Seven Indian Navy ships have been deployed for the shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries to strengthen Indias fight against the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“INS Kolkata, Kochi, Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat have been deployed for the shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers in support of the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and as part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’,” the Indian Navy stated.
INS Kolkata and INS Talwar, deployed in the Persian Gulf, were the first batch of ships that were immediately diverted for the task and entered the port of Manama, Bahrain, on Friday. INS Talwar is headed back home with 40 MT liquid medical oxygen (LMO).
INS Kolkata has proceeded to Doha, Qatar, for embarking medical supplies and will subsequently head to Kuwait for embarking liquid oxygen tanks.
Similarly, on the Eastern seaboard, INS Airavat has been diverted for the task, while INS Jalashwa, the LPD which played a key role during operation Samudra Setu last year, was pulled out of maintenance, readied and sailed out to augment the effort, the Navy said.
INS Airavat is scheduled to enter Singapore for embarking liquid oxygen tanks, while INS Jalashwa is standing by in the region to embark medical supplies at short notice.
The second batch of ships comprising INS Kochi, Trikand and Tabar deployed in the Arabian Sea has also been diverted to join the efforts.
From the Southern Naval Command, landing ship tank INS Shardul is being readied to join the operation within 48 hours.
The Indian Navy also has the surge capability to deploy more ships when the need arises to further the nation’s fight against Covid-19, it said.
All the ships are combat ready and capable of meeting any contingency in keeping with the attributes of the versatility of sea power, the Navy said.
It may be recalled that operation Samudra Setu was launched last year by the Navy and around 4,000 Indian citizens stranded in the neighbouring countries due to the Covid outbreak were successfully repatriated back to India.