets a global response," External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar tweeted.
 
At least 8,900 Oxygen Concentrators, 5,043 Oxygen Cylinders, 18 Oxygen eneration Plants, 5,698 ventilators/ Bi PAP and more than 3.4 Lakh Remdesivir vials received as part of global aid to India have been delivered or dispatched to states and union territories to strengthen and supplement their COVID response, so far.
 
The Union government is ensuring a streamlined and fast delivery of the global aid to States and UTs through faster custom clearances, and use of air and road, the Health ministry said.
 
The cumulative number of COVID19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 17.27 Cr as on May 11 as the Phase-3 of the nationwide Vaccination Drive expands further.
 
A trail of volunteers in distress run racing behind doctors and other staff. The conditions in some hospitals in India's capital have improved following supply of medical equipment, medicines and oxygen from various countries.
Over 40 countries from large to smaller ones - the US to Singapore have responded to the massive pandemic crisis, the world's largest democracy finds itself in.
 
Even Finland has come forward generously.
 
"India’s COVID19 crisis is among the world’s worst. Finland supports India with EUR 1 million to fight the pandemic," the Finland foreign ministry said. Finland has previously promised oxygen cylinders to India.
Each individual story of suffering and loss has its own poignancy. But in some cases, patients and even health workers are alleging 'delay' in getting the disbursement from the federal agencies once the aid sent for humanitarian support land in Delhi airports.
 
"We have heard oxygen generating plants from France have reached Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital. But what about others? Why the delay"? commented one medical staff on the condition of anonymity.
 
He says apparently the central agencies and India Red Cross Society are distributing the aid materials first to federal-government run hospitals only.
 
Similar complaints came from some opposition ruled states.
 
Around 50 lakh items, comprising medicines, oxygen cylinders and masks, received in foreign aid have been distributed to 38 institutions and hospitals across 29 states and two centrally-administered provinces.
 
"There is no delay or discrepancy. Things are being done in very transparent manner. We are following a system and standard procedures. You cannot pick up or name a city and hospital and say no foreign aids reached here," an Health ministry official said.
 
The issue of 3000 oxygen concentrators pending with Customs also had figured in a Delhi High Count proceedings. The allegation has been denied by the government.
 
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has clarified that there is no such pendency with Indian Customs.
Mauritius has sent 200 oxygen concentrators, Russia (20), UK has sent in four consignments, 80 from Romania, 700 from Ireland, Thailand (30), China (1000) and Uzbekistan (151). The relief material has been dispatched through road and air too, officials say.
 
"The Indian Customs is sensitive to the need for availability of COVID related imports including Oxygen & Oxygen related equipment etc., and are working 24 x 7 to fast track and clear the goods on arrival," a statement said.
 
Aid materials are being sent even to central government medical institutes far off places in northeast India like Imphal in Manipur or Shillong in Christian-stronghold state of Meghalaya, the federal Health ministry official said.
"In the first few days, the assistance went to states via the All Indian Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) where the critical care patients load is high and where the need is also more. It has been seen that tertiary health care facilities normally have a higher number of cases with severe symptoms of Covid and are often the only succour to people," he said.
 
"We need cooperation from the media also. Please stop looking at darker sides only. This is war time," he made a request.
 
The ruling BJP leaders say at this time of crisis, the country should be united.
 
"Pandemic created these crises in the families of government servants and health workers also. We BJP workers are also suffering, so are from other parties. So political mudslinging must stop," says BJP leader Virendra Sachdeva in Good Governance cell.
 
"We are happy that Indian High Commissions have been able to coordinate dispatch of cryogenic oxygen tanks and other requirements. These are reaching the designating target hospitals and towns," he said.
 
Of course, the BJP leaders' complaint is against a section of media and opposition Congress leaders.
 
Officials also say it is not the time to find fault with. Ventilators from Thailand have gone to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi and six other hospitals have received oxygen generating plants, sources said.
 
An Information ministry source said: "The work for receipt, allocation and distribution to the States through the Central and other Health Institutions started immediately as the global community started to support. A Coordination Committee meets every morning. Media, especially a section of those, will be advised that they may refrain from selective use of matters available in public domain and social media, and not misinterpret facts to suit their own narrative".
 
The BJP leaders say - Oxygen cylinders from Singapore had been sent to All India Institutes of Medical Sciences in opposition ruled states of Chattisgarh (Congress), Jharkhand (a government run by Congress alliance) and Odisha capital Bhubaneswar - where too a regional party is in power.
 
Red Cross staffers working in Delhi say, of course there are different administrative layers.
 
But one of them added: "You cannot have a situation that aid materials arrive at airports and then would reach hospitals at random. Custom clearance is crucial at these junctures. The members of the embassies are present at airports to help in segregation along with India's foreign ministry officials for speeding up the paper works."
 
Other measures are also being taken, say officials. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax on all aid from private donors was waived on May 3.
 
Meanwhile, government says 5,24,731 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of COVID vaccine between May 10 and 11 and cumulatively 25,59,339 across 30 States/UTs since the start of phase-3 of vaccination drive.