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NEW DELHI: The US on Tuesday handed over to India 100 ventilators, valued at about $1.2 million, as part of President Donald Trump's offer of assistance to New Delhi in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster handed over the first shipment of 100 ventilators to Indian Red Cross Society Secretary General R K Jain at an event at the IRCS national headquarters here.
The US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), donated the first shipment of 100 brand-new, state-of-the-art ventilators to India to assist its fight against Covid-19, the American Embassy said in a statement.
The ventilators, produced in the United States by Massachusetts-based Zoll Medical Corporation, reflect leading-edge technology, are compact and deployable, and provide India with flexibility in treating patients affected by the virus.
USAID is working closely with the Indian government's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Indian Red Cross Society, and other relevant stakeholders in India and the United States to assist in the delivery, transportation, and placement of ventilators in select health care facilities throughout the country.
"The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented global health threat. It is only through partnership and cooperation that we will be able to ensure a healthy future for people across the world," Ambassador Juster said at the event.
"In this spirit, the United States is pleased to provide the people of India with a donation of ventilators, made possible by the generosity of the American people and the innovation of American private industry," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
The 100 ventilator units are valued at almost $1.2 million, it said.
USAID is also funding a comprehensive package of support, which includes accompanying equipment and medical supplies, technical assistance, and service plans.
This donation builds on the $9.5 million that USAID and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have committed to India in response to the pandemic, and this is helping to strengthen clinical care, disseminate essential health messages, improve disease surveillance, and more.
For decades, the United States has been the world's largest provider of bilateral assistance in health, the statement said.
Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance worldwide, it said.
President Trump had announced in May that the US will donate ventilators to India to treat COVID-19 patients and help it fight the "invisible enemy".
The Indian Red Cross said it extends its heartfelt thanks to the US government for gifting the ventilators to assist India's fight against Covid-19.
This life-saving resource will benefit critically ill patients immensely during this pandemic, the IRCS said.
The first tranche of ventilators to support India in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the country on Monday, the USAID said.
"Great to see that this 1st shipment of 100 USAID-funded ventilators produced by @MedicalZoll has reached India, another country hit hard by COVID-19. @usaid_india is working with the Indian government to see that these ventilators reach those in need," acting USAID Administrator John Barsa tweeted.
An American official had said last month that the US government is planning to "donate" 200 ventilators to India as part of efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.