Special Air India Flight Brings 21 Tons Of Medical Supplies From China To Combat COVID-19

by Natasha Monteiro
Special Air India Flight Brings 21 Tons Of Medical Supplies From China To Combat COVID-19

In every tragedy, there are heroes. In every pandemic, there are those who put their lives on the line to save others. A similar story can be told of the Air India pilots who risked their own lives and that of their families, to bring 21 tonnes of medical supplies from China to help millions of Indians combating COVID-19. No country in the world was prepared for a crisis of such epic proportions and neither were we. In light of such situations, China is helping us with medical supplies and the fastest way to get them to India and to transport them across the country, was through flight. We spoke to Captain Dushyant Kamath from Air India, who was part of the transportation crew. Here’s what he had to say:

Curly Tales: Why did Air India Plan a flight to China?
Captain Dushyant Kamath: I didn’t go to China . I transported the material from Bombay and Delhi to a couple of cities, after it was brought in from China. My colleagues though, did the flight to get supplies from China.

Curly Tales: Why would you or your team agree to doing a flight at such a high-risk time?
Captain Dushyant Kamath: Not just me, but all my colleagues were open to doing these flights . This was the fastest way to move medical aid to different states and the protection gear would be greatly needed by our health professionals.

Curly Tales: You must be used to seeing a bustling airport. How did it feel seeing an empty international airport?
Captain Dushyant Kamath: Empty airports …. straight from a doomsday movie. It was heartbreaking to see the airport come to a standstill.

An official statement said, “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.”

So What Does The Cargo Include?

The cargo includes COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, other materials of HLL and ICMR along with cargo requisitioned by state government and union territories and postal packets among others. The bulk of the cargo comprises light-weight and voluminous products like masks, gloves and other consumables, that require more space on the aircraft per ton.

A lot of people in essential services are heading out and doing their bit for people like you and me. Let’s do our bit and stay indoors.