Indian armed forces offer assistance to deal with COVID surge as global aid continues to arrive

By: |
April 30, 2021 4:40 PM

On Thursday itself, according to the Ministry of Defence, the IAF had carried out 16 sorties from abroad, airlifting 27 oxygen containers with 460 MT of capacity.

In addition IAF C130 airlifted Navy medical team personnel from Mumbai to Ahmedabad today and have been deployed for airlifting of 75 oxygen cylinders from Baroda to Hindan. (Photos Credits : IAF & Indian Navy)In addition IAF C130 airlifted Navy medical team personnel from Mumbai to Ahmedabad today and have been deployed for airlifting of 75 oxygen cylinders from Baroda to Hindan. (Photos Credits : IAF & Indian Navy)

With the surge in COVID-19 cases impacting hospital facilities and oxygen-supported beds, three naval hospitals under Western Naval Command (WNC) – INHS Jeevanti, Goa, INHS Patanjali, Karwar and INHS Sandhani, located in Mumbai have set aside a few COVID oxygen beds for use by the civil administration.

According to the Indian Navy, these facilities which are located inside the naval premises are going to provide basic amenities for migrant labourers, so that they are not compelled to proceed to their hometowns.

Also, the naval authorities are in regular communication with civil administration and ready to provide any COVID contingency assistance.

Similar arrangements have been made at Karwar which will provide relief to nearly 1,500 migrant labourers by supplying essential items, rations and basic healthcare.

INHS Patanjali, which was the first Armed Forces hospital to treat civilian COVID 19 positive patients in 2021, is now prepared to help any civilian COVID patients in case there is a need.

In Goa the naval teams which had set up community kitchens during the first wave are ready to provide similar help when required. Further, in addition to earmarking some COVID oxygen beds for civilians at INHS Jeevanti, is exploring provision of oxygen to civil hospitals based in case there is any request from the civil administration.

In the Gujarat Naval Area support has been offered to the local administration for transport of critical medical stores/ equipment to the COVID affected areas. And, also for setting up of community kitchens for the poor and other technical help as may be necessitated.

INHS Asvini in Mumbai has readied composite teams for deployment at short notice, and this includes medical and non-medical persons who have been trained as Battle Field Nursing Assistants and will man hospitals being set up for COVID care in different parts of the country under the direction of DGAFMS.

Naval personnel vaccinated

All the naval hospitals are catering to the vaccination service of the personnel and their families, as also the defence civilians. And plans are being considered to administer the vaccine to those who complete 18 years as on May 1, 2021.

IAF criss-crossing the country and the globe airlifting O2 tankers & medical personnel

On Thursday itself, according to the Ministry of Defence, the IAF had carried out 16 sorties from abroad, airlifting 27 oxygen containers with 460 MT of capacity.

From neighbouring countries, on Thursday, the IAF’s C-17s have airlifted 3 cryogenic oxygen containers from Singapore to Panagarh and 6 from Dubai to Panagarh. And, in addition a C-17 also airlifted 3 containers from Bangkok to Panagarh Air base. On Friday transport aircraft are in Singapore to airlift oxygen containers.

From within the country C-17s have airlifted 2 cryogenic oxygen containers from Chandigarh to Bhubaneswar, 1 from Indore to Jamnagar, 4 from Hindon to Ranchi, 4 from Mumbai to Bhubaneswar, 2 from Chandigarh to Ranchi. They have airlifted 2 containers from Bhopal to Ranchi, 2 from Lucknow to Ranchi and 2 containers from Jodhpur to Jamnagar.

In addition IAF C130 airlifted Navy medical team personnel from Mumbai to Ahmedabad today and have been deployed for airlifting of 75 oxygen cylinders from Baroda to Hindan.

Global help

More than 40 countries have come forward to offer assistance in whichever capacity possible and these include Europe, Gulf region, Mexico, Finland , the UK, France, Romania, Australia, New Zealand and Guyana which are located geographically further away.

Around 550 oxygen generating plants are being sourced from community groups, governments, corporates and private individuals.

The consignments coming in include 4,000 oxygen concentrators and over 10,000 cylinders.

Developing nations like Bangladesh have announced that it will send 10,000 anti-viral vials, 30,000 PPE kits, and several thousand zinc, calcium, vitamin C and other necessary tablets in the next few days. The neighbouring nation is being tapped for Remdesivir, an important drug.

Egypt is expected to send 4 lakh doses and also some stocks are expected from Uzbekistan and the UAE.

Vaccine Cooperation under QUAD

According to the Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the vaccine cooperation under ‘Quad’ (Japan, Australia and the US) is going on “very well”. Also, additional capacities of vaccines are being created and at the domestic level.

Help from Romania

Eighty oxygen concentrators, 75 oxygen cylinders and 20 high-flow oxygen therapy equipment from Romania arrived in the early hours on April 30. These have been gifted by the Government of Romania through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The assistance was sent by Romania’s Department for Emergencies, through its Foundation for Emergency Response (SMURD Foundation), which mobilized in only 48 hours some much needed medical equipment. And it was sent on board a military transport aircraft which was offered by the Romanian Defense Ministry.

In an official statement issued by the Embassy of Romania in New Delhi, Romanian Ambassador to India Daniela Sezonov Tane says, “Our solidarity manifested during this unprecedented critical moment for the Indian people represents another confirmation for Romania’s engagement in strengthening and extending our relation with India. India is a key partner for Romania and the European Union in the Indo-Pacific region, as it was underscored by the EU Council Conclusions from the 19th of April, 2021 dedicated to a strategic approach on Indo-Pacific.”

Romanian medical supplies are amongst the first to arrive in New Delhi and will be followed by additional medical devices and equipment shipped by the other European Union Member States, within UCPM – Union Civil Protection Mechanism, as part of the joint efforts of Team Europe.

USA sends O2 Cylinders and medical supplies

The other shipment which arrived early in the morning was from the US which carried 423 oxygen cylinders with regulators and rapid diagnostic kits, N95 masks and pulse oximeters and other medical supplies. These came on a C-5M Super Galaxy and a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The third flight will arrive in India on May 3, 2021.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1US, India share number of interests and values: Biden Administration
2‘We will continue to keep the spotlight on terrorism’: Indian Ambassador TS Tirumurti
3By 2030, India might lead the world in almost every category: Former US diplomat Richard Verma