Covid facilities being readied at 51 armed forces hospitals: Defence ministry

Dedicated Covid-19 facilities are being readied at 51 hospitals operated by the armed forces across the country including Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Dundigal near Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Jaisalmer, Jorhat and Gorakhpur, the defence ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The Covid facilities at these hospitals include intensive care unit (ICU) beds and high dependency units that are a scaled down version of an ICU.

The ministry said the Indian Air Force’s transport fleet has been deployed to airlift essential supplies, medicines and medical equipment, and it has so far transported 60 tonne of stores. Thirty transport planes and 28 helicopters are on standby at various bases across the country to support the fight against the pandemic.

The ministry said the military is running quarantine facilities at Mumbai, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Hindon, Manesar and Chennai where 1,737 cases have been handled. Of them, 403 people have been released. “Fifteen other facilities are on standby,” the ministry said.

The 15 facilities, with a combined capacity of 7,000 people, are in several cities including Babina, Jhansi, Barmer, Bhopal, Kolkata, Bhatinda, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Kochi.

More than 8,500 military doctors and support staff are ready to help the government in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, apart from 9,000 hospital beds that have been prepared to meet emergency requirements. Five hospitals run by the armed forces are equipped to carry out Covid-19 tests and six more would be added to the list soon.

Six warships and five medical teams are on standby to provide assistance to neighbouring countries, the ministry said.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation has also come up with solutions for sanitizing areas such as metro stations, railway stations, hospitals, malls, airports, isolation areas, quarantine centres and high-risk residential areas.

The DRDO said the Delhi-based Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi has developed two configurations of sanitizing equipment (portable and trolley mounted) that are spin-offs from technologies developed for fire suppression.

“Two of these systems are being provided to Delhi Police for immediate use. These can be made available to other agencies with the help of industry partners,” an official release said.

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