Singapore Red Cross relief operations chart progress, medical supplies expected to reach seven states

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  • Humanitarian aid of S$3.6M for public hospitals and healthcare services
  • Corporate and public donations surpass S$3.2 million in two weeks

Singapore, 12 May 2021 - At today’s media briefing the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) announced progress in its humanitarian operations towards supporting the ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak in India. The first tranche of aid, worth about SGD 3.6 million, includes medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, and ventilators to directly support patients and healthcare workers in hospitals; as well as hygiene and medical kits for those in quarantine centres or under home quarantine, along with frontline workers and volunteers responding to the pandemic.

SRC has also been working with its partners to mobilise additional support for the response. As of today, 1,300 oxygen cylinders, 3 ISO cryogenic tanks and 5 ventilators have arrived in India and are being distributed to public hospitals and other healthcare support institutions. Further shipments comprising over 4 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 coming weeks.

Giving an insight on the complexity of the procurement and logistics process, Mr Benjamin William, SRC Secretary General / CEO, shared, “Over the past weeks, we have been meeting key stakeholders on a daily basis to coordinate our response to the pressing needs in India. While oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and ventilators are most needed, the surge in global demand has resulted in a shortage of medical supplies for immediate delivery. We are leveraging our regional networks and partnerships to secure the supplies and to get them where they are most needed. The operations are a reflection of our Singapore Inc approach to this response - where teamwork, resourcefulness and effectiveness take centrestage.”

The items being sent by SRC will be distributed throughout India through the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), which has been actively responding to the crisis. In particular, SRC is working with IRCS to distribute the ventilators and oxygen concentrators to seven states most affected by the pandemic - the aid will be delivered and deployed to health institutions in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

Since the launch of its public appeal on 28 April, SRC has received over S$3.2 million in donations from organisations and individuals. SRC continues to identify and source for the needed items, ensuring that these items meet the standards and specifications, and at the same time, are reasonably priced. As more funds are raised, they will be committed to additional purchases and deployment in the most needed areas of India. SRC continues to work closely with its ground partners to understand the evolving needs and render the necessary support.

Mr William added, “Over the past two weeks, we have seen an outpouring of support from individuals and organisations, for which we are grateful. 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. As stewards of the donations, we will take every effort to ensure that the funds received from the residents in Singapore are used in the most meaningful and efficient way.”