New Delhi (NVI): Amid the rising novel coronavirus cases in India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed the preparedness of defence forces to tackle the crisis.
The meeting was held with the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Secretary Defence Ajay Kumar and armed forces chiefs to seek what more can be done in the fight against COVID-19.
Singh expressed appreciation on the proactive role played by the Armed Forces and various departments of MoD in evacuating Indian nationals as well as foreigners from COVID-19 affected countries and ensuring them proper care at various quarantine facilities.
He also urged the Armed Forces and other departments to gear up their preparedness and provide all required assistance to the civilian administration at various levels.
The Indian Air Force has made several sorties and evacuated Indian nationals from affected areas in China, Japan and Iran. While various quarantine facilities of the Armed Forces have, so far, handled 1,462 evacuees and discharged 389.
Presently, 1,073 persons are being provided care at the facilities in Manesar, Hindan, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Mumbai. Additional quarantine facilities are on standby with 950 beds capacity.
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. It is tying up with some private companies to make personal protection equipment such as body suits and also ventilators.
Army 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.
The meeting comes at a time when the total numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 649 in India and 13 deaths have been recorded, according to the Union Health Ministry.