New Delhi: As part of the nation's fight against COVID 19, Indian Navy ships under Headquarters, Southern Naval Command have been deployed with the mission of Oxygen Express in order to render support to the local administration of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. In the early hours of Sunday, April 25, INS Sharda, based at Kochi, undertook the transfer of essential medical supplies to the capital of UTL, Kavaratti. The stores consisted of 35 Oxygen cylinders, Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT) kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks and other items to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The disembarkation of stores was coordinated by personnel from INS Dweeprakshak at Kavaratti.
Additionally, 41 empty Oxygen cylinders from the islands have been embarked on board Indian Navy hired vessel, Meghna. The vessel will get the refilled oxygen cylinders from Kochi and will head back to UTL to ensure that the Oxygen Express continues unabated. The operations are being carried out under the supervision of the Naval Officer-in-Charge at Lakshadweep in coordination with the UTL Administration.
To assist the civil administration in fighting COVID-19 at the island of Kadmat, a Naval contingent comprising one doctor, two Medical Assistants and one additional sailor reached Kadmat AM on April 25. The personnel have been deputed from SNC, Kochi as well as from INS Dweeprakshak, Kavaratti.
HQSNC has also reserved ten beds including ICU facilities for patients from Lakshadweep at INHS Sanjivani, Kochi to cater for shortages in beds at the islands. Also, Naval Air Station INS Garuda has also been placed on alert to extend Naval airfield facilities for UTL helicopters ferrying patients.
Air Evacuation Pods developed indigenously by the Naval Aircraft Yard, Kochi to airlift COVID-19 patients from the Islands as well as from elsewhere are also being made ready for emergency requirements.