Why in News:
- In one of the single largest consignment of emergency medical supplies from abroad, Indian Navy’s landing ship tank INS Airavat arrived at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam with cryogenic oxygen tanks and other critical COVID-19 medical stores, as part of Operation Samudra Setu II.
What is Operation Samudra Setu II?
- Seven Indian Naval ships viz. Kolkata, Kochi, Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat have been deployed for shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries.
- Two ships, the INS Kolkata and INS Talwar, have entered the Port of Manama, Bahrain, to carry back liquid oxygen to Mumbai.
- The INS Jalashwa is enroute to Bangkok while the INS Airavat is on its way to Singapore on similar missions.
What is Operation Samudra Setu?
- Operation Samudra Setu by Indian Navy was launched in May 2020 as part of the national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas during the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the Vande Bharat Mission.
- The Vande Bharat Mission is the world’s biggest civilian evacuation exercise to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad amidst the coronavirus induced travel restrictions). It surpassed its own large-scale airlift of 1,10,000 people in 1990 at the onset of the Gulf War.
- Indian Navy’s previous such evacuation operations were Operation Sukoon in 2006 (Beirut) and Operation Rahat in 2015 (Yemen).