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Covid-19: Indian Navy deploys Oxygen Express to Island Territories
Kochi, April 25, 2021
Indian Navy ships under the Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi in Kerala have been deployed to transfer essential medical supplies to Lakshadweep Islands to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
INS Sharda, based at Kochi, undertook in the early hours of today the transfer of the supplies to Kavaratti, the capital of the Union Territory.
The stores included 35 oxygen cylinders, rapid antigen detection test (RADT) kits, personel protective equipment (PPE), masks and other items, an official press release said.
The disembarkation of stores was coordinated by personnel from INS Dweeprakshak at Kavaratti. The ship then continued with her mission to the island of Minicoy for disembarkation of oxygen cylinders and medical supplies, an official press release said.
Additionally, 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 Lakshadweep with filled cylinders soon to ensure that the Oxygen Express continues unabated.
The operations are being progressed under the supervision of the Naval Officer-in-Charge at Lakshadweep in coordination with the UT Administration, the release said.
To assist the civil administration in fighting COVID 19 at Kadmat, a Naval contingent comprising one doctor, two medical assistants and one additional sailor reached the island this morning. The personnel have been deputed from SNC, Kochi as well as from INS Dweeprakshak, Kavaratti.
SNC headquarters have also reserved ten beds including ICU facilities for patients from Lakshadweep 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 helicopters ferrying patients from the UT.
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, the release added.