The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy have intensified their efforts to ferry oxygen containers and medical equipment to help the civil administration in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Defence Ministry statement, heavy-lift C-17 aircraft of the IAF have conducted 400 sorties from within the country, including 351 to airlift 252 oxygen tankers of total capacity of 4,904 metric tonnes (MT) as on May 7.
The cities covered by the IAF flights were Jamnagar, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Panagarh, Indore, Ranchi, Agra, Jodhpur, Begumpet, Bhubaneswar, Pune, Surat, Raipur, Udaipur, Mumbai, Lucknow, Nagpur, Gwalior, Vijaywada, Baroda, Dimapur and Hindan near Delhi.
The IAF aircraft also conducted 59 international sorties to airlift 72 cryogenic oxygen storage containers of 1,233 MT total capacity along with 1,252 empty oxygen cylinders. The containers and cylinders were procured from Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, UK, Germany, Belgium and Australia. In addition, the C-17 and IL-76 aircraft have been tasked to airlift cryogenic oxygen containers, oxygen generators and ventilators from Israel and Singapore.
The Indian Navy deployed its ships INS Talwar, INS Kolkata, INS Airavat, INS Kochi, INS Tabar, INS Trikand, INS Jalashwa & INS Shardul to ferry oxygen containers, concentrators and related equipment from friendly foreign countries from Kuwait, Qatar and Singapore.
Loading of oxygen containers and other medical supplies has also been planned on INS Tarkash, INS Shardul and INS Jalashwa from Doha, Kuwait and Muara, Brunei respectively in the coming days.