India’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh, has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Navy’s efforts to bring oxygen containers and other supplies from the Gulf for COVID-19 patients in India.
Admiral Singh "apprised the Prime Minister that the Indian Navy is transporting medical supplies from Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait to India," a readout of the briefing by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) here said.
"Medical personnel in the Navy have been redeployed at various hospitals in the country to manage COVID-19 duties. Naval personnel are being provided Battle Field Nursing Assistant Training to augment medical staff deployed in COVID-19 hospitals," India’s Ministry of Defence said.
The UAE was the first Gulf country to rush medical supplies by plane to India last month when COVID-19 cases surged in a second wave of infections. Supplies from the UAE included 157 ventilators, 480 Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machines and Favipiravir medicine.
Meanwhile, medical aid from the GCC states is steadily arriving in India to relieve shortages of oxygen and to meet the urgent need for medical equipment. Kuwait has contributed 215 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen and 1,000 oxygen cylinders to India, according to the Embassy of Kuwait in New Delhi.
A military aircraft from Kuwait carrying 282 oxygen cylinders, 60 oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies from the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society landed in New Delhi yesterday. Indian Naval Ship (INS) Talwar, ferrying two liquid oxygen tanks of 27 tonnes each from Bahrain, entered the port of New Mangalore in Karnataka state today, India’s Ministry of Defence announced.
Bahrain’s Communication and Media Directorate said the Kingdom’s cabinet expressed its solidarity with India and stressed its readiness to support international efforts to combat COVID-19.
"Four naval ships are en route to the Gulf to pick up nine 27-tonne oxygen tanks and more than 1500 oxygen cylinders from GCC countries," the Indian Navy said in a press release today. "The deployment of a total of nine ships in all as part of "Operation Samudra Setu II" forms a part of multiple lines of effort by the Indian Navy to supplement oxygen requirement in India."