Despite Shortage At Home, India Sends COVID-19 Protective Gear To Serbia

There have been reports that doctors in some corners of the country have been using raincoats and motorbike helmets.

India   |   1 April 2020 10:56 AM GMT
Editor : Prateek Gautam
Despite Shortage At Home, India Sends COVID-19 Protective Gear To Serbia

Image credit: NDTV

Amid a lack of sufficient protective gear for health care personnel looking after the COVID-19 patients, India has exported 90 tons of medical equipment and safety gear to Serbia.

NDTV reported that the matter came to light after a tweet from the official Twitter account of the Serbian branch of the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

"The 2nd cargo Boeing 747 with 90t of medical protective equipment landed from India to Belgrade today. The transportation of valuable supplies purchased by @SerbianGov has been fully funded by the #EU while @UNDPSerbia organized the flight & ensured the fastest possible delivery," the tweet read.

The health ministry, however, denied any knowledge of the matter.

The 90-ton consignment consisted of 50 tons of surgical gloves, masks and coveralls, which medical workers need urgently.

According to the spokesperson of Kochi airport, another consignment was sent on March 29, which included 35 lakh pairs of a sterile surgical glove.

This 30-ton consignment was sent to Belgrade on a Transaviaexport Airlines cargo freighter. The Cochin Customs had facilitated the clearance and tweeted about it.

"Cochin customs in action to clear a consignment of 35 lakhs pairs of sterile latex surgical gloves to Serbia to support the global war against #COVID2019," their tweet read.


"Our effort is to create logistics in India and to acquire material from other countries. With respect to Serbia, I am not aware of it as of now," said Luv Agarwal, the Joint Secretary in MoHFW, when asked about the matter.

After working without any protective gear, nearly 100 doctors have been quarantined across the country since they came in contact with coronavirus patients while working without any protective gear.

Several have even contracted the virus.

Reportedly, authorities of the King George's Medical University, in Lucknow, the hub of treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uttar Pradesh, turned down the OPD doctors' request for specialised protective equipment a week after a resident doctor contracted the disease.

There have been reports that doctors in some corners of the country have been using raincoats and motorbike helmets.

According to the Association of ambulance employees in Uttar Pradesh, they were stopping work over non-payment of salaries for two months and lack of protective gear despite being on the front-line in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centre said on March 30 that it was trying to procure bulk quantities of such gear, called personal protective equipment (PPE), domestically and from South Korea and China to meet the shortages.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Global Death Toll Crosses 40,000, Confirmed Cases Surpass 857,400

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