IAF airlifts 3 oxygen containers from Singapore to Panagarh in Bengal

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New Delhi, May 1 (PTI) The Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted three empty oxygen containers from Singapore to the Panagarh airbase in West Bengal on Saturday, according to an official statement.

India is struggling with the second wave of the coronavirus infection as hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of oxygen and beds.

'Today, the IAF has employed an IL -76 transport aircraft to carry three empty cryogenic oxygen containers from Singapore for Panagarh,' the statement read The IAF also conducted multiple flights within India to transport oxygen containers from one place to another.

It said its C-17s airlifted two empty cryogenic oxygen containers from Jodhpur to Jamnagar, two from Bhopal to Ranchi, two from Gwalior to Ranchi, two from Chandigarh to Ranchi, two from Vijayawada Bhubaneswar and two from Hindon to Ranchi.

'The airlift of 9 empty cryogenic oxygen containers from Hyderabad to Bhubaneswar and 4 from Hindon & Lucknow to Ranchi is in progress,' it added.

India's daily coronavirus tally crossed the grim milestone of four lakh, while the death toll rose to 2,11,853 with 3,523 fresh fatalities, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday.

The infection tally rose to 1,91,64,969 with 4,01,993 new cases, while the number of active cases crossed the 32-lakh mark, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Since April 23, 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. PTI DSP CK