It is very recent; during US pullout from Af and turmoil thereof. Three Indians and Nepalese suffering Covid infected Lungs disorder. Both their employer and hospital wanted them to be evacuated out of Af. Reasons were many: including endangered life, deteriorating medical condition and depleting resources. Taliban was making sudden moves and whole of Af was in uncertainty and fear. Airport, Immigration, Security…. tartar
Challenges were equally strong; including negligible commercial Flights, safety/security/ permissions and costs. Embassies of both India, Nepal at Af and of Af at India were least-functional; stalling the permissions, visa and clearances.
The Plan A to move all 3 of them together by a chartered Air Ambulance was dropped due to safety concerns in Af airspace. The Asian and European aviation companies had refused to fly into either Kabul or Bagram, Mazar-e-Sharif. Even the Af Medical team refused to road-transfer patient to Bagram etc.
Our Director-Operations Ms. Poonam had designs of Plan B. She swiftly started working on Commercial transfer. She prepared 2 simultaneously Medical teams and commercial Airlines (Air India and Kam Air) at India and Af to activate either medical escort teams. Oxygen, BPAP, ECMO equipped. She frivolously moved few Govt Ministers & airlines. It was a life-saving mission. Commercial airlines medical clearances were arranged.
Meantime a patient’s condition deteriorated. The impending life threats and medical condition warranted urgency. Ms. Poonam agreed to a split-plan. 1st patient was immediately transferred by Commercial airlines to India. Subsequently stabilized overnight at Delhi, before Air Ambulance transfer and treatment at Nepal. 2nd (deteriorating) patient was immediately moved to the Middle East. 3rd was moved few days later by commercial airlines to Delhi for treatment.
Thankfully, all 3 are safe home and doing good; away from Af. Yes, escaping the inevitable threat and chaos thereon.
We were saving 3 human lives; just in time.