The Indian Air Force (IAF) is ferrying empty oxygen tankers to filling stations throughout the nation, urgent its transport fleet into motion at a time when SOS requires medical oxygen are ringing out from totally different corners.
On Twitter, IAF has mentioned its “transport fleet is supporting the fight against Covid-19”, whereas additionally airlifting “medical personnel, critical equipment and medicines”.
IAF plane C-17, IL-76, C-130 J, AN-32 and AVROS are crisscrossing the Indian skies to get rid of provide obstacles in the distribution of oxygen, a life-saving useful resource for essential Covid-19 sufferers.
“Our effort is to give logistical help to ease distribution bottlenecks,” a prime official in the defence ministry mentioned.
Oxygen is flamable and thought of dangerous to be carried on flights. While the gaseous kind continues to be allowed, liquid oxygen shouldn’t be. Though each passenger and freight flights are allowed to hold oxygen cylinders beneath a regulation coping with the transport of what are generally known as “dangerous goods” on air, the permissible amount is such that it could not assist in a public well being disaster. That regulation, nevertheless, doesn’t apply to navy plane.
For now, efforts by IAF give attention to chopping journey time of empty containers to locations the place oxygen is on the market or produced. The containers equipped by IAF are crammed with oxygen and despatched to their remaining locations by highway.
#IndiaFightsCoronaC-17 and IL-76 plane airlifted cryogenic oxygen containers from Air Force Station Hindan to Panagarh for recharging, in assist of the struggle in opposition to Covid-19. Similar airlift duties are underway throughout the nation. pic.twitter.com/1GMdOBRqWY
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 23, 2021
In the wake of the continuing disaster, it has emerged that transport bottlenecks are a huge hurdle in supplying oxygen to hospitals. Media reviews have identified that the nation didn’t have sufficient cryogenic tankers for round the clock transport of medical oxygen — which is ready in liquid kind after which transformed to its gaseous kind by distributors who make provides to hospitals.
With the well being disaster deepening in the nation, IAF’s transport fleet has been on the job for the final two days. Two C-17 Globemasters have airlifted two empty cryogenic oxygen containers, whereas an IL-76 has ferried an empty container to Panagarh. Eight containers have been airlifted from Hyderabad to Odisha, the place they are going to be crammed. Oxygen containers from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bengaluru, have been despatched to Delhi, the place the disaster is acute.
Several Covid-19 sufferers are discovered to have low oxygen ranges in their blood, in keeping with specialists. They say this might occur even in asymptomatic sufferers and such a situation would possibly point out that a affected person wants medical consideration. In the unsparing second wave that’s battering India, extra circumstances of breathlessness have been witnessed than in the earlier wave, growing the requirement of medical oxygen in the nation.
Not simply oxygen, IAF has ferried docs and nursing workers from Kochi, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru to DRDO’s Covid-19 hospital in Delhi that has 500 beds. The pressure has airlifted a Covid testing set-up to Leh as nicely.
India can be reaching out to pleasant international locations for empty containers that shall be airlifted by IAF on an emergency foundation. Twenty-three cellular oxygen technology crops may very well be introduced from Germany and deployed in hospitals throughout the nation. “We are on standby, awaiting formal orders for the mission,” a senior IAF official mentioned.
At the identical time, 32 of the Indian Army’s wagons that carry huge weapons and tanks on rail routes are getting used to move oxygen.
Meanwhile, the armed forces are dealing with a Covid disaster of their very own. Though about 99% of the personnel have obtained the primary jab, and 85% have obtained each photographs of Covid-19 vaccines, military hospitals are flooded with sufferers. On Wednesday, Brigadier RS Parmar, a veteran, died of Covid-related problems on his solution to Chandigarh, as no beds have been accessible at an Army Hospital in Delhi Cantonment or another facility in Delhi.
In such a situation, the Army Hospital in Delhi is being transformed into a 1,000-bed Covid hospital. It must be absolutely activated inside a week. Defence minister Rajnath Singh has requested the forces to open their hospitals to civilians at this disaster hour wherever attainable.
The forces are additionally in the method of reaching out to their retired docs to man the Covid hospitals DRDO is establishing throughout the nation. DRDO, which makes high-end navy missiles and surveillance programs, is now concentrating its energies to make “pop-up” Covid hospitals in main centres.
A 500-bed facility is already up and operating in Patna and three are in the method of being arrange in Lucknow. A 750-bed facility is being constructed in Varanasi, and work is progressing at a quick tempo for a 900-bed Covid hospital in Ahmedabad.
The armed forces’ huge logistical muscle is being mobilised for the largest warfare the nation will ever struggle.
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