Amid the COVID-19 crisis situation in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and reviewed the Covid related operations being carried by the IAF. The IAF has been contributing majorly for transporting the medics, resources during the pandemic crisis.
The Prime Minister told the Marshal that there is a need to increase the speed, scale and safety of operations in transporting oxygen tankers and other essential material. He also spoke about the need to ensure that the IAF personnel engaged in Covid related operations remain safe from infection. He reminded about the need to ensure safety of all Covid related operations.
The Chief Marshal informed the Prime Minister that the IAF has ordered 24-7 readiness of the entire heavy lift fleet and substantial numbers of the medium lift fleets to operate in a hub and spoke model to rapidly meet all Covid-19 related tasking across the country and overseas. He said that aircrew for all fleets have been boosted to ensure round the clock operations.
Mr Bhadoria also told the PM that that IAF is deploying big as well as medium sized aircrafts to cover all terrains. He also told about a dedicated COVID Air Support Cell set up by the IAF to ensure faster co-ordination with different ministries and agencies to Covid related operations.
Besides, the PM inquired about the the health of IAF personnel and their families.
The Indian Air Force today airlifted nine cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai and Singapore and has brought them to the Panagarh air base in West Bengal. In addition, the IAF's C-17 aircraft on Tuesday also airlifted two cryogenic oxygen containers from Indore to Jamnagar, two from Jodhpur and Udaipur to Jamnagar and two from Hindon to Ranchi.
India is struggling with the second wave of the coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Since last Friday, the IAF has been airlifting empty oxygen tankers and containers to various filling stations across the country to speed up the distribution of the much-needed medical oxygen in treating COVID-19 patients. The IAF has also transported essential medicines as well as equipment required by designated COVID hospitals in various parts of the country.
India saw a record single-day rise of 3,60,960 coronavirus cases, which pushed the total tally to 1,79,97,267, while the death toll crossed two lakh following 3,293 fresh fatalities, according to Union health ministry data updated on Wednesday.