The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday informed that it has engaged the Indian Air Force (IAF) to coordinate the lifting of high capacity tankers from abroad by IAF aircraft for the movement of Oxygen in view of its severe shortage in the country.

The MHA posted a tweet on its Twitter handle which says, “MHA is coordinating lifting of high capacity tankers from abroad by IAF aircraft for movement of O2, reqd due to current surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. Here Liquid O2 containers can be seen being loaded at Changi Airport, Singapore, today.”

Dozens of COVID patients have died due to the shortage of medical oxygen with the latest incident being reported from the Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi where 25 people died on Friday night due to a shortage of medical oxygen.

According to the sources, a C-17 Indian Air Force aircraft will reach the Panagarh airbase by Saturday, 24 April evening carrying four containers of cryogenic oxygen tanks. The C-17 aircraft departed at 2 am from the Hindon Air Base and reached the Changi International Airport in Singapore at around 7:45 am.

The German Embassy in India has also announced that the private German company Linder together with Tata would airlift 24 oxygen transport tanks to India to scale up transport capacity of medical oxygen to COVID hotspots in the country as hospitals across India have been putting out SOS calls on social media to seek medical oxygen for the critical patients.

The IAF is using its entire transport fleet to ensure that the turnaround time of oxygen supply is cut by half by airlifting large container trucks one way.

(With agency inputs)