In the midst of Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the country and steps being taken to fight the outbreak on a war footing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday reviewed the Indian Air Force’s efforts towards Covid relief and stressed on the need to increase the speed, scale and safety of operations in transporting oxygen tankers and other essential material to fight the disease.
Briefing the PM on the air force’s efforts to help fight the outbreak, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said the IAF has ordered 24×7 readiness of its entire heavy-lift fleet and substantial numbers of its medium-lift fleet to operate in a hub and spoke model to swiftly meet all Covid-related tasking across the country and overseas, the PMO said in a statement.
“Aircrews for all fleets have been augmented to ensure round-the-clock operations,” the statement quoted the IAF chief as saying. Bhadauria also told the PM that the IAF has set up a dedicated Covid air support cell to ensure faster coordination with different ministries and agencies.
The IAF is making a significant contribution in the fight against Covid. For more than a week, it has been ferrying empty cryogenic oxygen containers to filling centres in India from different domestic locations and even abroad to help hospitals tide over the oxygen crisis.