100 tonnes of covid relief cargo sent to India in May

Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 30 June 2021: Emirates SkyCargo flew 100 tonnes of relief materials free of charge from Dubai to India during a three week period in May 2021 to support the Indian community to battle the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the Emirates India Humanitarian Airbridge, Emirates donated cargo capacity to transport essential supplies such as relief tents and thousands of oxygen cylinders and concentrators free of charge on flights to Indian destinations.

“Emirates is deeply connected and committed to India. The Emirates India Humanitarian Airbridge was our contribution to assist the Indian community fight the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. We are heartened that India is overcoming the virus and we are honoured to have supported the efforts of partners by donating much needed air cargo capacity for moving essential goods quickly and reliably into nine Indian cities,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

“The Emirates India humanitarian airbridge confirms the important role that is being played by the private sector worldwide, for providing assistance to millions of people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This airbridge done with Emirates, confirms the strong partnership and commitment of the two Dubai entities in facilitating the humanitarian action of the international organisations and United Nations agencies operating within IHC… IHC has embraced the Sustainable Development Goal ‘Partnership’ and is very proud to have partnered with Emirates SkyCargo and the International humanitarian community for the extraordinary efforts done for responding to the requirements due to the pandemic in addition to other emergencies,” said Giuseppe Saba, CEO of the IHC.

“Tackling the Covid-19 pandemic is a race against time. It is also a complex logistics operation that works around to clock to provide frontline health workers with the equipment they need and ensure equitable access to vaccines for all. From our warehousing hub in the United Arab Emirates, UNICEF can rapidly deploy supplies across continents. That capability couldn’t be possible without our partners’ support. Thanks to Emirates SkyCargo’s solutions, and as demonstrated with the India airbridge, we are able to quickly and efficiently deliver life-saving supplies,” said Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area.

Emirates set up the India Humanitarian Airbridge in early May 2021 to boost the transportation of urgent medical and relief items to India by offering cargo capacity free of charge on its flights from Dubai to India. The first shipment under the Airbridge initiative flew from Dubai to Delhi on 13 May and comprised 12 tonnes of multi-purpose tent equipment for field hospitals sent by the World Health Organisation through the IHC.

Emirates SkyCargo and the IHC have joined hands in the past to deliver relief materials around the world to communities impacted by humanitarian crises. Most recently, the IHC helped channel relief efforts for the India Humanitarian Airbridge, drawing upon their extensive expertise in working with humanitarian agencies and relief logistics.

India takes advance steps to mitigate Covid-19 third wave

With India’s countrywide restrictions to contain Covid-19 due to end at midnight on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs tonight cautioned state governments that the process of relaxing restrictions should be carefully calibrated.

In a letter to Chief Secretaries of states, Ajay Bhalla, India’s Home Secretary, called for regular monitoring of the pandemic in districts with a high number of active cases per million population.

In anticipation of a third wave of Covid-19, Bhalla said “it is an important indicator to predict the need for upgrading health infrastructure and logistics, so that early and prompt action can be taken.”

Such advance actions by the government are designed to avoid the shortcomings faced during the second phase of the pandemic two months ago. The current restrictions went into effect at midnight on 30th April when the second wave was at its apex.

Bhalla noted that with a decline in active cases of infections, many states have started relaxing restrictions.

In a similar communication to states, Rajesh Bhushan, India’s Health Secretary, said that as a result of the restrictions and containment measures during the second wave in April and May, “the trajectory of Covid-19 pandemic in the country is presently showing a steady decline.”


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