Covid-19 – Corona Virus Latest News & Updates: India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh Thursday urged the country’s armed forces and state owned defence companies to help civilian authorities in the fight against the highly infectious novel coronavirus that has claimed more than 25,000 lives across the globe.
In a high level meeting with the senior defence ministry officials, he reviewed the action plan of the ministry to deal with the COVID-19 situation.
He urged Indian military leadership and other departments to gear up their preparedness and provide all required assistance to the civilian administration at all levels.
In the review meeting, top officials briefed defence minister Rajnath Singh on various measures and assistance provided by Indian military and other defence ministry organisations so far.
Rajnath Singh expressed satisfaction on the proactive role played by the Armed Forces and various departments of defence ministry in evacuating Indian nationals as well as foreigners from COVID-19 affected countries and ensuring them proper care at various quarantine facilities.
Indian Air Force has made several sorties and evacuated Indian nationals from affected areas in China, Japan and Iran.
Various quarantine facilities of the Armed Forces have, so far, handled 1,462 evacuees and discharged 389.
At present, 1,073 persons are being provided care at the five facilities in Manesar, Hindan, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Mumbai. Additional quarantine facilities are on standby with 950-bed capacity.
Defence PSUs produce equipment to fight Corona
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories have manufactured 20,000 litres of sanitizer and supplied to various organisations, including 10,000 litres to Delhi police.
DRDO has also supplied 10,000 masks to Delhi police personnel. The apex defence research and development body is also tying up with private companies to make personal protection equipment such as body suits and ventilators.
OFB ramps up production of Covid-19 related equipment
Ordnance Factory Board has also ramped up production of sanitizers, masks and body suits. Bharat Electronics Limited is also engaged in manufacturing of ventilators.
Indian Army stands ready to help neighbours
Indian Army‘s medical teams deployed in the Maldives have since returned after completion of their mission. Army medical teams and two ships of Navy are on standby to provide required assistance to friendly countries in the neighbourhood.
Entire top leadership of Indian military including Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane were present in the meeting.
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar; Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar; Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Ms Sanjeevanee Kutty; and Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy also attended the high level meeting to chart out the ministry’s response against the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic.