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The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has permitted Simrik Air to operate chopper rescue flights for COVID-19 patients.

As the COVID-19 infection is spreading rapidly across the country and Smirk Air has fulfilled all the health safety protocols for rescue based on the guidelines of CAAN and the World Health Organisation, the authority has issued the permit to Simrik Air to transport COV- ID patients, CAAN has stated.

“Simrik has been delivering impeccable service for transferring patients requiring immediate treatment to the requested sectors/hospitals even during the lockdown period.

Considering our services with safety, CAAN has permitted us to conduct COVID-19 rescue flights,” said Executive Director of Simrik, Captain Siddartha Jang Gurung.

The permission was issued on Monday and the very day the first infected patient airlifted by Simrik Helicopter was brought to HAMS Hospital in Kathmandu from Butwal in a proper isolation box dedicated for patients infected by the coronavirus.

“In this new normal phase, we are committed to delivering the safest and most efficient service,” he said, “All of our crew members have been well trained and oriented regarding rescue flights during this sensitive time period.”

In association with Nepal Mediciti Hospital, the chopper company is providing rescue services along with medical team.

“Along with our crew members, there will be a medical team from Nepal Mediciti Hospital with all kinds of medical facilities for the patients. If the patient is normal, we don’t need much equipment but if the patient is in critical condition, we will be providing medical treatment, as in oxygen and other required treatment till we deliver them to the hospital,” Gurung added.

Meanwhile, the crew members will be rotated to complete their quarantine after flight operation. “Our services will be similar to that of air ambulance,” he said.

Until now, only Nepali Army had been conducting rescue flights for COVID-19 patients.

Simrik Air is the first private chopper operator to receive this permission.

Currently, Simrik Air has been providing its services through five choppers, of which two will be dedicated to transporting COVID-19 patients.

The company has claimed that all the health safety protocols set by the Ministry of Health and Population and WHO have been stringently implemented for the rescue flights.

A version of this article appears in print on October 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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