Three Indian Navy warships are bringing to India on Monday 80 tonnes of liquid oxygen, 20 cryogenic oxygen tanks, 3,150 cylinders and a large amount of other medical supplies from abroad as the country reels under a severe second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The medical supplies being brought by the ships included 900 oxygen-filled cylinders and 10,000 rapid antigen COVID19 test kits, 54 oxygen concentrators, 450 PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
Indian Navy ship Airavat is reaching Visakhapatnam from Singapore carrying eight cryogenic oxygen tanks each having a capacity of 20 metric tonnes of oxygen and other supplies. Another warship, INS Kolkata, is arriving at New Mangalore port carrying 40 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen, 400 Oxygen cylinders and 47 oxygen concentrators from Qatar and Kuwait, Commander Madhwal said. INS Trikand is reaching Mumbai with 40 tonnes of oxygen from Qatar, he said. Last week, the Indian Navy deployed nine warships to bring liquid medical oxygen and other supplies from several countries in the Persian Gulf and south-east Asia.
The Navy said it has stepped up its efforts as ships from all three naval commands in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Kochi were deployed to bring oxygen and other medical equipment under operation ‘Samudra Setu II’. Last year, the Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu as part of the Vande Bharat evacuation mission under which it brought back to India around 4,000 stranded Indians from Maldives, Sri Lanka and Iran.
As India battles a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic, countries around the world have sent medical supplies including oxygen-related equipment to help it tide over the situation. The leading countries that have supplied assistance to India included the US, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Singapore, Portugal, Sweden, New Zealand, Kuwait and Mauritius.