Indian Navy deploys 'Oxygen Express' to Lakshadweep islands

The stores consisted of 35 oxygen cylinders, rapid antigen detection test (RADT) kits, personnel protective equipment (PPE), masks, and other items to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Published: 25th April 2021 08:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2021 12:31 AM   |  A+A-

INS Sharda, based at Kochi, undertook the transfer of essential medical supplies to the capital of UTL, Kavaratti.

INS Sharda, based at Kochi, undertook the transfer of essential medical supplies to the capital of UTL, Kavaratti.(Photo | Special Arrangement)

Express News Service

KOCHI: While the scourge of COVID-19 Pandemic is being dealt with on mainland India, its Island territories have also been extended assistance by Indian Navy.

As part of the nation's fight against COVID 19, Indian Navy ships under Headquarters, Southern Naval Command, Kochi took the mission of OXYGEN EXPRESS ahead in order to render support to the local administration of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep (UTL) to begin with.

Indian Navy informed on Sunday, “In the early hours today, INS Sharda, based at Kochi, undertook transfer of essential medical supplies to the capital of Union Territory of Lakshadweep, Kavaratti.”

The stores consisted of 35 Oxygen cylinders, Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT) kits, Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE), masks and other items to fight the COVID 19 pandemic.

The ship then continued with her mission to the island of Minicoy for disembarkation of Oxygen cylinders and medical supplies. The same supplies were disembarked also at Androth and Agatti islands.

Apart from the supplies, a Naval contingent comprising one doctor, two Medical Assistants and one additional sailor reached Island Kadmat on Sunday to assist the civil administration in fighting COVID 19 at the island, said Navy.

The personnel have been deputed from SNC, Kochi as well as from INS Dweeprakshak, Kavaratti.

Indian Navy has also dispatched a ship to Port Blair, Capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Oxygen Cylinders to cater for any exigency.

Additionally, said Navy, 41 empty Oxygen cylinders from the islands have been embarked onboard Indian Navy hired vessel, Meghna. “The vessel is now headed to Kochi for refilling of the empty cylinders and will head back to UTL with filled cylinders soon to ensure that the Oxygen Express continues unabated.”

Planning further has been done towards the evacuation and treatment of COVID Pateints from Lakshdweep. Air Evacuation Pods developed indigenously by the Naval Aircraft Yard, Kochi to airlift COVID-19 patients from the Islands as well as from elsewhere are also being made ready for emergency requirements.

Southern Naval Command has also reserved ten beds including ICU facilities at INHS Sanjivani, Kochi to cater for shortages in beds at the islands. Also, Naval Air Station INS Garuda has also been placed on alert to extend Naval airfield facilities for UTL helicopters ferrying patients.


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