A cargo plane chartered by France landed in New Delhi on Sunday morning. On board, 28 tons of medical equipment, including eight large capacity oxygen generators, intended to produce medical oxygen from ambient air for Indian hospitals.

This equipment can fill oxygen cylinders with a flow rate of 20,000 liters per hour, and each plant can continuously supply a hospital with a capacity of 250 beds without interruption for ten years, according to the French authorities.

Oxygen plants

These oxygen plants were to be delivered Sunday to eight Indian hospitals: six in Delhi, one in the state of Haryana (north) and one in the state of Telangana (center). “A device like this, which produces 24 hours a day internally, is going to be of great help in increasing the oxygen supply”, rejoices Sanjay Gupta, head of BLK-Max hospital in Delhi, where one of these generators was delivered.

The operating principle of these oxygen plants is simple: the device sucks in the ambient air (composed of approximately 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen), and passes it under high pressure through a filter which traps the air. nitrogen molecules. This is a zeolite filter (a crystal) having the ability to trap the nitrogen contained in the air, in particular by letting the oxygen filter out.

International aid is pouring in

After US aid of more than 400 oxygen cylinders and a million screening tests, India has received 120 respirators from Germany and is expected to receive an additional 1000 respirators from the UK, in addition to oxygen concentrators and respirators already delivered by Great Britain.

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“The UK will always be there for India when it needs it”said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had to cancel his trip to India due to the outbreak of the pandemic and said he was “deeply moved” by the wave of British support for India.

A country overwhelmed by the Covid

Hospitals in the Indian capital are overwhelmed and experiencing shortages of beds, medicines and oxygen with often fatal consequences for many people, who die in front of institutions without being able to be treated. In New Delhi, the cemeteries are now full and the crematoriums operate continuously, the influx of deaths sometimes forcing the bodies to be cremated on vacant lots or parking lots.

The country of 1.3 billion inhabitants has recorded nearly 400,000 new contaminations in the past 24 hours and 3,689 additional deaths, the largest increase ever recorded in one day, bringing the total death toll to more than 215,000 deaths. The New Delhi authorities announced on Saturday the extension of confinement for an additional week in the immense city of 20 million inhabitants and India opened the vaccination against Covid-19 to all of its adult population, i.e. some 600 million people.