The Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu-II to help in providing assistance in the ongoing national mission for meeting the Oxygen requirements. Under this mission, the Indian Naval warships are going to be undertaking shipment of “liquid Oxygen filled cryogenic containers’’ and associated medical equipment in support of nation’s fight against COVID-19.
Relief arrives from another ASEAN member country – Thailand. On Saturday, May 1, sources told Financial Express Online “ASEAN region is extending helping hand. After Singapore, Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan o Cha has conveyed through MoFA his desire to offer assistance to India.”
Op Samudra Setu II
According to the Indian Navy, two ships – INS Kolkata and INS Talwar, both are at the port of Manama, Bahrain for embarking and transporting 40MT of liquid oxygen. These two ships are going to be heading back to Mumbai soon.
For similar missions INS Jalashwa is enroute to Bangkok and INS Airavat to Singapore.
As was reported last year in Financial Express Online, the Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu which was part of the Vande Bharat Mission. Around 4000 (3992) stranded and distressed Indian citizens were repatriated from Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Iran under this mission.
Relief material arrives from Thailand
While the Indian government has indicated its oxygen related requirement – cylinders, concentrators, generators & cryogenic oxygen tanks, the Indian corporates in coordination with the Indian Mission and MHA are sourcing cryogenic tanks from the ASEAN nation. In three different sorties on April 26, 27 and 28 which were undertaken by the IAF, 11 oxygen tanks have come from Thailand.
On May 1, Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) flight arrived to evacuate some Thai embassy officials. This aircraft carried 15 concentrators donated by the Thai Govt to the Indian Red Cross Society, and 15 concentrators which have been donated by the Hindu Samaj of Bangkok.
And in addition to this, the Indian Association of Thailand has offered 100 oxygen cylinders separately. These will be transported soon to India.
IAF relief efforts
According to the Indian Air Force, “The entire heavy lift fleet and some from the medium lift fleets are operating in hub and spoke model. Presently eight C-17, four IL 76, eight C130, 20 An-32, 10 DO-228 Dornier aircraft and 20 helicopters are being deployed for COVID Tasks. The aircrew for all fleets are activated to make sure of round the clock operations.”
Also, on Friday, the IAF used its heavy lift assets to airlift 39 cryogenic oxygen containers from overseas – from Singapore, Thailand and Dubai. And 126 oxygen tankers are positioned at key locations within the country.
Update on airlift of O2 Tankers
C-17s airlifted four cryogenic oxygen containers from Singapore to Panagarh Air base. And, by late Friday evening (April 30, 2021) four more cryogenic oxygen containers were being airlifted from Singapore.
Two cryogenic oxygen containers from Chandigarh to Bhubaneswar, one from Baroda to Ranchi, two from Gwalior to Raipur, two from Mumbai to Bhubaneswar were airlifted on board C-17s of IAF.
It also airlifted two cryogenic oxygen containers from Agra to Ranchi, two containers from Indore to Surat, two containers from Chandigarh to Ranchi, and six containers from Hindan to Ranchi.
In addition, IL-76 aircraft have airlifted oxygen plant equipment from Delhi to Dimapur and with a load of 11.5T from the Indian Army, with 90 medicos from Dimapur to Bakshi ka Talab. They are being airlifted to help set up a COVID Hospital at Lucknow.
IAF Personnel gets vaccinated
Around 98 per cent of all air warriors are vaccinated with the first dose, and 85 percent with the second dose. Sustained efforts to make sure 100 per cent vaccination at the earliest are ongoing. “Active cases are restricted to 1 percent of the IAF population.”
US Aerospace giant Boeing offers $10 million assistance package
Boeing has announced a $10million emergency assistance package for India.
This assistance from the aerospace company is going to be directed to organizations providing relief, including medical supplies and emergency healthcare for communities and families battling COVID-19.
In a statement issued by the company, Dave Calhoun, president and chief executive officer, says “Boeing is a global citizen, and in India we are directing our pandemic response to the communities most impacted by this recent surge of cases.” And, “Boeing will be part of the solution,” he added.
The company will partner with local and international relief organizations to deploy the $10 million assistance package to the areas of greatest need. The relief work will be undertaken in consultation with government, medical and public health experts.
According to the company statement, the employees also have a chance to donate personally to charitable organizations supporting COVID-19 relief in India. As a part of the Boeing Gift Match program, it will match monetary donations dollar for dollar, extending the reach of assistance being provided to the Indian people.