INS Shakti reached Sri Lanka with 100 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen

Indian naval ship (INS) Shakti reached Sri Lanka on August 22, 2021 carrying 100 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in a bid to help the island nation in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highlights

  • INS Shakti was deployed for the delivery of oxygen in response to a personal request for urgent supply of LMO by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
  • Camaraderie and coordination between Navies of India and Sri Lanka were on display when Sri Lankan Naval Vessel Shakthi with 40 tonnes of LMO on board also commenced its journey from Chennai to Colombo along with the INS Shakti.

India’s assistance to Sri Lanka

India’s assistance to Sri Lanka amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been varied and need-based in nature. During April-May 2020, 26 tonnes of essential medical supplies were gifted to the country while in July 2020, Currency swap of USD 400 million was provided. India also donated first consignment of covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka in January 2021. Following the donation of vaccines, Sri Lanka rolled out its vaccination programme ahead of the schedule.

Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka

Covid-19 cases have been rising rapidly in Sri Lanka. The death toll has increased to more than 7,000 with nearly 200 fatalities in a single day. As a result, the demand of LMO has increased by 30 percent in order to handle the rapid rise on new covid-19 cases.

INS Shakti (A57)

INS Shakti, a Deepak-class fleet tanker, is in service with the Indian Navy. It was constructed by Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilding company from Trieste. It is the second and final ship in the Deepak Class. This ship is among the largest ships in Indian Navy. Its construction was started in November 2009, launched in October 2010 and commissioned in October 2011.

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