Air India said it was airlifting 35 tonnes of zeolite mineral used in oxygen production plants on two flights from Rome to Bengaluru on Saturday. India has been badly hit by the second wave of the novel coronavirus infection as hospitals in several states are reeling under the shortage of health workers, vaccines, oxygen and drugs.
"The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is the charterer for the zeolite consignments," Air India said in a statement. Additionally, the national carrier is going to airlift zeolite mineral for DRDO from multiple locations across the world during the coming weeks.
"Seven charter flights have been scheduled between May 15-18 from Rome to Bangalore. This will be followed by eight charter flights from Korea to Bangalore between May 19-22. "Further, we have uplift from USA through our existing scheduled flights from EWR (Newark Liberty International Airport) between May 20-25. Next part of this exercise is from Brussels, Tokyo and again USA, in the following weeks," the statement stated.
Zeolite is used in oxygen production plants that are based on pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology. India in a day recorded 3,26,098 COVID-19 cases that took the tally to 2,43,72,907, while 3,890 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,66,207, according to Union health ministry data updated on Saturday.
The active cases have reduced to 36,73,802 and comprise 15.07 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 83.83 per cent, it stated.
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