The Navy has begun ‘Operation Samudra Setu II’ as part of India’s battle against COVID-19. As part of the operation several ships from all three naval commands — Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Kochi – have been deployed for shipment of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) and associated medical equipment from countries in the Persian Gulf and South East Asia.
On the West coast Indian Naval Ship Talwar entered the port of New Mangalore in Karnataka on May 5, ferrying two 27-tonne liquid oxygen tanks from Bahrain. INS Kolkata, deployed in the Persian Gulf, departed Kuwait on May 5, with two 27-tonne oxygen tanks, 400 oxygen cylinders and 47 oxygen concentrators. In addition, four warships are en route to Qatar and Kuwait to bring to India around nine 27-tonne oxygen tanks and more than 1,500 oxygen cylinders from these countries.
On the East coast, INS Airavat, the third Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel of the Navy, left Singapore on May 5 with more than 3,600 oxygen cylinders, eight 27-tonne oxygen tanks, 10,000 rapid antigen test kits and seven oxygen concentrators. INS Jalashwa, the amphibious transport dock that India acquired from the United States, remains deployed in the region, standing by to pick up medical stores at short notice.
Landing ship tank, INS Shardul, of the Southern Naval Command, Kochi, is on its way to the Persian Gulf to bring three liquid oxygen filled cryogenic containers.
Both INS Jalashwa and INS Shardul, had in 2020 participated in ‘Operation Samudra Setu’, repatriating Indians stranded abroad after the COVID-19 pandemic broke.