Telugu NRIs send oxygen concentrators to TS, AP

100 oxygen concentrators sent, another 500 to be sent soon

As the State gasps for oxygen, Telugus sitting thousands of miles away in USA are ensuring that the elixir of life is generated here.

Rising COVID cases and shortage of oxygen for patients have moved the American Telugu Association (ATA) that has sent about 100 oxygen concentrators for supply in hospitals and health centres in the two Telugu States. The machines have already reached New Delhi and will be distributed in the State in a couple of days.

ATA trustee Sharat Vemula said that Telugus across USA have donated these life saving machines on ATA’s call in a few days. “We are sending another 500 machines that will reach India by May 8,” he said, acknowledging the huge response for the call.

Free shipping

“They are easily available in the US and come at half the cost of Indian makes,” Mr. Sharat said. UPS, one of the biggest shipping services in USA, has come forward to ship it free of cost to India, he said, thanking the UPS management. “It has helped us cut the costs and time.”

Realising the gravity of the situation in India, a lot of Telugus have come forward to donate the machines and some of them have requested to be donated to their villages or the nearest healthcare centre. Mr. Sharat revealed that ATA has now decided to ship individual requests as well. “Some of them want to send the machines to their parents or friends or some NGOs in need and we are obliging their request.”

In fact, those in India can also place request for the machines on the ATA website. “It costs 500 US$ and we are ready to ship specific requests from India as well.” Mr. Sharat explained.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest group of doctors of Indian origin, has also shipped 1,000 concentrators for India through its partner SEWA International. Srini R. Gangasani, the Atlanta-based surgeon associated with AAPI, said that destinations within India have been identified based on urgency and acute need.

Oxygen concentrators have suddenly come in demand in the country. “The medical device helps in concentrating oxygen from ambient air. Atmospheric air has about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen while other gases make up the remaining 1%. The machine takes the air, filters it through a sieve, releases nitrogen back into the air, and works on the remaining oxygen, which is about 95% pure,” explains professor of Medicine at Osmania General Hospital Dr. L. Muralidhar.

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