Armed Forces step up help in fight against COVID-19

Vishal Dahiya
File photo: Indian army

File photo: Indian army

The Armed Forces Medical Services is deploying its resources to assist civilian authorities in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six quarantine facilities have been kept ready at Mumbai, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Hindon, Manesar and Chennai while 15 other facilities are being kept on standby.

Dedicated COVID-19 facilities including High Dependency Units, Intensive Care Unit beds are also being prepared in 51 hospitals of the Armed Forces across the country.

While 5 viral testing labs at Armed Forces hospitals which can carry out COVID-19 test have been made part of the national grid, six more hospitals are being equipped to start testing for COVID-19

The Indian Air Force has operated several special flights to evacuate people and carry medical supplies.

These include a trip each to China and Iran by a C-17 Globemaster III and another by C-130J Super Hercules to the Maldives.

The IAF is also being used to assist in the transportation of essential supplies, medicines and medical equipment to various parts of the country. Twenty-eight fixed-wing and 21 helicopters are on standby at various locations across the country for the purpose.

Six naval ships are kept ready for assistance to neighbouring countries as well. Five medical teams are on standby for deployment in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal,

Bhutan and Afghanistan. An Army Medical Corps team with five doctors, two nursing officers and seven paramedics were deployed in the Maldives from March 13-21 for capacity building measures and assist in setting up their own testing, treatment and quarantine facilities.