The outbreak of the second wave of COVID -19 pandemic in India has made India the second-worst affected country in the world. The increasing number of infections in the nation which have been driving the global case numbers has also resulted in a major scarcity of oxygen cylinders and other medical supplies across the country.
Extending their support and helping the nation fight during these trying times, airlines are deploying their aircrafts to move oxygen and other essential medical supplies across the country to help struggling hospitals provide the necessary aid to Covid-19 patients.
Air India jumps to the rescue
Air India on Monday brought 328 oxygen concentrators to India from the United States. The oxygen concentrators were flown from New York to New Delhi.
The flight was loaded at the JFK Airport on Sunday and it reached Delhi on Monday. The arrival of the 318 oxygen concentrators from New York was announced by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri.
All efforts to strengthen India’s fight against the pandemic are on.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 26, 2021
318 Philips Oxygen Concentrators on @airindiain flight from JFK Airport land at @DelhiAirport.
Let there be no doubt.
We will turn the tide.@MoCA_GoI @MEAIndia @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/Lz6S1Hlm99
The national carrier will also carry out long-haul flights to the US to bring around 10,000 oxygen concentrators for private entities in the coming weeks.
“Air India will be flying in oxygen concentrators in large volumes from some destinations in the US to India very soon,” a spokesperson of the airline said, adding that the airline is prepared to carry out more such long-haul flights in the future for such assignments.
Furthermore, Air India has also carried 500 BiPAPs, 250 oxygen concentrators & other medical supplies from Singapore, which landed in Mumbai on the 26th of April.
SpiceJet Ltd airlifted 800 oxygen concentrators from Hong Kong for emergency use and distribution across the country.
“We have transported a record 88,802 kg of covid vaccine shipment with a total dosage of 34 million covid vaccines between 12 January and 12 April, and our efforts will only grow stronger from here,” said Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet.
Singh added that SpiceJet is looking at bringing more than 10,000 oxygen concentrators to India in the coming days from across the world.
Vistara has also extended its support in the fight against the pandemic. As per reports, the airline has offered air logistics support to many government hospitals and organizations. This would mean transporting critical medical supplies for hospitals depending on available cargo space.
In addition to this, Vistara this week has reached out to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to offer free flights for doctors and nurses representing government organizations. The frontline workers will be able to fly anywhere within the airline’s domestic network and can fly back once their service is complete.
Indian Air Force jumps to the scene
The Indian Air Force has been deployed to transport oxygen across the country and fly it in from other countries too.
#IndiaFightsCorona— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 23, 2021
C-17 and IL-76 aircraft airlifted cryogenic oxygen containers from Air Force Station Hindan to Panagarh for recharging, in support of the fight against Covid-19. Similar airlift tasks are underway across the country. pic.twitter.com/1GMdOBRqWY
IAF has airlifted oxygen containers from UAE and is deployed to airlift more empty such containers to supplement efforts to enhance oxygen availability in the current COVID-19 surge.
Earlier, four cryogenic tanks for transportation of oxygen were brought from Singapore on Saturday.
While all Indian states are fighting the battle against the virus, a few states such as Delhi, Maharashtra, Bangalore have emerged as hot spots, with newly registered cases breaking records every day. The extended help from airlines will help ease the burden on the health care system and lead to a faster and efficient recovery.