Bhadrak: Adani Ports and SEZ (APSEZ), the nation’s largest private sector operator of sea ports, has waived charges for ships exclusively carrying Covid-related equipment, and said such vessels will be given priority berthing. Adani’s group has also secured about two dozen cryogenic tanks for transporting medical oxygen, from the UAE, Thailand and Saudi Arabia, it said in a series of tweets.

India is faced with the world’s largest surge in Covid-19 cases, straining its already stressed healthcare infrastructure. Hospitals have faced oxygen shortage, and the private sector has lent a helping hand to aid the government. Countries from the US to Australia pledged help for India as new infections topped 3 lakh for a sixth day.

“In view of the requirement of oxygen and related equipment (medical grade oxygen, oxygen tanks, oxygen bottles, portable oxygen generators, oxygen concentrators, steel pipes for manufacturing oxygen cylinders, etc.) it has been decided to give priority berthing to vessel carrying Covid-related cargo,” APSEZ said on Twitter. Also, the ports operated by the firm “will not charge any storage or handling charges for these types of equipment, Covid-related cargo being handled in any mode of storage.”

“Additionally, the port will not charge any vessel-related charges for the vessels calling the port exclusively for Covid related equipment,” it said. Stating that evacuation of such cargo will be given utmost priority, APSEZ asked all shipping lines and agencies to make a declaration of the subject cargo while declaring the vessel. These measures, it said, will become applicable with immediate effect and will be valid for a period of 3 months.