In support of the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and as part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’, seven Indian Naval ships – Kolkata, Kochi, Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat – have been deployed for shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries.
INS Kolkata and INS Talwar, mission deployed in the Persian Gulf, were the first batch of ships that were immediately diverted for the task and entered port of Manama, Bahrain on April 30.
INS Talwar, with 40 MT liquid medical oxygen embarked, is headed back home.
INS Kolkata has proceeded to Doha, Qatar for embarking medical supplies and will subsequently head to Kuwait for embarking liquid oxygen tanks.
Similarly, on the eastern seaboard, INS Airavat, too, has been diverted for the task, while INS Jalashwa, which played a key role during Operation Samudra Setu last year was pulled out of maintenance, readied and sailed out to augment the effort.
INS Airavat is scheduled to enter Singapore for embarking liquid oxygen tanks and INS Jalashwa is standing by in the region to embark medical stores at short notice. The second batch of ships comprising Kochi, Trikand and Tabar mission deployed in Arabian Sea have also been diverted to join the national effort.
From the Southern Naval Command, the Landing Ship Tank INS Shardul is being readied to join the Operation within 48 hours.
Indian Navy also has the surge capability to deploy more ships when the need arises to further nation’s fight against Covid-19.
It may be recalled that Operation Samudra Setu was launched last year by the Navy and around 4,000 Indian citizens stranded in neighbouring countries, amidst Covid-19 outbreak, were successfully repatriated back to India.