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Indian Armed Forces at the fore-front in the battle against COVID-19

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New Delhi, May 13: The role of the Indian Armed Forces has been a relentless one amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The Indian Air Force and Navy are working round the clock to provide oxygen and other medical supplies to the civil administration in a bid to help tackle the pandemic.

Indian Armed Forces at the fore-front in the battle against COVID-19

On May 12, the aircraft of the IAF airlifted 403 oxygen containers of 6,856 Metric Tonnes (MT)capacity along with other equipment of 163 MT capacity, in 634 sorties from different parts of the country. The cities covered are Jamnagar, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Panagarh, Indore, Ranchi, Agra, Jodhpur, Begumpet, Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Surat, Raipur, Udaipur, Mumbai, Lucknow, Nagpur, Gwalior, Vijayawada, Baroda, Dimapur and Hindan.

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The IAF aircraft have also conducted 98 sorties from different countries, airlifting 95 containers of 793 MT capacity and other equipment of 204 MT capacity. The equipment has been procured from Singapore, Dubai, Thailand, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Israel and France.

As part of operation 'Samudra Setu II', seven Indian Naval Ships have returned home with 260 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) from 13 containers for direct supply to various states, eight oxygen containers of total capacity 160 MT, approx. 2,600 oxygen filled cylinders and 3,150 empty cylinders for Oxygen from Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia. While INS Jalashwa is presently in Brunei, INS Shardul is scheduled to enter Kuwait on May 12, 2021.

The DRDO on the other hand made makeshift hospitals with negative pressure tents to help those in need of medical care due to the pandemic. The DRDO set up nine hospitals in the cities Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Gandhi Nagar, Haldwani, Rishikesh, Jammu and Srinagar. The Dhanvantri COVID-19 care hospitals has 700 oxygen beds and 200 ICU beds, while the Sardar Patel COVID-19 Care Centre in Delhi has 500 ICU beds.

On the other hand the nursing Officers of Military Nursing Service (MNS) are among the health care professionals who are at the forefront in the nation's ongoing fight against the second COVID-19 wave. The officers are deployed at various Armed Forces hospitals to provide medical care to the COVID-19 patients. Two hundred and ninety-four MNS Officers are being mobilised for the newly-raised COVID-19 hospitals by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Delhi, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Varanasi and Patna, the Defence Ministrysaid.

They played a vital role in various repatriation missions as part of Operation Namaste and Operation Samudra Setu. The MNS Officers have been integral part of the country's war efforts, humanitarian assistance, rescue operations, ambulance trains, hospital ships and submarines. They are serving in advanced echelons such as Leh, Rajouri, Doda, Kargil and many other far-flung areas for the care for the troops in India.

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