IAF on 24X7 readiness to help in COVID-19 relief operations: Bhadauria tells PM

The Indian Air Force has ordered round-the-clock readiness of its entire heavy-lift fleet and substantial numbers of its medium-lift fleets to rapidly meet COVID-19 related tasks across the country and overseas, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria also told Mr. Modi that the Air Force is deploying big as well as medium-sized aircraft to cover all terrains, the PMO said in a statement.

He briefed the prime minister about a dedicated ‘Covid Air Support Cell’ set up by the IAF to ensure faster coordination with different ministries and agencies on COVID-19 related operations.

Aircrew for all fleets have been augmented to ensure round-the-clock operations, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria added.

Hospitals under the IAF have increased COVID-19 facilities and are also allowing civilians wherever possible, the statement said, quoting the air chief.

During the review meeting, Mr. Modi stressed the need to increase the speed, scale and safety of operations in transporting oxygen tankers and other essential material.

He also spoke about the need to ensure that the IAF personnel engaged in COVID-19 related operations remain safe from infection and emphasised the need to ensure the safety of all COVID-19 related operations.

Mr. Modi enquired about the health of IAF personnel and their families and was informed by Bhadauria that a near saturation vaccination coverage has been achieved in the IAF.

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