IAF Airlifts Reciprocal Support Material From Singapore, UAE
IAF-C17 transport aircraft gearing up to airlift empty oxygen containers from Singapore
Two IAF transport aircrafts C130, airlifted a consignment of 256 oxygen cylinders to West Bengal from Changi airbase of Singapore. It is among the first countries to send oxygen supplies to India amid reports of a severe shortage of the commodity in several cities.
“Last yr, [India] helped the world and [Singapore] by exporting essential medicines & supplies. Now, we stand with [India] as you fight Covid,” Singapore high commissioner Simon Wong tweeted.
Singapore and Canada on Wednesday joined the list of countries that have announced support for India’s response to a devastating second wave of Coronavirus infections that has hit healthcare facilities across the country.
Singapore is among the first countries to send oxygen supplies to India amid reports of a severe shortage of the commodity in several cities. The cylinders will support last mile oxygen delivery and more consignments are expected in the coming days.
In Singapore, second minister for foreign affairs Maliki Osman formally handed over the assistance to Indian high commissioner P Kumaran at Paya Lebar airbase. Maliki said Singaporeans stand in solidarity with the people of India in the fight against the pandemic.
“We have all witnessed in the past year how this pandemic is a trans-boundary threat. It gives no regard for country, nationality, or race. This is exactly why we must work collectively to support each other,” he said.
On Saturday, the Indian Air Force also airlifted four cryogenic tanks from Changi airport that will be used to transport oxygen.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted nine cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai and Singapore and has brought them to the Panagarh air base in West Bengal, according to an official statement issued on Wednesday.
These containers were brought on Tuesday, it said.
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, it said.
IAF’s C-17s have also airlifted six cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai to Panagarh Air Base. Another C-17s brought three oxygen containers from Singapore to Panagarh Air Base,” the statement said.
The IAF also airlifted eight cryogenic oxygen containers from Hyderabad to Bhubaneswar, two from Bhopal to Ranchi and two from Chandigarh to Ranchi, it said.
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.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease is 1,48,17,371, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.12 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Canada too has announced that it is providing $10 million for humanitarian assistance to the Canadian Red Cross to support the Indian Red Cross Society’s response to the devastating situation in India.
This contribution will support the procurement of essential supplies and medicines, including oxygen cylinders and ambulances, said a statement from Canada’s foreign ministry.
Canada’s international development minister Karina Gould said, “Canada stands with the people of India as they go through these difficult times. This funding will help meet some of the most urgent medical needs like purchasing and distributing essential supplies as well as supporting vital blood and ambulance services.”
Foreign minister Marc Garneau also spoke with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Tuesday to convey Canada’s solidarity with the people of India, and said Canada is “exploring all options to support India’s urgent needs”.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also extended his support in a tweet. “Right now, the people of India are facing a tragic situation. To help with everything from ambulance services to buying personal protective equipment, we’re contributing $10 million to @IndianRedCross through @RedCrossCanada. We stand ready to donate extra medical supplies, too,” he said.