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Published On: Fri, Apr 23rd, 2021

Indian Air Force roped in to airlift oxygen tankers Germany

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iafoxygentanker-1619166561NEW DELHI : Amid worsening Covid-19 situation, the government has roped in the Indian Air Force to airlift oxygen cylinders, regulators, and essential medicines. The IAF has pressed its C-17 and IL-76 aircrafts to airlifting oxygen tankers, reducing the transportation time.
The IAF has already airlifted personnel, doctors, and nursing staff to help the government battle the pandemic. The country is facing an acute oxygen and essential drugs amid skyrocketing Covid-19 cases.
The government is also planning to assign the Indian Air Force to airlift in oxygen containers and equipment from friendly nations. The government is facing issues in transportation due to an acute deficiency of containers to carry. The government is already in talks with all the stakeholders to get the containers. IAF has so far airlifted doctors and nursing staff from Kochi, Mumbai, Vizag, and Bengaluru for setting up a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Covid hospital in Delhi. The force had also airlifted oxygen containers of DRDO from Bengaluru for Covid centers at Delhi.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh directed all the defense establishments to set up more Covid-19 hospitals, use emergency powers and bring in retired personnel to tackle the crisis. The C-17 Globemaster is a premier transport aircraft. The long-haul aircraft is capable of carrying large combat equipment, troops and humanitarian aid in all weather conditions. The IL-76 The Ilyushin Il-76 is a multi-purpose strategic airlifter. It is designed deliver heavy machinery to remote and poorly served areas.
Principal Spokesperson in the Defence Ministry A Bharat Bhushan Babu said the plants will be deployed in the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. The decision by the ministry came four days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced granting emergency financial powers to the three services and other defence agencies to make necessary procurement to enhance medical infrastructure in view of the pandemic.
“Twenty-three mobile oxygen generation plants are being airlifted from Germany. These will be deployed in AFMS hospitals catering to the COVID patients,” Babu said. He said the oxygen generating plants are expected to be airlifted within a week. Another official said the Indian Air Force has been told to remain ready to keep its transport aircraft ready to bring the plants from Germany once required paper works are completed.

The official said more oxygen generation plants may be procured from abroad. “The advantage of these plants is that they are easily portable,” said Babu. India is struggling with a second wave of infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of rising COVID-19 cases. India recorded a one-day tally of 3.32 lakh new cases and 2,263 new fatalities, according to official data released on Friday.
(With Agency Inputs).




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