Tankers filled with liquid medical oxygen being transported to Delhi and UP from INOX oxygen plant, in Ghaziabad, India. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Two Indian naval ships have reached ports in the Gulf to pick up shipments of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from GCC countries, which have pledged assistance in support of India’s ongoing fight against COVID-19.

Indian Naval Ship (INS) Talwar entered Mina Salman in Manama yesterday (Friday), loaded 40 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen and is now headed back to India, the Indian Ministry of Defence announced.

INS Kolkata is on its way to Doha for picking up medical supplies and will subsequently head to Kuwait for loading liquid oxygen tanks. INS Talwar and INS Kolkata are among the seven Indian naval ships which are in the process of being deployed by India on an operation which has been code-named "Samudra Setu II."

Samudra Setu in Hindi means sea bridge. Operation Samudra Setu was first launched last year by the Indian Navy during the global COVID-19 outbreak to repatriate around 4,000 Indian citizens stranded in South Asian countries.

Samudra Setu II, now under way, is aimed at meeting India’s need for oxygen and medical equipment from abroad.