Air ambulance services or medical flights in India witnessed a big surge in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Delhi topping the charts followed by Mumbai. Medical flights are small aircraft fitted with medical equipment and a doctor on board.
According to The Times of India, Delhi airport had handled 406 medical flights between January and March this year. It witnessed a surge in demand, with 482 medical flights taking off in April and May alone. Mumbai airport also handled 75 medical flights between April and June compared to the 28 flights between January and March of this year. This averages to Delhi handling eight air ambulance flights a day in April-May compared to four flights a day in January.
According to aviation aggregator Rahul Mucchal, Accretion Aviation, most of the COVID-19 patients were flown from Delhi to Hyderabad and Chennai due to shortage of beds with ECMO machines whereas Mumbai mostly received patients from non-metros.
As per a report by The Sunday Guardian, Delhi currently has 12 air ambulances, operated by Medevac Operations. Medevac specialises in handing medical evacuation flights. These air ambulances fly from the newly-constructed General Aviation Apron for faster movement. Inside the air ambulance, the patients are kept in isolation pods where there is continuous oxygen supply.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)