INDIA. Mumbai: Indian Naval Ship Tarkash on her third trip as part of Operation Samudra Setu II (Oxygen Express) brought in critical medical supplies from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to Mumbai port on Tuesday.
INS Tarkash entered Al Shuwaikh Harbour, Kuwait on May 31, 2021, and embarked on 785 oxygen cylinders. Later on, the ship embarked 300 oxygen cylinders from Ad Dammam Port, Saudi Arabia on June 01. She entered Mumbai Harbour with medical consignment on the morning of 08 June, Tuesday.
Earlier, INS Tarkash had brought in critical medical supplies comprising four Cryogenic Oxygen Containers (20MT each), 982 oxygen cylinders in her two trips from Doha and Bahrain. In continuation of the “Oxygen Solidarity Bridge” to support India’s fight against COVID-19, Indian Naval ships have been playing a crucial role in the transshipment of Oxygen and other medical supplies from various countries.
Other Indian Navy’s warships-INS Airavat, INS Trikand, and INS Kolkata are engaged in ferrying liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and associated medical equipment from abroad as part of the mission Samudra Setu-II. The consignments are offloaded at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Mumbai (Maharashtra) and New Mangalore port (Karnataka) on regular basis for the last few months.
India plans to import 50,000 metric tonnes of medical oxygen to cater to the rising demand. And the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is in the process of floating a tender for the import of medical oxygen. According to industry experts, India can produce over 7,000 metric tonnes of medical oxygen. The major manufacturers are Inox Air Products, Linde India, Goyal MG Gases Private Limited and National Oxygen Limited. The largest of these, Inox, produces 2000 tonnes per day.
Oxygen has applications in the iron and steel industry, hospitals, pharmaceutical units that manufacture vials, and the glass industry. Currently, most states have diverted their entire oxygen production for medical use.