MINNEAPOLIS – The rising coronavirus crisis in India has left an unprecedented number of people without access to life-saving medical supplies, including supplemental oxygen, which is widely used to treat the disease. In response, leading supplier of recreational oxygen in the U.S., Oxygen Plus (O+), is donating more than 40,000 self-administered oxygen canisters to Indians suffering from the pandemic in and around metropolitan areas of Delhi and Mumbai. With both grassroot and governmental support, the Oxygen Plus donation – targeted to ship Wednesday, May 5th – has been expedited for delivery to people with depleted oxygen levels and shortness of breath through a collaborative on-the-ground effort.
Pivotal in this endeavor is Paras Shah, Director of Tri-Pac, Inc., which exclusively manufactures Oxygen Plus canisters. Because of personal ties to India, Shah felt an urgency to provide life-saving resources to the country, which has seen more than 200,000 COVID-19 related deaths. Shah enlisted Lauren Carlstrom, COO of Oxygen Plus, to donate portable oxygen to India.
“It has been heartbreaking to witness the devastating impact of Covid-19 in my home country, and I am grateful to Oxygen Plus for graciously stepping in with a donation that will literally help save lives,” said Shah. “Although we can’t completely fix the situation, we believe that a combination of smaller efforts can have a positive impact.”
As cases continue to spike, reports reveal Indians have been forced to wait in lines – sometimes overnight – to obtain oxygen for loved ones experiencing breathing complications. The ability to distribute oxygen has been a challenge. The lightweight O+ canisters – each offering 220+ breaths of oxygen – will be distributed through a free donation drive via oxygen clinics, coordinated by the Hemkunt Foundation, with fundraising support from other Indian-owned businesses as well as support from the state politicians in charge of bilateral relations between the U.S. and India.
When COVID-19 was first declared a global pandemic in 2020, thousands of U.S. consumers turned to Oxygen Plus for an at-home oxygen solution. The non-medical, recreational oxygen company, whose products are manufactured in a FDA-registered facility, received an overwhelming number of positive testimonials from COVID-19 patients and their families. Oxygen Plus is proud to have helped thousands of new U.S.-based customers “catch their breath” since the pandemic, and is now poised to do the same in India. This is the first time that Oxygen Plus products will be widely available in Southeast Asia since the company was founded in 2003.
“We always knew the impact that recreational oxygen would have on those experiencing various health concerns as a result of altitude, air pollution, overexertion from exercise and more. We didn’t anticipate the impact we’d have in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Carlstrom. “Oxygen Plus is honored to provide some form of relief to the people of India through this donation and collaboration.”