Singapore Red Cross raises more than S$3.2 million in donations to help India fight COVID-19
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Red Cross has received more than S$3.2 million in donations from organisations and individuals since the launch of its India COVID-19 public appeal two weeks ago, it said on Wednesday (May 12).
The first tranche of aid, worth about S$3.6 million, includes oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders as well as ventilators to directly support patients and healthcare workers in hospitals in India, said the organisation.
There are also hygiene and medical kits for those in quarantine centres, under home quarantine, as well as frontline workers and volunteers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Apr 28, the Singapore Red Cross said in a press release that it launched a public appeal to deliver assistance and support communities in India that are affected, or at risk of being affected, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The funds will be used to purchase urgently needed medical equipment and supplies, such as ventilators, oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators," it said.
As of Wednesday, 1,300 oxygen cylinders, three ISO cryogenic tanks and five ventilators have arrived in India and are being distributed to public hospitals and other healthcare support institutions.
Further shipments of more than four million surgical masks, 1.5 million N95 masks, 2,000 oxygen concentrators, 1,200 oxygen cylinders and 150 ventilators are expected to arrive over the next coming weeks.
The items being sent by the Singapore Red Cross will be distributed throughout India through the India Red Cross Society, it said.
The organisation added that it is working with the India Red Cross Society to distribute the ventilators and oxygen concentrators to seven states in India most affected by the pandemic: Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
As more funds are raised, it will be "committed to additional purchases and deployment in the most needed areas of India", said the Singapore Red Cross.
Secretary-General of the Singapore Red Cross Benjamin William said the surge in global demand has resulted in shortage of medical supplies for immediate delivery.
"Over the past weeks, we have been meeting key stakeholders on a daily basis to coordinate our response to the pressing needs in India.
"We are leveraging our regional networks and partnerships to secure the supplies and to get them where they are most needed," he said.
Mr William said the Singapore Red Cross is "grateful" for the outpouring of support from individuals and organisations.
"With the number of cases in India increasing day by day, the needs on the ground are growing in tandem, and so are the resources required to support affected and at-risk communities.
"Our current focus is on maximising the impact of these donations, to help strengthen communities to eventually overcome the outbreak," he said.