UnitedHealth Group pledges $1M to India to assist with procuring oxygen concentrators amid worsening COVID outbreak

UnitedHealth Group is pledging relief to India amid a worsening COVID-19 outbreak. (beyhanyazar/Getty Images)

UnitedHealth Group is donating $1 million to combat the growing COVID-19 outbreak crisis in India, building on $1.5 million sent previously to the country.

The donation, made through the United Health Foundation, will back the purchase of 2,500 oxygen concentrators to help address India's nationwide shortage of oxygen, as well as other medical equipment necessary to combat novel coronavirus infections, UnitedHealth said.

UHG said the concentrators will be delivered to Indian government officials in Nitiaayog for deployment to state hospitals with the highest need.

India's COVID-19 outbreak is accounting for 46% of new virus cases and a quarter of deaths globally in the past week, Reuters reported. The country reported 2.6 million new cases last week, a 20% increase over the week before, according to World Health Organization data.

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“Since the onset of COVID-19, UnitedHealth Group has been committed to combating the pandemic’s impact on the communities where we live and work, while providing resources and support to ensure the safety and well-being of our team members,” said Laura Ciavola, president of Optum Global Advantage, in a statement.

“This additional contribution will provide much-needed relief with core medical equipment and supplies to help India’s health care professionals combat the devastating impact of COVID-19," Ciavola said.

In addition to financial relief, UnitedHealth Group is also supporting Optum team members in the region as well as providing COVID testing supplies and telehealth enhancements.

The health insurance giant has pledged more than $100 million to assist with combatting COVID-19 globally.