Canada is sending up to 25,000 vials of the antiviral remdesivir (brand name Veklury) and up to 350 ventilators from its National Emergency Strategic Stockpile to help respond to the critical situation across India.
This support complements Canada’s work with its international partners to respond to needs caused by this pandemic and to help save lives. The government is also providing support through UNICEF’s response to the pandemic in India with the urgent provision of 1,450 oxygen concentrators.
Karina Gould, Minister of International Development said, “If there was ever a time for countries to support one another, it is right now. Canadians have always showed solidarity in times of crisis, and by sending these supplies, we will be helping frontline workers carry out their life-saving work.”
The funds for these operations come partly from the $230-million contribution to the therapeutics pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, announced in December 2020. This support is in addition to Canada’s $10-million support to the Canadian Red Cross Society, which is supporting the Indian Red Cross Society’s procurement of essential supplies and medicines.
Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs said, “Canada continues to stand in solidarity with the people of India. We must all unite in this hour of need and work together in the global fight against this virus that is devastating lives across the globe.”
The supplies identified for this donation will not compromise continued efforts of the COVID-19 response at home in Canada. The Canadian Armed Forces will provide airlift support to transport these supplies to India.