The Indian Air Force (IAF), with maximum number of flights, is leading the Civil Aviation Ministry’s “Lifeline Udan” initiative to transport essential medical cargo in remote parts of the country in order to fight Covid-19. As per figures available till 26 April, the IAF has operated as many as 155 flights ever since the service began on 26 March, followed by Air India (135) and Alliance Air (94). Besides, private operators like SpiceJet, Blue Dart and Indigo are also operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Besides medicines and medical equipment, the IAF is also involved in airlifting other essential supplies of ration along with medical personnel within the country. The IAF has transported more than 600-tonne of medical equipment and support materials.
A 15-member team of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) Rapid Response was sent to Kuwait recently in response to the request from that country to the Indian government. On completion of the task, the team was airlifted back from Kuwait in the IAF’s C-130 aircraft. During the return, a six-year-old girl suffering from cancer, requiring immediate emergency surgery, was also evacuated along with her father.
“IAF continues to maintain op preparedness, while following all the guidelines issued by the Government of India ensuring social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in IAF work places. As the nation takes big strides in its fight to contain and defeat the contagion, IAF reaffirms its commitment to meet all emerging needs in a professional manner,” the IAF said in a statement.