PM Modi speaks to IAF chief RKS Bhadauria, takes stock of efforts by the Indian Air Force to mitigate Covid-19 situation
- Briefing PM Modi about IAF's preparedness, Bhadauria said the IAF has ordered its entire heavy lift fleet and a substantial number of medium lift fleets to be prepared round the clock.
As the Indian Air Force has been deployed to help out in tacking the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wedesday met Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria and took stock of the efforts of the Indian Air Force.
PM Modi also asked him about the health of the IAF personnel and their families as he said it is crucial that IAF personnel engaged in Covid-related operations remain safe from the infection. Bhadauria told him that almost all IAF personnel have been vaccinated.
Briefing PM Modi about IAF's preparedness, Bhadauria said the IAF has ordered its entire heavy lift fleet and a substantial number of medium lift fleets to be prepared round the clock “to operate in a hub and spoke model” for meeting all Covid-19 related needs of the nation and overseas.
“Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria informed the Prime Minister that the IAF has ordered 24x7 readiness of the entire heavy lift fleet and substantial numbers of the medium lift fleets to operate in a hub and spoke model to rapidly meet all Covid related tasking across the country and overseas,” said the press release.
The IAF has been using a variety of aircraft like C-17, C-130J, IL-76, An-32, Avro, Chinook and Mi-17 helicopters in their Covid-19 relief efforts. On Monday, the air force airlifted six empty cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai to Panagarh in West Bengal for refilling. Last week, it had airlifted four such containers from Singapore to Panagarh.
IAF has also been actively assisting in domestic efforts to tackle the Covid-19 crisis. It has dispatched aircraft to different parts of the country for ferrying oxygen containers to filling stations. On Saturday, IAF flew one such aircraft from its Hindan airbase outside Delhi to Pune for ferrying two empty cryogenic oxygen containers to the Jamnagar airbase which was then refilled and flown back to Pune. Similar journeys were also made to Bhopal and Ranchi. The IAF has also flown Covid testing equipment from Jammu to Leh and Kargil on Saturday.
Bhadauria informed PM Modi about a dedicated Covid Air Support Cell set up by the IAF for better coordination with different ministries and agencies for Covid related emergencies. He also apprised the Prime Minister that hospitals under IAF have ramped up Covid facilities and treated civilians whenever possible. Defence minister Rajnath Singh had said on April 24 that the armed forces and the defence ministry "will leave no stone unturned in providing all possible assistance to the civilian administration".