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300 tonnes of Covid relief landed at IGIA but Delhi sees none of it

New Delhi: The Delhi international airport handled 25 flights carrying 300 tonnes of COVID-19 relief cargo in the last five days, its operator, DIAL, said on Monday. The airport has set up a 3,500 square metre dedicated logistics facility, called 'Jeevoday warehouse', for interim storage and distribution of the relief materials, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said in a statement.

India is struggling with the second wave of the coronavirus infection as hospitals in several states are reeling under a severe shortage of drugs, oxygen and beds. "In a span of just 5 days April 28 to May 2 - Delhi airport has handled around 25 COVID relief flights totalling around 300 tonnes cargo, originating from various countries like the US, United Kingdom, UAE, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Germany, Qatar, Hong Kong, China etc," the statement noted.

Most of the relief flights were conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft such as IL76, C-130, C-5, C-17, it said.

These flights brought in over 5,500 oxygen concentrators, approximately 3,200 oxygen cylinders, over 9,28,000 masks, 1,36,000 remdesivir injections, which are required in view of a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, the statement noted.

However, even as the supplies have reached the country from across the globe, the Capital, along with many other states continues its battle for basic medical supplies with black marketers raking in tens of thousands in cash.

At least Delhi is yet to receive any of these supplies. "As far as I know, we have not received anything so far," Dr Nutan Mundeja, Director General of Health Services, Delhi government, was quoted as saying in a Scroll report that spoke to six other state health departments, all of whom said they had not received any of these supplies yet. The states are Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha. However, the Ministry of External Affairs has made it clear that one of the Empowered Groups managing the pandemic was already fielding requests from state governments to get the aid coming in from foreign countries.

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