Northern Ireland’s health service is offering three oxygen generation units as part of the UK’s humanitarian response to India’s COVID-19 crisis.
Health Minister Robin Swann has been in discussions with Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock on the situation.
Minister Swann today said: “A humanitarian crisis is unfolding and providing support is undoubtedly the right thing to do. Oxygen supply is under severe stress in India’s health system. The oxygen generation units are each capable of providing 500 litres of oxygen per minute and I sincerely hope these units can help save lives.”
Following receipt of funding from the Department of Health, a number of oxygen generation component parts were procured by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust on behalf of the Northern Ireland health service last year, as part of the regional response to the COVID pandemic. This enabled Belfast Trust along with its engineering contractor partners to design and assemble a number of containerised oxygen generator plants that could be deployed as an emergency backup oxygen supply source for HSC Trust hospitals during the pandemic.
The three being provided to India have not been required at a hospital here to date.
Since the purchase, significant upgrade works have been undertaken to improve the oxygen storage systems and their delivery capacity within NI’s hospital estate.
The Health Minister added: “The scenes in India are a vivid reminder of the destructiveness of the virus. We must never lose sight of the damage it is capable of inflicting.”