The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Sunday announced that national carrier Air India has brought in 21 tonnes of medical supplies from China for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country. The Civil Aviation Ministry's statement also revealed that to date a total of 116 flights had been operated under ''Lifeline Udan'' by Air India, Alliance Air, the IAF, Pawan Hans and private carriers carrying out critical operations during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there are 3374 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 277 people have recovered while 77 individuals have lost their lives.
"On the international front, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India have worked closely with China to establish a cargo air-bridge between the two countries for transfer of critical medical supplies. The first cargo flight between India and China was operated by Air India on 4 April 2020, carrying 21 tons of critical medical supplies from China," an official statement said.
Over 161 tonnes of essential cargo had been transported through these cargo flights including enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, other materials. The statement also revealed that domestic cargo operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart and Indigo were also operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.