The nationwide lockdown, to prevent the spread of virus during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has now been extended. As announced by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, the lockdown is now in force till 3 May, 2020. The Indian Navy is also providing full support to the government’s preventive initiative by operating the airfield at Vizag. INS Dega, of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC), has ensured that the joint-user airfield at Vizag remains open round the clock. The manning of the airfield has been modified to ensure that all requisite safety services, and airfield facilities, continue to be available. This ensured that all special flights, as well as the cargo flight of SpiceJet, continued its operations unhindered. So far, 15 sorties of the cargo flights have operated since the lockdown has been enforced.
Further, the Indian Navy continued to maintain its operational vigil carrying out regular Maritime Surveillance missions by day and night in Vizag. The Dornier Squadron of the ENC, INAS 311, operating from the air station, has been undertaking regular maritime surveillance missions. Additionally, all other air assets have been kept mission-ready and prepared for immediate deployment should the need arise.
Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh has soared to 502. As per the AP Health, Medical, and Family Welfare Department, a total of 19 new COVID-19 cases have been reported as on Tuesday morning. Out of the 502 positive cases, 475 are active cases undergoing treatment.16 patients have been discharged so far while the death toll in the state rose to 11.