What is Operation Sanjeevani by Indian Air Force?
At the time of the global pandemic, Indian Air Force (IAF) launched an 18-hour operation and airlifted 6.2 tonnes of essential medicines and hospital consumables with its C-130 transport aircraft and delivered it to the Maldives under Operation Sanjeevani. Due to the countrywide lockdown in India, as announced by Prime Minister Modi, the medicines and consumables couldn't have been transported through any other means.
After the Government of Maldives requested the Government of India, Indian Air Force activated 'Operation Sanjeevani' to lift and deliver the essential medicines and hospital consumables to the Maldives. The medicines were lifted from airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Madurai with the help of the Indian Army before it was transported to the Maldives.
Operation Sanjeevani: What have been delivered to the Maldives?
Influenza vaccines and anti-viral drugs which are used in other countries to treat COVID-19 such as Lopinavir and Ritonavir have been delivered. Hospital consumables include catheters, nebulisers, urine bags, infant feeding tubes, medications for cardiac conditions, kidney ailments, hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, allergies and cancer treatment, anticonvulsants have also been delivered.
India extended help to the Maldives amidst COVID-19
In addition to these essential supplies, India has also dispatched 5.5 tonnes of essential medicines to the Maldives last month. A 14-member COVID-19 Rapid Response Team of doctors and specialists have also been sent to the Maldives by the Indian Government. Indian Government has also evacuated nine Maldives nationals from Wuhan, China, where the COVID-19 was first identified.
Role of Indian Air Force at the time of crisis in the Maldives
The Government of India has helped the Maldives many times before the global pandemic. In 1998, the Indian Armed Forces helped the Maldives in the neutralization of the coup attempt. In 2004, several supplies were sent after the tsunami hit the Maldives. In 2014, Operation Neer was launched by the Indian Government to supply clean drinking water to the Maldives.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Government of India is helping its neighbouring country the Maldives. It is a growing example of India's neighbourhood first policy and reciprocation of Maldives' India first policy. It must be noted that the Maldives was the first neighbouring country of India which received essential medicines from India in its fight against COVID-19.