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Navy to step up services to fight COVID

Admiral Karambir Singh. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Calling the current COVID situation “probably the biggest humanitarian challenge” the country faced till date since Independence, Navy Chief Adm Karambir Singh, in a message to the naval fraternity, said the pandemic is spreading to rural areas and they are in need of help.

“All our teams are putting their shoulder to the wheel to support the national effort. But my belief is that we can do even more and our contribution is going to increase in the coming days,” Adm. Singh said in a video message. “Our outlying units could adopt a village and render assistance just like INS Chilka has done,” he stated.

Observing that nearly 80% of uniformed Naval personnel have received their two vaccine shots due to which there are relatively safer, Adm. Singh said, “We have to contribute back to the nation with our full might, in these difficult times.”

Giving an overview of the ongoing efforts to bring emergency oxygen and other medical supplies through sea under Operation Samudra Setu II for which nine ships have been deployed, Adm. Singh said so far the Navy has already brought nearly 21 containers each of 20 MT capacity, of which 13 were filled with Liquid Medical Oxygen, more than 6,000 oxygen cylinders, and large number of COVID relief materials. “Our commitment is to bring in 3000 MT of oxygen,” he stated.

The Navy has also set up 111 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds for civilian use at its establishments at several locations as well as added 450 beds. He also said that more than 200 Naval medical personnel have been deployed at COVID hospitals in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Patna and Lakshadweep. In addition, around 200 Battle Field Nursing Assistants were ready for deployment. Around 75 Nursing Assistants per week were also additionally being trained, he added.

More aid pours in

In international aid efforts, Canada, Finland, Greece, Japan, and South Korea sent additional emergency medical supplies on Thursday. A third special flight with 10,000 rapid testing kits reached Delhi from South Korea on Thursday.

“Three more special flights, containing 100 portable oxygen concentrators, 10 ventilators, 100 negative pressure carriers and 10,000 antigen detection kits (for 2,50,000 tests) are arriving at IGI Airport, New Delhi, on May 13, 14 and 16,” the South Korean Embassy said in a statement. These medical supplies will be donated to the Indian Red Cross Society for further distribution to hospitals and healthcare centers.

Earlier this week, South Korea had sent two planes loads of medical supplies consisting of 230 oxygen concentrators, 200 oxygen cylinders and 100 negative pressure carriers. In the coming days, more medical supplies will arrive from Korea, the statement added.

Two more flights also arrived from Japan carrying a total consignment of 100 oxygen concentrators. Earlier, four aircraft from Japan have delivered 200 oxygen concentrators, the Ministry of External Affairs said on social media.

Several European Union countries continued delivering aid. One aircraft arrived carrying 176 ventilators from Germany, 324 oxygen cylinders from Finland and 10 oxygen cylinders from Greece. Another consignment of 30 oxygen concentrators, two ventilators and other medical equipment also arrived from Italy. “This equipment will further augment the oxygen production plant gifted earlier by Italy which is already functional at ITBP hospital in Greater Noida,” the MEA said on Twitter.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 12:07:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/navy-to-step-up-services-to-fight-covid/article34551699.ece

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