NEW DELHI: Indian military has readied its men, machines and resources to fight against coronavirus.
While the Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said that more than 9,000 hospital beds have been made available to deal with COVID-19, Army Chief General M M Naravane informed that more than 8,500 doctors and support staff are also available to extend necessary assistance to civilian administration.
The CDS, Service Chiefs and other Department heads were briefing the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh about their work till date and future plans through video conferencing on Wednesday
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) informed that the meeting was held through video conferencing. “Defence Minister appreciated the efforts being made by various Services, organisations and DPSUs in terms of evacuation, provision of healthcare in quarantine facilities and research & production of medical equipment such as sanitizers, facemasks and Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs). He directed all the organisations to redouble their efforts and work in close coordination with other ministries and organizations of Central Government in this crucial time.” said MoD
Referring to Rajnath Singh’s direction that help should be provided to neighbouring countries, Army Chief Naravane said that assistance to Nepal in the form of medical equipment will be delivered shortly.
Admiral Karambir Singh told the minister that naval ships are on the standby to extend any required assistance and is also extending assistance as required by local civilian administration.
Air Force is carrying on its all critical operational work while ensuring all necessary precautions. The Air Force planes transported approximately 25 tonnes of medical supplies in last five days, Chief, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria informed.
50,000 litres of sanitizers made by DRDO labs was supplied to various security entities, including Delhi Police. Another one lakh litres was supplied all over the country, said Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO.
Dr Reddy said that five-layered nano technology face mask N99 are being made on war footing. 10,000 masks have already been made and soon per day production will be extended to 20,000. Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is also engaged in manufacturing hand sanitisers, face masks and Personal Protective Equipments.
DRDO labs have also supplied 40,000 masks to Delhi Police. Another DRDO laboratory has also made arrangements to make 20,000 PPEs per day. DRDO is also engaged in minor modification of ventilators so that one machine can support four patients at the same time, Dr Reddy added.
Approximately 25,000 National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets are being mobilised to provide necessary local assistance, the minister was told during the meeting.