Tuesday 26 May 2020, 02:03 PM
India ready to dispatch rapid response teams to Nepal to fight Covid-19
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 3/28/2020 1:02:11 PM
India ready to dispatch rapid response teams to Nepal to fight Covid-19

New Delhi: India is ready to dispatch rapid response teams to Nepal for assisting them with the present Covid-19 situation there, Lieutenant General Anup Banerji, DG Armed Forces Medical Services, said on Friday.When asked about regional assistance, the Lieutenant General said that apart from Maldives, Indian is ready to dispatch an RRT (rapid response teams) to Nepal for assisting them with the present Covid-19 situation there.

He said, "Other assistance as sought from MEA/MoD for other countries will be provided as and when required for building up the infrastructural capacity and expert manpower in friendly foreign countries."Giving details of the quarantine camps being operated by the armed forces, the officer said that as on March 27, there are six quarantine facilities operational at Hindan, Manesar, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ghatkopar and Chennai."We are housing 1,059 civilian evacuees from countries like Italy, Iran and Malaysia in these centres. Of these, three have tested positive so far," he said.

When asked about the availability of personal protective equipment, Lieutenant General Banerji said that the availability of personal protective equipment is a challenge, both at a national as well as global level. "Their rational usage is very crucial and we have issued necessary advisory to that effect to the Services. We as Armed Forces Medical Services are presently geared up with adequate personal protective equipment for use in our hospitals. Additional procurement is also being planned to tide over the crisis foreseen during the coming weeks and months since the armed forces have been directed to augment medical resources for the civil health set up also," he said.

On Indian Army officers and personnel who have been quarantined or tested positive, he said that as of now, one serving soldier has tested positive. The soldier was on leave at his home in Leh, taking care of his father who had recently returned from Iran and was suffering from Covid-19. The soldier has made an uneventful recovery.

The officer also said that rail coaches are now made available to the Indian Army to be used as ambulances.Banerji said, however, necessary expertise in the subject has been shared with railways officials to organise their own response mechanism for tackling Covid-19 cases.

On Indian Army hospitals' capability to carry out Covid-19 tests, he said as of now, there are five hospitals across Army, Navy and Air Force which can carry out such tests. Six additional hospitals are also being equipped shortly with the resources to begin testing.

He also explained that presently 28 service hospitals have been earmarked as Covid-19 hospitals for managing purely coronavirus cases, including armed forces patients as well as civilian patients transferred by state health authorities, in case their capacity is overwhelmed.When asked about the preventive measures being taken at the army formations along the LoC and LAC, the officer said that isolation wards at peripheral hospitals in these formations have been geared up.

"Intensive information, education and communication campaigns are going on for serving personnel. Leave extension of those on leave as well as curtailment of leave to bare minimum have been imposed. Segregation facilities have been set up to observe troops already back from leave from various states," Banerji said.

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