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Armed Forces at the Forefront as India fights COVID-19

As India fights against the devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, Indian forces have been contributing on many fronts. Here is a brief look.

On April 26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a discussion with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat. The CDS briefed the PM that all medical personnel from armed forces who have retired or taken pre-mature retirement in the last 2 years are being recalled to work at COVID-19 facilities within proximity of their present place of residence. Other medical officers who retired earlier have also been requested to make their services available for consultation through medical emergency help lines.

This addition of experience and trained personnel will take considerable stress away from the medical system that is facing unprecedented crunch of resources.

Relief for Veterans

No one has been spared from the wrath of the devious virus as the second wave surpasses all scientific predictions. So much so that even our veterans who have risked their lives for the country are today struggling to get a bed at COVID-19 hospitals. GOI is not indifferent to the challenges they face.

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has approved temporary hiring of additional contractual staff over and above the authorisation in 51 identified high pressure Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinics across the country to help India tide over the current COVID-19 crisis.

This move will ensure availability of immediate medical attention to acute cases in the specified areas to the veterans and their dependents, even at late night.

The high pressure ECHS polyclinics that will be covered are in Lucknow, Delhi Cantt (BHDC), Bangalore (Urban), Dehradun, Kotputli, Amritsar, Meerut, Chandigarh, Jammu, New Delhi (Lodhi Road), Secunderabad, Agra, Ambala, Greater Noida, Gurdaspur, Pune, Trivandrum, Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gurgaon, Gurgaon (Sohana Rd), Hoshiarpur, Mohali, Chandimandir, Allahabad, Ghaziabad (Hindon), Pathankot, Jodhpur, Ludhiana, Ropar, Tarantaran/Patti, Kolkata, Danapur (Patna), Khadki (Pune), Palampur, Bareilly, Kolhapur, Yol, South Pune (Lohegaon), Vishakapatnam, Jaipur, Guntur, Barrackpore, Chennai, Gorakhpur, Patiala, Noida, Bhopal, Kochi, Vellore and Ranchi.

IAF & Navy – Continued Service in Oxygen Logistics

The Indian Air Force and The Indian Navy have been relentlessly serving in facilitating the lifting of empty Oxygen tankers and other logistics facilitating other movements related to the medical Oxygen supply.

Many corporate entities of this country have poured in resources to help India sail through the challenge of medical Oxygen supply by securing cryogenic tanks from other countries. Here too, the IAF played the role in airlifting such instruments.

On another front, the Indian army is also helping in the process of testing and helping high-infection States like Punjab manage the COVID-19 situation.