COVID-19 and SEDENA’s Other Relief EffortsBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 02/10/2021 - 10:43
Throughout the crisis, Mexico has relied on aerospace companies to solve many logistics problems. While the pandemic remains the top issue at the moment, other national emergencies still need to be addressed.
After a state of emergency was declared in the southeast following heavy rains and floods, the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) and the Mexican Air Force (FAM) were dispatched to the region to help in relief efforts. 205 tons of food were transported in Airbus aircraft from Mexico City to Tabasco. Humanitarian aid was also organized, as well as the execution of evacuation missions, according to an A21 article. Another area affected by natural disasters was Chiapas, which required food and first aid materials. Transportes Pegasso jumped at the opportunity to help and used two of its H145 helicopters to distribute the needed resources.
SEDENA has also been working on establishing the air routes to transport the COVID-19 vaccine throughout Mexico. Eight routes were created to accommodate the government’s plans to distribute 439,000 vaccines. Luis Sandoval, Minister of National Defense, said 46 planes will be used in total, eight for Mexico City and the rest to take the vaccine to all other states in the country. The planned routes are:
- Hermosillo – Tijuana – La Paz
- Merida – Cancun – Chetumal – Campeche
- Chihuahua – Torreon – Apodaca
- Leon – San Luis Potosi – Zacatecas – Durango – Culiacan – Tepic
- Veracruz – Oaxaca – Tuxtla Gutierrez – Villahermosa
- Morelia – Colima – Zapopan – Aguascalientes
- Chilpancingo – Acapulco – Zihuatanejo
- Tampico – Ciudad Victoria – Reynosa – Nuevo Laredo
The only route that will be using a helicopter, an EC-725 Cougar, will be Chilpancingo-Acapulco-Zihuatanejo, according to A21. For the other routes, the aircraft being used will be B737-200, B737-800, C-130 Hercules, CASA C-295 and a KA 350i.
According to a previous MBN article, national distribution for first responders would commence on Dec. 12. “The distribution of the vaccine to the country’s 879 COVID-19 hospitals will be completed by Jan. 13,” said Sandoval back in December. The process has taken longer than expected but there has been progress, nonetheless. Three days ago, vaccination numbers reached 710,198.