As the country battles a sudden surge in coronavirus cases, the government on Friday carried out a detailed review of the overall healthcare delivery system as well as situation arising out of the 21-day nation-wide lockdown, officials said.
The review was conducted by a Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and comprising several key members of the Union Cabinet including Home Home Minister Amit Shah, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Government sources said the ministers deliberated on various arrangements being made to deal with increasing cases of coronavirus cases as well as to ensure adequate supplies of medicine and essential commodities during the lockdown.
India has recorded over 2,300 positive cases of coronavirus and at least 56 deaths so far. Globally, the virus has infected more than one million people and claimed around 50,000 lives.
Separately, the defence ministry said five viral testing labs at armed forces hospitals have been made part of national grid for carrying out tests for coronavirus infection.
These include Army Hospital (Research and Referral) in Delhi, Air Force Command Hospital in Bangalore, Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, Command Hospital in Lucknow and Command Hospital in Udhampur.
Six more hospitals are being readied with infrastructure to carry out COVID-19 testing.
In addition, 15 other facilities are being kept ready as standby for use, if required, the defence ministry said in a statement, adding that dedicated infrastructure including “high dependency units, intensive care beds are being readied at 51 hospitals of the armed forces across the country.
Some of these hospitals are at Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Dundigal, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Jaisalmer, Jorhat and Gorakhpur.
At present, armed forces are running six quarantine facilities at Mumbai, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Hindon, Manesar and Chennai.
A total of 1,737 people have been handled by these centres and 403 of them have been released so far.
The transport fleet of IAF is being used to assist in transportation of essential supplies, medicines and medical equipment.
So far, approximately 60 tonnes of supplies have been airlifted to various parts of the country, officials said.
Twenty eight fixed wing and 21 helicopters are also kept on standby at various locations across the country for any possible eventualities.
Six naval ships are kept ready to provide assistance to neighbouring countries. Five medical teams are also on standby for deployment in Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan.