India is looking at getting around 550 oxygen generating plants, 4,000 oxygen concentrators and 10,000 oxygen cylinders from abroad to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Thursday.
Shringla also said that India is looking at procuring 400,000 units of Remdesivir medicine from Egypt besides exploring to get it from countries like the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.
At a media media briefing, he said over 40 countries have come forward to offer assistance to India to help in view of the unprecedented situation.
The foreign secretary said the government has been majorly focusing on procuring oxygen generators, concentrators, oxygen cylinders, cryogenic tankers as well as liquid oxygen.
He said the medical supplies are being sourced through direct procurement and other modes.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Shringla said two special aircraft carrying large amounts of medical supplies from the US are expected to reach India by Friday and another one is likely in the next few days.
As India battles a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic, countries around the world have announced sending medical supplies to help it tide over the situation.