Amid Corona’s growing epidemic, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level meeting with CDS General Rawat and the three army chiefs today. In this meeting, Defense Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, DRDO Chief Dr G. Satish Reddy and many other officials were present.
At the meeting, the Defence Minister appreciated the logistic support being provided by the Armed Forces in the transportation of oxygen containers from abroad as well as from the country between the places of consumption and production.
During this time, the defence minister was informed that about 600 additional doctors are being mobilized through special measures such as calling retired people on duty in the last few years. In addition, the Indian Navy has deployed 200 Battle Field Nursing Assistants to assist in various hospitals.
The meeting was informed that the National Cadet Corps (NCC) has deployed 300 cadets and personnel at various locations in Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Haryana. A telemedicine service operated by health veterans will soon begin to provide counselling to patients who remain at home. At the same time, the Indian Army said that more than 720 beds have been made available for civilians in various states.
CDS General Bipin Rawat suggested that the local military command would have to be actively engaged to assist the civil administration.
The Defence Minister was told that the 500-bed hospital being set up at DRDO in Lucknow will start functioning in the next 2-3 days. Another hospital is also being established in Varanasi which is scheduled to be completed by 5 May. The chairman of DRDO said that out of 380 oxygen PSA (pressure swing adsorption) plants to be built under PM CARES fund, the first four will be deployed in hospitals in New Delhi by next week.
Indian Air Force (IAF) transport aircraft made several sorties from Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and within the country, the Indian Navy sent four ships – two from the Middle East and two Southeast Asia to supply oxygen to India.
The meeting said that Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) are procuring 28 oxygen plants and other medical equipment worth Rs 40 crore under CSR for supply to various hospitals in the states. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has set up a 250-bed hospital in Bengaluru. Another 250-bed hospital is being set up in Lucknow.