New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday conducted flypast across India and its jets and transport planes and choppers showered petals on hospitals and places of national importance to express honour and gratitude towards the coronavirus warriors who are battling the pandemic. It was part of the nationwide thanksgiving effort by the armed forces to honour doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff, police and other frontline workers battling coronavirus in the country.
The IAF choppers and jets, including MiG-29, Sukhoi-30 and Jaguar, conducted flypasts and Army bands played patriotic tunes outside medical buildings in most districts across the country from east to west and north to south.
The armed forces showered petals at the Goa medical college, SNM hospital in Leh, Jaipur in Rajasthan, Rajpath and police memorial in Delhi, Sukhna lake in Chandigarh, Srinagar’s Dal Lake, Lucknow in UP, Vijayawada in Andhra, Panchkula hospitals in Haryana and the Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar.
This was the third major display of gratitude to health workers across the country, following PM Modi’s request to countrymen to clap, ring bells and beat utensils to support the Covid-19 warriors from their balconies, and later by people switching off their lights and lighting candles and 'diya'.
The medical fraternity and other corona warriors were seen assembled outside the Covid hospitals and other government buildings putting hands on their chest to show honour to the respect to the efforts of armed forces. The gesture of expresssing thanks started with laying of flowers by the three Service Chiefs at the police memorial in Delhi in the morning to honour police personnel deployed for enforcement of the nationwide lockdown. Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguars, Chetak did a flypast over Rajpath and circled over Delhi and showered petals over India Gate and Red Fort.
Besides, C-130 transport aircraft followed a similar route. The aircraft flew at an approximate height of 500 meters to 1,000 meters. IAF's MI-17 V5 flew over Port Blair. The IAF fighter jets from the Western Air Command dropped petals at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, AIIMS, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, GTB Hospital, Loknayak Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Max Saket, Rohini Hospital, Apollo Indraprastha Hospital and Army Hospital Research and Referral.
The gesture of gratitude was expressed at a time when 1,301 people have died and nearly 40,000 are infected with the deadly novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic across the country. South Western Air Command aircraft showered petals at Doon Hospital, AIIMS Rishikesh, Government Hospital Saharanpur in Dehradun; BJ Medical college in Ahmedabad, GMERS Civil Hospital Gandhinagar and MH Ahmedabad; Central Air Command choppers showered petals at BHU Trauma Centre and Deen Dayal Hospital in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh; IGI in Patna (Bihar), KGMC in Lucknow; Chirayu Hospital and AIIMS in Madhya Pradesh.
Rose petals were showered by the aircraft of Eastern Air Command in Dispur, Itanagar, Shillong and Kolkata hospitals that include M.M. Chaudhary Hospital and Guwahati Medical College, Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science, Civil Hospital Shillong, and ID & BG hospital Kolkata.
The petals were showered at Jalmahal in Rajasthan, Bada Talab in Madhya Pradesh, Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad, Vidhan Soudha in Karnataka; Vivekananda Rock and Secretariat in Kerala, and Sulur in Tamil Nadu.
Indian Navy personnel at INS Hansa in Goa expressed their appreciation by forming a 'human chain' and thanked the corona warriors in their unwavering commitment to fighting against the dreaded disease.
INS Jalashwa in Bay of Bengal saluted the COVID-19 warriors. Senior Indian Naval officers visited and thanked the Kasturba Gandhi Hospital at Mumbai. Navy Helicopter Chetak also carried out a flypast with showers in the petals over Kasturba Gandhi Hospital and Ashwini Naval hospital Colaba in Mumbai.
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) also actively took part in the 'India Thanks COVID-19 Warriors' initiative by illuminating ships and showering petals at hospitals treating Corona patients.
In addition, ICG 10 helicopters showered petals on COVID-19 hospitals at five locations in Daman, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Port Blair where total of 46 ships will appreciate appreciate the efforts of the COVID-19 warriors by illuminating the ships in the evening around 7 p.m. at 25 locations covering the entire coastline of the country including the remote sites and island territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands.