India May Get Battlefield Oxygen Concentrators From US

Discussions are currently being carried out on the transportation of oxygen concentrated systems from US to India.

2 min read

As India continues to grapple with the raging second wave of COVID-19 and an escalating oxygen crisis, the country has reached out to its allies, seeking urgent help in meeting its oxygen demands.

According to a report by The Economic Times, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held a meeting with the head of US Homeland services, where the possibility of India airlifting portable oxygen generators used by the US military was discussed in detail.

This development has come after Sullivan has reportedly spoken to India's National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, regarding the ways US can provide oxygen generation equipment.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said that US has already provided India some $1.4 billion in health assistance, emergency relief supplies, pandemic training, and ventilators, reported news agency Reuters.


Efficiency of Battlefield Oxygen Generators

The US military uses two types of emergency oxygen generators – Expeditionary Deployable Oxygen Concentration Systems (EDOCS) and battlefield portable oxygen cylinders.

EDOCS 120B currently provides medical oxygen to emergency responders, disaster preparedness, and the United States Air Force, Army, Navy, USMC, and Allied Military Forces. This system can support up to 40 COVID patients at once and only needs an external power supply.

This means only 10 such systems would be able to create a 400-bed hospital with constant oxygen supply.

Battlefield Oxygen System is a portable device used by the US Army in combat zones. These generators can supply 3-5 litres of oxygen per minute. This equipment runs on a rechargeable battery and never run out of supply as it directly concentrates oxygen from air to the patient.

But What Are the Concerns?

Discussions are currently being carried out on the transportation of these concentrated systems. India might have to activate the logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), an agreement built to promote interoperability between militaries by creating common standards and systems.

A report by ET suggests that in order to get these equipment in India, US Military personnel will be deployed in the country where the units are needed. This will be the first time when US military will be deployed in the country for a medical emergency.

Meanwhile, India expects to receive medication from about 15 countries in the next few days.

According to a mathematical model by IIT scientists, active cases in the ongoing second COVID wave in India may peak at 38 to 48 lakh between 14 May to 18 May and new infections could hit a new high of 4.4 lakh starting from 4 May to 8 May.

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