Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu-II to augment the ongoing national mission to meet the country’s oxygen requirements. Warships have been deployed to carry liquid oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment to India amid its worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
All such containers carried on aircraft around the country are empty because oxygen-filled tanks cannot be transported by air. The naval operation, thus, gains prominence along with the efforts of the Indian Railways. Two ships, the INS Kolkata and INS Talwar, have entered the Port of Manama, Bahrain, to carry back 40 tonnes of liquid oxygen to Mumbai. The INS Jalashwa is enroute to Bangkok while the INS Airavat is on its way to Singapore on similar missions. In the second wave of the pandemic, India’s health system has begun to crumble due to a shortage of resources, especially that of oxygen, due to the unprecedented influx of patients to hospitals. Operation Samudra Setu was firstly launched in May last year as part of the Vande Bharat Mission to bring nearly 4,000 Indians back home from countries such as Maldives, Sri Lanka and Iran amid the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. The Operation was undertaken by the Indian Navy in close coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs, Union Home Ministry, Health Ministry and various other agencies of central and state governments.