BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, May 12, 2021, Borneo Bulletin/ANN. The Indian community in the country under the patronage of the High Commission of India in Brunei Darussalam joined hands to help India which is battling the surge in Covid-19 cases since early April, by sending some 600 liquid medical oxygen (LMO) cylinders that will be delivered by Indian Naval Ship (INS) Jalashwa, The Star reported.
With India confirming over 400,000 coronavirus cases a day for the past week, news agencies said medical supply chains have broken.
“In addition to oxygen shortages, there are shortages of hospital beds, antiviral drugs, coronavirus test kits – virtually all the tools any country needs to fight a pandemic, ” according to a report from AFP.
Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar alongside leaders from the Indian diaspora in Brunei Darussalam witnessed the loading of the LMO cylinders onto the INS Jalashwa in Muara Port on Tuesday (May 11).
The INS Jalashwa, the Indian Navy’s second largest warship, arrived at Muara Port on Monday as part of Operation Samudra Setu-II to ferry liquid medical oxygen and other Covid-related items from friendly foreign countries in the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions in Brunei, which bars foreign nationals from crossing the country’s borders unless with written permission, the operation to load and unload the cylinders were done in strict adherence to the standard operation procedures, lifting the cylinders onto the ship by a crane.
The high commissioner thanked the Government of His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah for lending support, and according expeditious clearances to INS Jalashwa, enabling them to smoothly load the contributions onto the ship.
“I am happy with the initiative taken by the Indian community in Brunei under the patronage of the high commission, to join hands and provide relief to their fellow countrymen, to enable them cope with the deadly surge of Covid-19 cases since last month, ” the high commissioner said.
As part of Mission Sagar – IV, the ship arrived at Port Ed’hoala, Madagascar on March 22 to deliver a consignment of 1,000 metric tonnes of rice and 100,000 Hydrochloroquine tablets in response to an appeal made by Madagascar for assistance to deal with natural calamities.
The INS Jalashwa is an amphibious transport dock currently in service with the Indian Navy. Formerly USS Trenton, INS Jalashwa along with six Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters were procured from the United States by India in 2005.
In view of the pandemic in India, ships from all three naval commands in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Kochi have been deployed for shipment of LMO and associated medical equipment from friendly nations.
Earlier, the ship was deployed by the Indian Navy for evacuation of Indians from Maldives and Sri Lanks on a number of occasions as part of Operation Samudra Setu.