THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Flower petals were showered by Indian Air Force and Navy helicopters on hospitals while a fly-past and steam-past conducted in Kerala on Sunday in honour of the front-line workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

At around 10 am, the Sarang helicopter of the IAF flew past the Government Medical College Hospital and the General Hospital here as part the nation-wide initiative by the armed forces to honour doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff and other front-line workers battling coronavirus.

It hovered over a statue of ‘mother and child’ at the medical college hospital and moved towards the main entrance showering petals.

The lightweight chopper flew past over the hospital once again and left for the General Hospital to honour the COVID-19 warriors there.

A Defence release said the “Indian Coast Guard will honour the front-line workers by illuminating the Coast Guard Ships (Dress Overall) at Shangumugom Area on May 2 and 3 from 6.15 p.m to 8.30 p.m.”

In Kochi, Naval aircraft carried out the fly-past over the Marine Drive while seven Fast Interceptor Crafts undertook a steam-past in the channel along the city’s iconic spot.

A Defence release said a number of activities were organised by the Navy in Kochi, headquarters of the Southern Naval Command, to express appreciation of the entire nation towards the relentless efforts of the medical professionals, health workers, police personnel, government staff and media against COVID-19.

Navy’s representatives, including Commodores N Anil Joseph, Arti Sarin and G K Dutta, met doctors, paramedics, police personnel, firemen, sanitation workers and other frontline workers at the Ernakulam General Hospital and applauded their efforts.

“The naval team conveyed that the nation is looking up-to the continued success of COVID warriors so that normalcy is returned at the earliest”, a defence spokesman said in the release.

A Chetak helicopter of the Navy showered flower petals on the district hospital.

Subsequently, the flypast consisting of two Dornier aircraft, one SeaKing helicopter, two Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and two Chetak helicopters was conducted.

It was immediately followed by steampast by seven Fast Interceptor Crafts of the Navy in the channel, displaying a banner India thanks Corona Warriors.

Rajendra Maidan at Ernakulam was open to the public for a limited time with social distancing protocol to witness these activities and show their support.

Earlier in the day, the SNC band played some famous numbers on a warship berthed opposite the Cochin Shipyard Limited and near the Vikrant-Venduruthy Bridge, epochal landmarks of Kochi.

The ships of Southern Naval Command, anchored in the centre of the Ernakulam Channel, would undertake traditional ceremonial illumination, along with the firing of green flares and sounding of siren, in the evening as part of the Navy’s activities expressing solidarity with the corona warriors, the release added.

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