The Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted eight oxygen tankers from Singapore to the Panagarh airbase in West Bengal on Friday, said an official statement.
India is struggling with the second wave of coronavirus infection as hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of oxygen and beds.
“Two C-17 aircraft are airlifting eight oxygen tankers from Singapore to Panagarh. The task is in progress,” the statement noted.
The IAF is also conducting multiple domestic flights to transport oxygen tankers and oxygen plant equipment within the country.
It said two oxygen tankers each were taken from Chandigarh to Bhubaneswar, from Agra to Ranchi, Gwalior to Raipur, Indore to Surat and from Chandigarh to Ranchi, and one from Vadodara to Ranchi on Friday.
Moreover, it said six oxygen tankers were taken from Hindon to Ranchi, two were taken from Jodhpur to Jamnagar and two from Mumbai to Bhubaneswar.
The transportation of oxygen tankers from one place to another within India was done with the help of the C-17 aircraft, the statement added.
“An IL-76 aircraft is airlifting three oxygen plant equipment from Delhi to Dimapur and Army load of 15.3T with 53 medicos for setting up of COVID hospital at Lucknow,” it noted.
India saw 3,86,452 new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,87,62,976, while active cases crossed the 31-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
The deaths increased to 2,08,330 with 3,498 new fatalities.
Since last Friday, the IAF has been airlifting empty oxygen tankers and containers to various filling stations across the country to speed up the distribution of oxygen, needed in treating COVID-19 patients.
Along with oxygen containers, the IAF has transported essential medicines as well as equipment required by COVID hospitals in various parts of the country.