New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) will reportedly airlift four containers of cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore to cater to the rising demand of medical oxygen for Covid-19 treatment in India. The C-17 aircraft of IAF will be reaching the Panagarh airbase by Saturday evening carrying oxygen.
The aircraft got airborne at 2am from the Hindan Air Base and reached the Changi International Airport in Singapore at around 7.45 am.
As the country is gasping for medical oxygen amid the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IAF has come forward with its resources to airlift “medical personnel, critical equipment and medicines”. Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday reviewed the defence ministry’s effort to deal with the present pandemic situation in the country.
In another step towards scaling up oxygen supply, high capacity tankers are being airlifted from abroad by Indian Air Force aircraft for smooth movement of O2.
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) April 24, 2021
Apart from Singapore, the government is also looking at airlifting oxygen tankers from the UAE and ferrying tanks from one state to another to meet the demand in the country. The government is also planning to airlift 23 mobile oxygen generation plants from Germany.
Furthermore, two empty cryogenic oxygen containers are being transported from Jodhpur to Jamnagar by IAF C-17 heavy-lift transports. Another C-17 from the Hindan airbase reached Pune at 10am on Saturday. It will reach the Jamnagar airbase around noon with two empty container trucks for liquid oxygen. On Friday, an IAF C-17 transport plane carried an empty oxygen tanker from Indore to Jamnagar.
In its slew of measures taken in the last few days to address the oxygen shortage in the country, the Centre has decided to import 50,000 metric tonne of medical oxygen and the ministry of external affairs was asked to explore possible routes for import through its missions abroad.
Notably, the Union home ministry on April 22 directed all states and UTs to treat oxygen vehicles like ambulances and make provision for green corridors to ensure uninterrupted transport of medical oxygen everywhere.