Sask. to send 100 ventilators to India as COVID-19 cases continue to surge

The Saskatchewan government announced Monday that it will send 100 ventilators to India as the country wrestles with a devastating COVID-19 wave.

“With an excess supply of ventilators in Saskatchewan, we are well positioned to provide this humanitarian support to India during a time of great need," said Premier Scott Moe in a statement.

The province has a current supply of more than 700 ventilators, according to a press release from the government. The shipment heading to India will include 30 critical care and 70 subacute ventilators.

The government said it will work with Saskatchewan’s trade officials in Indian and the Indian Embassy in Canada to ship the ventilators.

India reported 368,147 new cases of COVID-19 and nearly 3,500 deaths on Monday. However, experts believe these numbers could be underreported because of a lack of testing and incomplete reporting in the country.

Nish Prasad, with the India Canada Association of Saskatchewan, said there are around 20,000 people in the province with links to India. Prasad said the mood right now is “very somber and depressing.”

“People are watching with fear and frustration, it’s just not easy to see what’s unfolding in India. It’s a very sad and challenging time,” said Prasad.

Prasad said it’s encouraging to see more countries – and provinces – coming to support India during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We live in a global village, so nobody is safe until everybody is safe. We are in this fight together.” 

With files from The Associated Press