DFAT to support WA’s COVID-19 aid package for India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

By Melissa Coade

Friday May 21, 2021

Mark McGowan
Mark McGowan (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

Western Australia will be sending 18 ventilators and more than 10 million masks as part of an aid package to assist some of the worst hit nations battling COVID-19.

WA premier Mark McGowan has moved to dispatch essential supplies to help manage the escalating public health crisis in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be managing the aid arrangements and help to distribute the donated items, which include 18 ventilators and PPE supplies (10 million masks, over 419,000 gloves and 3,100 coveralls). 

“The situation in India and neighbouring countries is devastating,” Mr McGowan said.

“This aid package includes items which are above and beyond what is required in Western Australia should we face an outbreak.”

The PPE is currently surplus to WA’s needs, Mr McGowan said, meaning the state was in a position to assist send them to where it was most needed.

In the last week alone India has recorded 24,931 COVID-19 related deaths, followed by 1,405 deaths in Nepal and 201 in Sri Lanka. India’s death toll peaked on Wednesday, claiming 4,529 lives. 

“To everyone who has been affected by the current situation, we are thinking of you at this time,” McGowan said. 

“As we have seen with other countries across the world that has been through several waves of this pandemic, we hope India, Nepal and Sri Lanka can clamp down on the virus soon.”

The news follows an announcement the premier made earlier this week that WA was offering grants to assist local community organisations in India through a $2 million crisis fund.

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