COVID-19 Lockdown: IndiGo offers its aircraft and crew to ferry medicines, equipment
New Delhi: India’s largest airline by market share, IndiGo, extended help to the Union government to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) by ferrying medicine, equipment and other relief samples across the country on Wednesday.
“I know you must be facing major logistical challenges in moving medicine, equipment and relief supplies from one part of the country to another. We at IndiGo would be extremely proud to be associated with this critical life-saving activity at this hour of great need for our nation,” said Ronojoy Dutta, CEO of IndiGo, in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
“Please be assured that all our employees are highly motivated in the service of this country and are eagerly looking for opportunities in which to contribute. We would consider it an honour if you would engage us in this activity,” said Dutta.
The airline said it has aircraft and the crew covering major cities across India and is willing to fly in the service of the nation.
The Indian Navy transported a medical team for COVID-19 test training. “A Dornier aircraft of Indian Navy with a team of four doctors from Goa State Health Department took off from INS Hansa to Pune on March 25,” Indian Navy stated.
The medical team led by Savio Rodrigues, HOD Microbiology, Goa Medical College, will undergo training to set up a COVID test facility at Goa.
A request to the Navy for providing air transport was received by Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area during the late hours of March 24, Navy sources said.
The Navy immediately initiated necessary procedures and the aircraft took off in the morning on Wednesday, the sources added.
A few samples of COVID-19 suspects were also carried by the medical team for testing.
The medical team is likely to return to Goa on March 27 post completion of the training.
The Ministry of Textile has set up an emergency control office in within the ministry itself to monitor and facilitate supply of materials needed to make masks to deal with coronavirus outbreak.
A nodal officer has also been appointed to oversee production and supply of N-95 masks, body coveralls and meltblown fabrics. All of them are pivotal in India’s fight against COVID-19.
Under the aegis of P.L. Kataria, Special Secretary, five officers from the ministry are made part of the emergency panel. They are: Joint Secretary Nihar Ranjan Dash, Directors H.K. Nanda and Balram Kumar and Deputy Secretaries Pankaj Singh and Padmapani Bora.
Apart from them, three officials are also appointed to take stock of the ground situation.
This comes a day after India went into a 21-day nationwide lockdown to prevent any further spread of the deadly virus.