The world’s largest cargo plane has left Belfast flying three 18-tonne oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators as part of the UK’s latest response to India’s COVID-19 crisis.
Staff at Belfast International Airport worked through the night to load 60 tonnes of life-saving kit, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, aboard the massive Antonov 124 aircraft.
Each of the three oxygen generation units –housed in 40ft freight containers – are able to produce 500 litres of oxygen per minute, enough to treat 50 people at a time on ventilators.
Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, was at Belfast International Airport to see the generators dispatched, in an operation being funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “The situation in India is heart-breaking and we stand side by side with our friends as they face this immense challenge. As we battle this global pandemic together, the vital equipment we are providing, including ventilators and oxygen generators, will help save lives and support India’s healthcare system. As one United Kingdom we will continue to do all we can to help the Indian health authorities turn the tide on this dreadful virus.”