Friday, May 07, 2021

Covid-19: Cargo plane leaves NI with medical aid for India

A cargo plane carrying oxygen generators from Northern Ireland to India left Belfast International Airport on Friday afternoon.

Hospitals in the country are struggling to cope with a second surge of Covid-19 cases.

India's official death toll has surpassed 200,000 but experts believe the actual number may be higher.

The shipment, expected to arrive in Delhi over the weekend, also contains 1,000 ventilators from across the UK.

The three generators, built in Northern Ireland, are capable of producing 500 litres of oxygen a minute.

They are among eight oxygen units built as back-up for local hospitals at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Northern Ireland is the latest in a list of countries to send aid to India, as the situation there worsens.

The medical equipment is travelling on an Antonov An-124, a Russian plane originally designed in the 1980s to carry Soviet tanks.

Now, the plane is normally used to move outsize freight - things like airplane wings from Bombardier - but has been drafted in to fly medical equipment to India.

07/05/21 Sara Neill/BBC

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