The last few days have seen an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases in India, accounting for an average of 3000 plus deaths every day. Many nations, including the US, UK, EU, Russia and others, have started transporting immediate medical supplies, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and ventilators to India
The US State Department has dispatched a third set of emergency relief supplies to India. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) mobilised masks, oxygen tanks, cylinders and other medical supplies equating to 250,000 pounds of life-saving supplies. The shipment is being carried by the US Carriers, National Airlines, United Airlines along with US Air Force planes.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, National Airline's B747-400F aircraft have been constantly involved in carrying medical supplies, equipment and vaccines to many nations across the globe.
“We have been constantly involved in transporting medical relief supplies across the world since the beginning of the pandemic including vaccines. This latest mission to India is our unceasing obligation to support the battle against the global pandemic.”Christopher Alf, chairman, National Airlines
Three Qatar Airways Cargo Boeing 777 freighters have departed for India, carrying approximately 300 tonnes of medical supplies from around the world to support COVID-19 relief efforts. The three flights departed one after the other bound for Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi.
The cargo shipment included PPE equipment, oxygen canisters and other essential medical items; the aircraft also consist of donations by individuals and companies around the world, in addition to the existing cargo orders.
Ambassador of India to Qatar, His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Deepak Mittal, said: "We deeply appreciate the gesture of Qatar Airways to carry, free of charge, essential medical supplies to India and supporting the fight against COVID-19".
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Having seen with great sorrow the impact this further wave of COVID-19 infections has had on people in India, we knew we had to be part of the global effort to support the valiant health care workers in the country".
The UAE has also expressed its support to India by lighting up their iconic buildings in Tricolor on 25th April. Indian Air Force C-17's have so far airlifted 18 Cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai Airport, which have landed at Panagarh Air Base in three sorties since 26th April. The subsequent shipments were carried out by a Maximus Cargo An-124.
The European Commission has activated its EU Civil Protection Mechanism and sent oxygen and medicine to virus-hit India, after receiving a request from Delhi.
"Alarmed by the epidemiological situation in India. We are ready to support" Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Several EU States have chartered aircraft, ranging from An-26 to C-130 and A330F, to India.
In a span of 5 days, from 28th April to 2nd May, Delhi airport has handled around 25 COVID Relief flights; these flights have totalled around 300 tonnes cargo, originating from various countries like the US, UK, EU, UAE, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Germany, Qatar, Hong Kong and China.
Cover Image: National Airlines/Twitter