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New Delhi: Continuing its emergency support to India's COVID-19 pandemic response, United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has provided 26 oxygen plants to India and over 4,500 oxygen concentrators and 200 RT-PCR testing machines have already been delivered or are being delivered.

UNICEF is helping in installation of nine oxygen generating plants across hospitals in Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura. All 26 oxygen generating plants are for installation in hospitals in Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura. "The deadly COVID-19 surge has put enormous pressure on health care facilities in India. At the heart of the crisis is the desperate need for oxygen. For those suffering from severe COVID infections, oxygen support in time can make the difference between life and death," said Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India.

"Thanks to our donors and supporters across the world, UNICEF's timely support in providing oxygen generating plants and over 4,500 oxygen concentrators will help save lives at this critical time. By building oxygen systems, we can respond to the current emergency as well as a range of health needs over the longer term," Dr Yasmin added. UNICEF will also procure an additional 14 oxygen generating plants over the next months. In a plant, the piped oxygen is supplied straight to the patient's hospital bed. It will be used for treating severe cases of COVID-19, sick newborns and children with pneumonia, as well as in supporting mothers with birth complications, and keeping patients stable during surgeries.

The United Nations agency is also delivering 4,650 life-saving oxygen concentrators procured as part of Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) for the immediate response in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal and other states. The concentrator takes in air from the environment and produces a continuous source of oxygen. Another 3,000 previously-procured oxygen concentrators are in use in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In addition, 512 High Flow Nasal Cannulas have been delivered to 10 states.

To support testing efforts in the country, UNICEF, in partnership with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), has installed 85 RT-PCR testing machines in 73 laboratories of 25 states. An additional 200 machines will also be delivered. 100 RNA extraction machines are also under procurement.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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