4 cryogenic tanks for transporting oxygen being airlifted from Singapore, says MHA
Amid the grim COVID-19 situation in the country, four cryogenic tanks, to be used for the transportation of oxygen, are being airlifted from Singapore on Saturday.
A Home Ministry official said the four empty tanks are being brought to India by a heavy lift transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
A C-17 aircraft of the IAF took off from the Hindon airbase in the outskirts of Delhi for Singapore's Changi airport early on Saturday morning.
After loading the tanks, the aircraft is expected to land at Panagarh air base in West Bengal this evening, another official said.
On Friday, the Union Home Ministry said it was in talks for the import of high-capacity oxygen-carrying tankers from Singapore and the UAE.
The move came after Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the coronavirus situation in the country.
The Indian Air Force on Friday airlifted empty oxygen containers to various filling stations across the country, and deployed its aircraft for transportation of medical personnel and medicines in helping civil authorities deal with surging COVID-19 cases.
The IAF deployed its C-17 and IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft for transportation of oxygen containers to filling stations, officials said. The oxygen containers will be transported by road or rail to various hospitals once they are refilled, they said. Containers filled with oxygen are generally not transported onboard military aircraft as they are considered combustible and may pose risk to the planes.
Chairing a high-level meeting to review oxygen supply across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked top officials to work rapidly on increasing its production, boosting the speed of distribution, and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities.
The country recorded a one-day tally of 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases and 2,263 new fatalities, according to official data released on Friday.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)