The IAF has conducted around 160 sorties, including 25 from abroad, over the last fortnight to airlift empty cryogenic containers and tankers to ease transportation and distribution bottlenecks in the supply of oxygen in the country.
India is struggling with the second wave of coronavirus infection as hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. “The IAF is currently transporting empty cryogenic oxygen containers from three destinations outside India. 3 containers from Bangkok, 3 from Singapore, and 6 from Dubai,” said an official statement. IAF heavy-lift aircraft like C-17 Globemaster-III and IL-76, in turn, had carried out 23 sorties from countries like UAE, Singapore and Thailand to airlift 39 large oxygen containers, with a total capacity of 670 metric ton, till Thursday. Two more C-17s were slated to transport eight oxygen tankers from Singapore to Panagarh in West Bengal on Friday, said an official. Since 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.