Expressing gratitude of the defence forces to the coronavirus frontline 'warriors', an Indian Air Force helicopter showered flower petals over the state-run Gandhi Hospital in Telangana.
A fleet of military jets on Sunday carried out a spectacular fly-past over the national capital as part of a nationwide exercise to express gratitude to lakhs of doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff and other front-line workers engaged in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. The military jets, including Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar, flew over Rajpath, Delhi's centrepiece boulevard, and then orbited over the city for around 30 minutes from 11am.
Premier transport aircraft C-130 also carried out a separate fly-past covering the Delhi and the NCR region. The aircraft flew at an approximate height of 500 metres to 1000 metres keeping aerospace safety in mind.
All these activities were part of the nationwide thanksgiving effort by the armed forces to honour doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff and other frontline workers battling coronavirus. At around 10.30am, the Chetak helicopter hovered over the hospital and showered petals as doctors, nurses, paramedical, sanitation and other staff and police personnel assembled near the premises. The COVID-19 'warriors' were seen taking videos and photos from their mobile phones while some others clapped. The Gandhi Hospital is among the designated facilities in Telangana for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The armed forces had made elaborate arrangements to conduct nationwide aerial fly-pasts, light up ships at sea and shower flower petals on several hospitals across the country on Sunday to express gratitude to lakhs of doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff and other frontline workers engaged in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Friday announced that the three services will carry out a series of activities to thank the "corona warriors".
The thanks-giving activities started with laying of wreaths at the police memorial in Delhi and in several other cities on Sunday morning to honour the police personnel deployed for enforcement of the nationwide lockdown, officials said.
Cities where fighter jets of IAF conducted fly-pasts included Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Patna and Lucknow. Transport aircraft of the force will carry out similar drills in a number of cities including Srinagar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram.
Fighter aircraft formations, comprising Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar, will be flying over Rajpath, Delhi's centrepiece boulevard, and will orbit over the city for around 30 minutes from 10am.
"In addition, C-130 transport aircraft will follow a similar profile as fighters covering the entire Delhi and NCR region. The aircraft will be flying at an approximate height of 500 metres to 1000 metres keeping aerospace safety in mind especially in respect of bird activity," an IAF official said.
The fly-past is combined with the training activity of the IAF. Helicopters from the IAF and Indian Navy will fly over hospitals treating coronavirus patients and shower petals as a tribute to the corona warriors.
Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand said Indian Coast Guard ships will be seen at 24 places including in Porbandar, Okha, Ratnagiri, Dahanu, Murud, Goa, New Mangalaore, Kavarati, Karaikal, Chennai, Krishnapatnam, Nizamapatanam, Puducherry, Kakinada, Paradip, Sagar Island, Port Blair, Diglipur, Mayabundur, Hut Bay and Campbell Bay. "The nation stood together and showed resilience in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. On behalf of armed forces, we want to thank all the corona warriors—doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police, home guards, delivery boys and media," Gen Rawat said on Friday.
So far, the coronavirus has infected 37,776 people in India and claimed 1,223 lives, according to the Union Health Ministry. Gen Rawat's announcement about the special activities came shortly before the Union Home Ministry said the the current spell of the lockdown will be extended by another two weeks from Monday. The lockdown came into force on March 25 and was to end on April 14. It was first extended till May 3.