Dubai-based airline Emirates to ship aid for free into India
Dubai's long-haul carrier Emirates has set up a humanitarian air bridge aimed at transporting urgent medical and relief items to India for free to help fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Emirates made the announcement at Dubai's International Humanitarian City, the largest crisis relief hub in the world and home to a WHO warehouse that has been crucial to the distribution of medical gear worldwide.
Air bridge created from Dubai to nine cities across India
The offer by the Dubai-based airline, which has around 95 flights weekly to nine Indian cities, could mean major savings for aid groups as airfreight costs have increased steeply amid the pandemic. "Today, I would like to announce that we are establishing an air bridge from Dubai to nine cities across India with immediate effect," said Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo.
Committed to helping India get back on its feet: Sultan
"Cargo capacities of the air bridge will be extended to humanitarian entities free of charge," Sultan said. "The International Humanitarian City in Dubai is the largest crisis relief hub in the world and we will use our existing relationship with them to facilitate urgent transportation of these medical supplies. We are committed to helping India get back on its feet," he added.
UAE has banned inbound passenger flights from India
India has been badly hit by the second wave of coronavirus and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of health workers, vaccines, oxygen, drugs, and beds. The UAE banned inbound passenger flights from India in late April, suspending all incoming flights on national and foreign carriers from the country, while transportation of passengers from the UAE to India will be allowed.
India's COVID-19 tally stands at around 2.27 crore
After recording over four lakh fresh cases for four consecutive days, India witnessed a single-day rise of 3,66,161 COVID-19 cases on Monday, which pushed its tally to 2,26,62,575, according to the health ministry. The death toll due to the viral disease climbed to 2,46,116 with 3,754 more people succumbing to it, the ministry's data showed.