Rajnath reviews defence ministry's efforts to deal with pandemic crisis

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday reviewed efforts by various wings of the ministry in contributing to India's battle against a fast-spreading second wave of coronavirus.

Singh carried out the review at a virtual meeting attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy among others.

The three services as well as other wings of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) ministry have been extending support to various state governments and union territories in dealing with the massive surge in COVID-19 cases.

'Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh is reviewing the MoD's efforts to deal with the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country,' the defence minister's office tweeted.

Since Friday, the Indian Air Force airlifted empty oxygen tankers and containers to various filling stations across the country to speed up the distribution of the much-needed medical oxygen in treating COVID-19 patients.

The IAF has also been transporting essential medicines as well as equipment required by the designated COVID hospitals in various parts of the country.

On Saturday, one C-17 transport aircraft of the IAF reached Changi airport in Singapore to bring high-capacity oxygen containers to boost the oxygen supply in the country.

'The Indian Air Force is taking sorties to reduce the transportation time of Oxygen and other critical supplies. One C-17 has reached Changi airport in Singapore today. These containers of cryogenic oxygen tanks will help boosting the oxygen supply in the country,' Singh's office said.

India is struggling with a second wave of the coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under acute shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of a rising number of COVID-19 cases. PTI MPB PYK PYK