New Delhi| India is battling a second wave of coronaviruses and there is a severe shortage of oxygen ranging from essential medicines. In the meantime, the Center is gearing up to provide essential services with immediate effect and now the Indian Air Force has expanded its role in the fight against the virus. There is a shortage of oxygen cylinders and medicines in the National Capital Region and the Air Force has been given the responsibility to supply them here.
The Indian Air Force has started carrying airlifts (transporting aircraft from one place to another) to personnel, doctors, and nursing staff to help fight the epidemic.
Sources said that the Air Force has airlifted doctors and nursing staff from Kochi, Mumbai, Vizag and Bengaluru to set up the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) Covid Hospital in Delhi. It has also airlifted DRDO’s oxygen containers from Bengaluru to Kovid centers in Delhi.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held a virtual meeting in New Delhi on April 20 to review the preparedness of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces to deal with the recent increase in Kovid-19 cases across the country. Defense Minister Singh instructed all defense establishments to establish more Covid-19 hospitals, use emergency powers.
Rajnath Singh was briefed on how the Covid 19 pandemic was carried out by the National Cadet Corps (NCC) like the Armed Forces Medical Services, DRDO, Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), OFBs and other organizations of the Ministry of Defense. The people of the country are being helped.
He urged the DPSU, OFB and DRDO to work on a war footing to provide oxygen cylinders and additional beds to the civil administration/state governments at the earliest.
He called for the armed forces to be in close contact with the state governments and be ready to provide any necessary assistance. The defense minister also handed over emergency powers to these institutions to purchase essential goods, so that important needs could be procured.
The Defense Minister was informed by the DRDO Chairman about the Covid-19 facilities developed by DRDO and said that the center has become functional again in New Delhi. Also, efforts are being made to increase the number of beds here from 250 to 500.
The meeting was attended by Secretary of Defense Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Army Staff General MM Narwane, Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) Surge Vice Admiral Rajat Dutta, Secretary (Defense Production) Raj. Kumar, Defense Research and Development Department Secretary and Chairman Defense Research and Development Organization Dr. G. Satish Reddy and other senior civil and military officials participated through video conferencing.
Dr. Reddy told in the meeting that ESIC Hospital, which has been converted into Covid-19 Hospital in Patna, has started functioning with 500 beds. He said that work is going on to establish a 450-bed hospital in Lucknow, a 750-bed hospital in Varanasi and a 900-bed hospital in Ahmedabad.
The Defense Minister also suggested that the services of retired Armed Forces personnel who have been vaccinated can be taken to deal with the current situation. This retired personnel can assist the Civil Administration / State Governments.
During the meeting, Rajnath Singh also discussed the methods of dissemination of Covid-19 between the armed forces personnel and the officers/employees working in the Ministry of Defense. He also emphasized the need to follow Covid’s proper behavior at the workplace, emphasizing the need to wear masks at all times and maintain physical distance.