C-17 aircraft has already landed in Dubai

DUBAI: Amid a dire need or oxygen to COVID-19 patients across India, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will on Tuesday ferry as many as six empty cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai to Panagarh in West Bengal on a C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft to help tackle the oxygen crisis amid the second Covid wave.

Earlier, the IAF airlifted as many as four such containers from Singapore to Panagarh, apart from carrying out several domestic shuttles. The IAF is using a variety of aircraft for COVID relief including C-17, C-130J, IL-76, An-32, Avro, Chinook and Mi-17 helicopters.

The containers will be filled up and transported to different centres for Covid relief by rail or road.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the operations being undertaken by the IAF to transport oxygen and other essentials in India and abroad. He was briefed by chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat on the military's preparations to assist in COVID management.

Coronavirus crisis: Indian Air Force to airlift 6 oxygen containers from Dubai today
The armed forces, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and defence public sector undertakings are working overtime for COVID relief. They have set up COVID hospitals, ramped up oxygen production and airlifted medical staff and oxygen containers and liaised with state governments to help deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases.