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Indian Navy Sends Seven Warships to Import Oxygen for COVID Relief

indian navy
Image courtesy Indian Ministry of Defense

Published May 4, 2021 10:33 PM by Ankur Kundu

Amidst India's second wave of COVID outbreak showing no signs of slowing down, the Indian Navy has launched "Operation Samudra Setu-II" aiming to fulfill India's requirements of liquid medical oxygen (LMO).

The Navy has decided to deploy INS (Indian Navy Ships) Kolkata, Kochi, Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa, and Airavat for shipping oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and other medical equipment from overseas suppliers.

INS Kolkata and INS Talwar, initially deployed in the Persian Gulf, were diverted to Bahrain and Kuwait for the mission. INS Talwar is likely to reach India by May 5, carrying 40 metric tonnes of oxygen supply.

Navy spokesperson Commander Mehul Karnik said INS Kolkata has reached Doha, Qatar, and will be bringing back medical supplies, eventually heading to Kuwait to bring liquid oxygen tanks.

INS Airavat, after being diverted, will be headed to Singapore to take on a cargo of liquid oxygen tanks.

An amphib, the INS Jalashwa, has been pulled from a scheduled upgrade period and is awaiting a green light for bringing in medical supplies, according to the Indian Navy. 

iNS Kochi, Trikand, and Tabar, which were initially deployed in the Arabian Sea, have also received orders from naval headquarters to join in the national effort.

Today, Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reviewing all the initiatives the service has undertaken. Adm. Singh told the PM that naval hospitals are “being opened for use of civilians in various [Indian] cities", adding that “medical personnel in the Navy have been redeployed at various locations in the country to manage Covid duties.”