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On April 24, 2021, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the efforts of MoD and the armed forces to fight the current COVID-19 crisis. Summary of discussions/ directives are:
  • While expressing satisfaction on assistance being provided, RM directed the Armed Forces and other establishments of MoD to further extend assistance to civil administration to tide over present situation.
  • DPSUs and OFBs extending all possible assistance to civil administration/state governments in fight against COVID-19 cases across the country.
  • DRDO has established another 250 beds at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID hospital in New Delhi and a 1,000-bed hospital in Gujrat. Lucknow facility would become operational by end of month.
  • DRDO setting up a 500 Medical Oxygen Plants within three months under PM CARES Fund.
  • HAL has established a 180-bed COVID care centre, with ICU, oxygen and ventilator support in Bengaluru. It has handed over another 250-bed facility in Bengaluru, a 70-bed facility in Koraput and a 40-bed hospital in Nasik. It is planning to provide more ventilators and oxygen points at Bangalore and Lucknow.
  • OFB providing COVID care services, including oxygen beds, at their facilities in 25 places in Maharashtra, West Bengal, MP, UP, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
  • Several DPSUs have fast-tracked procurement of oxygen plants.
  • MoD has given extension to SSC doctors in AFMS till December 31, 2021. Additional contractual staff in 51 ECHS polyclinics approved.
  • Base Hospital at Delhi Cantonment converted into a Covid hospital with facilities for providing critical care to all incoming patients.
  • IAF moving oxygen tankers and plants from abroad as well as within the country. IAF transport aircraft C-17, C-130J, IL-76, An-32 and Avro; and helicopters Chinook and Mi-17 are carrying out these tasks. Tasks undertaken include airlift of doctors and nursing staff from Kochi, Mumbai, Vizag and Bangalore for various hospitals at Delhi.
  • Approval granted for deployment of those who have recently retired from AFMS.
  • Approval granted for emergency financial powers to AFMS.
  • AFMS importing oxygen generation plants and containers from Germany. 23 mobile oxygen generation plants being airlifted from Germany.
  • Indian Navy has deployed ‘Oxygen Express’ to transfer essential medical supplies to Lakshadweep.